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Ask the experts: How can I avoid weight gain during the festive season?

Published on:20 October 2020, 18:09pm IST
’Tis the season of ghee-laden sweets, deep-fried snacks, and heavy meals. And if all of this is making you dread weight gain, then we have nutritionist Kavita Devgan to your rescue.
Kavita Devgan
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Try these hacks to avoid the extra kilos this season. Image courtesy: Unsplash

With the festive season well and truly here, sudden weight gain seems almost unavoidable. Most of us end up gaining at least a few kilos by the time we get through the festive year-end. And so, we begin the New Year uncomfortable and guilty.

But a little attention to your diet by ensuring it is sarvagunn sampann and proactively taking a cue from the Indian way of nutrition can help prevent inflammation, water retention, calorie excess, and gut mess—all of which contribute to weight gain.

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Here are a few ways to work around some of the most common reasons for weight gain during the festive season.

1. Unhealthy Eating

Junk food consumption and irregular food timings may lead to a water logged and inflamed body. Zero in on natural foods to keep the damage to the minimum.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • End your day by having haldi doodh at bedtime. Curcumin in turmeric is a potent inflammation cutter and will keep help keep the damage of the indulgences to the minimum. Just make sure you use turmeric that guarantees three per cent curcumin and has its natural oils intact to actually score these benefits
  • Have a couple of cups of tea with saunf (fennel seeds). These promote the functioning of the kidneys, liver, and spleen and get our lymphatic system up and about.
avoid weight gain
Drink this cuppa full of haldi for good health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
2. Inadequate protein in diet

The quintessential festive diet these days is overloaded with unhealthy, high-carbohydrate snacks and meals. And protein invariably gets tossed to the side. To get the carbs-protein balance right, consciously include more protein in your diet through these tips:

  • Eat good quality, unpolished dals in two meals every day to score healthy vegetarian protein
  • Have either dal sprouts chaat, besan, or dal cheela at breakfast to give your body a protein boost early on in the day
  • Include more of the good sources of lean protein in your meals daily. Choose from lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, milk, yoghurt, legumes, lentils, tofu, or soya nuggets.
3. Improper Digestion

Heavy foods day in and day out can damage digestion and eventually lead to weight gain—because a well-functioning gut is imperative to prevent it. Simple steps can help sort out your gut, so keep practicing these everyday:

Also, listen:

  • Be proactive if you have a heavy dinner planned by eating something that is light on the stomach for lunch (or vice versa). Try foods like poha, which is easy to digest and is delicious too. Moreover, make sure to opt for packaged poha from a trusted source that is high on dietary fibre.
  • Ensure you have at least one easily digestible meal (lunch or dinner) where you stick to the most sampann dish that has stood the test of time i.e. khichri. If you don’t have the time to cook it, opt for multigrain khichri which is ready to cook from a trusted brand to make it even more potent
  • Top up the good bacteria in your intestines by increasing your intake of yoghurt, fermented products like idlis, buttermilk, and probiotic products.
  • Chew your food thoroughly and savour every morsel

With these hacks in place, you should be ready for a healthy festive season ahead—minus the weight gain.

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Kavita Devgan Kavita Devgan

Kavita Devgan, a Nutrition Expert with Tata Nutrikorner and Tata Sampann, strongly believes in the Indian way of nutrition and its benefits. As a well-known nutritionist with over 20 years of experience, she is crystal clear about the right dietary rules and offers the right tools and knowledge of Indian food wisdom to ensure long term results and complete well-being. She is the author of 3 books, the most recent of which is ‘Fix it With Food’. She is also a popular journalist and health columnist who has been writing regularly for various publications.