How to stay healthy despite the sweet temptations during festive season
Here are some valuable dos and don’ts
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi! And I hope you all enjoyed the festivities. This seems like the perfect time to ask, what is the favourite sweet of Ganesha? Yes, it’s modak and I just love it. But I have come across a few people who have stopped enjoying the festivities and even consume the prasad saying that they will put on weight after this. Seriously! Does that one steamed rice modak made with jaggery do so much harm? Not at all, unless you don’t have it in moderation. Some people also starve in order to reduce weight. Rather than starving, you need to get to the root cause of the weight gain. Have you ever wondered why even after doing intense exercise, working out well, eating well, you still aren’t able to lose weight? Weight loss is not only about what you eat and what workout you do. There’s more to it and you surely need to dig into the matter. Here are a few things that you can work on when it comes to losing weight:
»I’ve seen many people come to me saying, “We think skipping any particular meal, means taking up fewer calories which will help in weight loss.” But it’s the other way round — when you skip a meal, your body starts producing more digestive acids, further sinking your metabolism and sapping your strength. So the body will hold on to the fat and not make you lose weight. So, avoid skipping your meals. Huge gaps between the meals (more than five hours) means increased acidity and weight gain. It’s impractical to lose weight with an acidic body. Fat burn is very slow and so is weight loss.
»Constipation is nothing but a body brimming with toxins and in such cases, weight loss is impossible. You need to check if you are constipated and work on the same, add more salad (fibre) to the meal to make sure it works on easing constipation.
»Low water intake is also a concern, you may be eating well and exercising perfectly but if your hydration falls then the body will not be able to eliminate toxins from your system. Less water intake too can cause constipation, so add fibre into your meals and make sure you balance it with ample water.
»Stay off aerated drinks as this may lead to weight gain by keeping the body highly acidic. Even zero-cal aerated drinks are loaded with sugar and by now I guess you’ll know what sugar does to your body.
»Eating out and taking refined carbs daily (sugar, maida, baked and processed goods, fried and junk food — the list is endless). You may think you are enjoying a beautiful meal outside but what if the quality of ingredients used aren’t trustworthy, it will not help you in losing weight.
»Hormonal imbalances: Check if your hormones are in good condition, if not, then get it sorted first to improve weight loss.
»Run away from things like diet food because they might be low in fat but high in sugars to enhance the taste.
»Check your alcohol intake and reduce or quit smoking as well. The liver plays a vital role in fat metabolism. If you load it with toxins from alcohol and smoking, it will not focus on the function of fat metabolism, but will be busy dealing with the side-effects of alcohol.
»Stress is a big hurdle in your weight loss journey. You might be thinking “Oh, I’m not at all stressed.” Wait and think again. “Damn! I got stuck in traffic, how will I reach early?” or “Ah! The maid is not coming today as well, so I have to do everything by myself.” All these small thoughts are also reasons that contribute to your daily stress, because we keep on thinking about the same thing again and again (stress is normal but if it stays constant then it affects our body). This also creates negativity around us. So to reduce stress, vitamin O is always handy. Oxygen doesn’t just suppress the cortisol, but it also helps burn fat better. Just take a deep breath and enjoy.
»Exercise is also a kind of stress to the body. When you do rigorous exercise for hours, it adds major stress to the body as it increases our cortisol levels and then you can’t lose weight. Focus on doing your exercise mindfully and not just burning fat to lose weight.
»Try and get your 7-8 hours of sound sleep daily as it helps in the body’s cleansing and the recovery process. Once your sleep falls into place you may improve your weight loss affair.
Try and find out what the root cause is for you, it may not have been listed here but just sit back and think and you will get your answer.
(The writer is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.)