It’s unbelievably easy to yield to the temptations of food high on cholesterol and low on nutrients and fat burning capacity. It’s almost impossible to not succumb to this type of diet in the festive season. In a country like India where every other week greets a new festival, we can’t keep accepting sweets and partaking in polite dinners and lunches at restaurants which specifically serve the kind of food you should stray away from. If we don’t start churning the fat out of our system and cleansing our bodies from within, not much will be left for us to look forward to in our old age. Its good to have hearty meals but it’s absolutely unnecessary to consume junk regularly during the festive season simply out of politeness. Obesity is spreading like an epidemic. It won’t stop if we don’t take it seriously. Here’s a list of 13 strategies that will ensure that you don’t overeat this festive season.
1. Quit Cold Turkey
Its like with cigarettes, you walk away once and then you never look back. No matter how much you crave, no matter how insignificant one bite seems- you can’t relapse. For this you’ll have to dispense with all the junk food sitting in your house so that it can be “out of sight, out of mind”. It will seem like an unachievable feat initially but once you get a little accustomed to a healthy regimen, you would find it hard to understand why you hadn’t done away with all the grease before.
2. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Scientists are of the belief that too often we misconceive thirst as hunger. It’s important to remain hydrated at all times and use it as a substitute for juices and sodas as they are merely liquid calories and cause insulin spikes. Try to drink water about 20 minutes before your meals so as to be able to identify your real appetite. One is more likely to indulge in overeating when one mistakes thirst for hunger. Drinking water as it is has tonnes of health benefits like clear skin, fast metabolism and easy digestion.
3. Eat Slowly
Remember how all the adults around you tried to teach you to chew your food for a minimum amount of time before swallowing it? Well, they had good reason to tell you that. It will not only help you savour the taste of your meal but will also help prevent overeating. There’s a 20 minutes gap between the consumption of food and feeling satiation from its consumption. This is why we end up eating more for than we intend to. If you chew each bite almost 8-10 times, you can slow your pace of eating and allow yourself to experience the satiation.
4. Remind Yourself Of Your Aim
It helps to recall why you started out on the journey of dietary cleansing. If you know why you’re doing what you’re doing, it will help you feel in control which will give you a sense of empowerment, an essential element of growth and development. No one can design your objective for you, you do it for yourself. So be true to yourself and push yourself a little harder every day to not let yourself go astray. You can stay on track only if you know what it’s leading you to.
This point can’t be emphasised enough for obvious reasons. It has triple-fold benefits- helps you maintain your weight, remove excess fat and control your appetite. Depending on your body type you need to create a work out regime for yourself and then plan your day around it. Some people need strenuous exercises while others can profit from 30 minutes of brisk walking. It’s especially important to keep your internal balance in place otherwise you might end up damaging your body much more than you’d expect.
6. Keep A Diet Journal
Make a note of whatever you’re consuming. If you’re informed about what you’re sending down your body, you’ll know how to manage it too. Mark the calorie intake, the protein level of your food, etc. to ensure that you’re aware of which kind of food causes which kind of reactions in your body. Its essential to know yourself through and through before working to change something.
7. Do Not Eat On A Whim
Until and unless you genuinely feel the need, do not stuff your mouth with food. More often than not we end up eating out of boredom. Not only is it extremely futile, it’s also harmful. To be on the safer side keep a hunger scale, do not eat when the hunger ranges from 0-3. If it’s within this range it means that you’re eating without any real urge which will make you feel stuffy for the rest of the day.
8. Substitute Refined Carbs With Healthier Alternatives
Switch to an equally filling diet with protein rich meals before you go out so that you aren’t famished. It’s very dangerous to go out hungry during festive season because you’ll probably end up gaining more calories in one day than you would in 10. Be very vigilant. Replace all your carbs with healthier substitutes at least through the season.
9. Plan An Exit Strategy
After exchanging pleasantries and getting done with your formalities, get out of the public gathering. If you stick around for too long, you’ll end up conforming to the heavy dinner trend. Think of reasons and ways that’ll help you get out before the food is served. Again- out of sight, out of mind.
10. Learn To Identify The Healthy Options On The Menu
You know your body and what works for it. Identify the ingredients that help and the ones that don’t. If you’ve been coerced to stick around for the dinner party, look for the greener and less fatty options. If you can sort through the menu and get what’s the appropriate portion, you’re good to go.
11. Keep A Guardian Angel
If possible bring someone who’s close to you along and instruct them to keep an eye out for you. They should be watching you closely and encouraging you to stay away from the food you swore off. They should have the list of items you shouldn’t be eating lest it damages your health. When you can’t deal with bodily sovereignty, it’s okay to give in to external authority. You’re not weak. You’re just trying to get better.
12. Prepare Homemade Delicacies
You will be in-charge of what’s going through your system. This will make you more vigilant and at the same time won’t let you feel like you’re missing out on something. Learn how to make festival-specific sweets and then make them for yourself. This is the most effective strategy.
13. Sleep Well
Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep will help reduce cravings and stabilise fat-regulating hormones. A lot of midnight munching often results in being a leading causing for obesity. Sleeping on time and for just the right amount of time can do wonders for your health. Good sleeping habits complement good eating habits.