Image courtesy: Reuters
It's time for Holi and this is a tricky time for clever weight management. Amidst all the Holi celebrations and rich (read: fatty) meals, we're bound to give in, cheat a little, or in fact cheat a lot. And it's difficult to stay within our calorie budgets when there's so much good food around us all the time. So how should we alter our daily diets, if at all, to suit this Holi's binge eating? How about letting go for a while, and getting back on track after the weekend? A couple of days of diet waywardness won't set you too far back. Here's looking at what you can do after the Holi weekend to ensure that you get back onto the health and fitness track, and recover from all the eating and drinking this weekend...
First of all, relax. And think for a moment. Experts say that you need to eat at least 3,500 calories in order to gain half a kilo of fat, so even if you eat double this amount nothing will be lost. Taking time-outs in your eating habits is okay if done once in a while. Make sure that this time-out is just a one-time affair and not routine every weekend.
Don’t drown in an 'I don’t care' pool yet: It is usually observed that many people who suddenly gain a kilo or two after festivities and celebrations end up feeling defeated. They may say, “To heck with healthy eating, I'm going to eat this whole pack of chips for dinner”, even after the holiday binge fest is over.
Hang in there.
Focus on what you're eating for a few days right after Holi: Adjust your eating patterns to suit your daily requirements. Come back to your sensible eating habits. This means that while you might binge a little now, once Holi is over you will eat sensibly, without starving yourself. Don’t try to skip meals as it will negate any healthy resolutions by leading to binge eating later on. Consider eating well-portioned, well-balanced healthy meals which are packed with protein, dietary fiber, fruits and vegetables.
Here's what you should be eating once the Holi celebrations are over:
• Eat your breakfast. Consider eating a low-fat breakfast. Eat a bowl of low-fat yogurt mixed with seasonal fruits or go for a bowl of healthy oats with skimmed milk.
• For a mid-morning snack consider eating only a piece of fruit with green or herbal tea.
• For lunch try eating whole wheat bread with a slice of turkey/tuna or go for a bowl of raw chicken salad.
• For mid-evening snacks eat sliced vegetables with low-fat homemade yogurt dip.
• For dinner eat a piece of fish with plenty of stir fried vegetables seasoned with low fat tomato sauce of flavoured herbs.
Stop checking the weighing scale time and again. Even if you don't put on any weight during Holi, your body will experience some 'false' weight gain as it might be undergoing water retention due to extra salt and preservatives consumed in all the rich food. So don't weigh yourself on Monday. Try again after three - four days and you might even be surprised to see that you didn't put on any weight at all!
Do not workout more than usual, live at the gym or exercise twice or thrice a day in order to escalate weight loss plans. Holi will come and go, but if you overdo any physical activity, you might injure yourself or experience a burnout with exercise. This will seriously hamper your daily health and fitness routine. Resume your normal exercise routine. And as far as your eating habits are concerned, set a short term caloric goal for yourself and stick to it.
And that's all that you'll be coming back to after a couple of days of Holi fun and frolic. So go ahead and enjoy the festive spirit with food and drink. We'll see you on the other side. Happy Holi!
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