Post-Holiday Guide to Healthy Eating
India is a country of diverse communities and religions, with a wide variety of festivals. These are times of celebration and feasting with our family and friends. Diwali is the most exciting time of the year, from boxes of decorations to put up to making rangolis, from lavish meals to cook and eat to parties and get-togethers. The holiday season brings all the flavors and our house is overflowing with sweets and namkeens.
Navigating the holiday season isn’t so easy for anyone worried about their health, and especially if you’re living with a chronic condition, whether it’s obesity, hypertension or type 2 diabetes.
But don’t worry, with the holiday season almost behind us, you can start taking small but determined steps to get back into a healthy routine, even if it might feel boring at first after the chaotic energies of the festivities.
Here are some tips for healthy eating after the festivities:
1. Stay hydrated
Water is necessary for proper functioning, regulates body temperature, promotes metabolism, flushes out toxins and waste, helps transport nutrients to where they are needed. Since you must have consumed junk food, fried and greasy namkeens, sweets, and alcohol, your body must have been dehydrated. Consuming a good amount of water will prevent constipation. Water is also essential for kidney function, so stay well hydrated
2. Stay away from processed foods
Instead of eating home-cooked meals, those who eat processed foods and canned foods can develop heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, cancer, and depression. Now that the festival is over, try to limit the consumption of processed foods for at least a month. Increase the number of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats in your diet, such as those found in nuts, seeds, and omega supplements.
3. Avoid alcohol and sugar
After the festive season, it would be wise to abstain from alcohol and sugar. The benefits of this healing process for the body include better sleeping habits, more energy, help with weight reduction, no hangovers, improved blood sugar levels, better skin health and reduced risk of mental health problems.
4. Have digestible foods
After eating all those processed and fried foods, rest your digestive system by not eating hard-to-digest foods. Consume low fat and high protein foods like dal, vegetable khichdi, dhokla, upma soups, dalia without milk. All these dishes are nutritious and digestible
5. Consume metabolism-boosting beverages
There are many metabolism boosting drinks you can try such as green tea, ginger tea, apple cider vinegar, fennel tea, ajwain water, cinnamon drink for a better intestinal (stomach) health.
6. Include Probiotics and Antioxidants
Include probiotic rich foods such as kefir, kimchi yogurt, dhokla, dosa in your diet. As they contain good bacteria and are good for intestinal health.
7. Stick to your workout routine
With so much festivity, it’s so easy to lose sight of your fitness goals. When the festivities are over, instead of feeling discouraged or procrastinating, you should get back to your exercise routine. Start with light exercises and progress to intense exercises. Make sure you are consistent with your exercise routines. Some of the best and easiest exercise routines are cycling and jogging. Later, you can move on to intense classes like gym, pilates to get back in shape.
8. Rebalance your diet
Even if you’ve indulged in festive foods, whether fried or sweet, don’t be too hard on yourself and fall into the trap of guilt. Start again in small steps to find a healthy and balanced diet. Set your meal times again. Increase your intake of fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates. In case there are any leftover namkeens or sweets, distribute them evenly among other relatives or family members so that you are not tempted to finish it on your own.
9. Catch up on your sleep delay
Lacking sleep to reunite with friends and family and join in the festivities sounds like fun. But lack of sleep makes everything worse, it makes blood sugar unmanageable, worsens blood pressure and makes you overeat. So now that the holiday season is over, put the web series on pause and get some good sleep. Rest is important and will make all the difference to your body and mind.
10.Schedule a visit with your doctor and dietitian
Start your post-festival health care plan with a visit to a dietitian. Discuss your diet and lifestyle over the past few days and weeks and let them guide you through the next steps. This visit will be very beneficial as it will help you understand your eating habits and ways to improve them. Your visit to the doctor will help measure vital signs and investigate any lab tests like cholesterol, sugar, lipids if necessary.