Mindful eating is easy, even during festivities.
The festive season is here and for the health-conscious and weight watchers, it is anything but happy. Elaborately laid and festive-ready dinner tables dampen the mood of diet fanatics while traditional sweets and savouries seem like an indulgence. Bringing in a twist to what could look like sinful delights, mindful portions and innovative ways of including superfoods in festive recipes could do the trick. Here’s how to bring in a bit of change in diet habits and still celebrate without taking away the festive charm of eating guilt-free.
Snack before you leave: Have a small healthy meal before you step out for any festive dinners. This helps keep the stomach full and stops you from giving in to food temptations. Alternatively, you can have something healthy to drink instead, just make sure it is warm and don’t forget to add Chia seeds to it. Warm drinks always keep you full for longer than its cold counterpart.
Watch your portions: Never stack your plate in the first serving and avoid eating in one go, even if your very hungry. Eat slowly, and take short breaks. Taking breaks of 15 minutes in between your meal helps the body process the food and realise its full capacity.
Don’t skip your work out: Regular workout and exercising become essential during this season as it is the best way to control your weight. Schedule your workout sessions for the early part of the day as the latter part may get busy, giving you an excuse to give it a skip.
Be the host: Being the host is the best way to stick to your diet. Plan your menu carefully keeping in mind the ingredients you are using. As much as possible prepare dishes made using superfoods such as quinoa, chia seeds, flax seeds, nuts and more. Replace bread with gluten-free options, such as quinoa and sprouted brown rice.
Fibres and proteins: Fibre reduces total calorie intake, while protein helps boost metabolism and increases fat burning. Besides poultry and fish, plant-based foods such as quinoa and beans are a great source. Those with a sweet tooth can always try some festive goodies with a healthy twist like Dates and Chia bars, Lemon-Raspberry-Chia pudding, and even Mango-Coconut-Chia Parfait – to finish off the meal.
Flex and flax: While you tick your exercise regime and flex those muscles in the gym, a daily dose of flax seeds is a must to keep those calories in check. Ditch the post-lunch tea/coffee for a glass of hot water stirred well with ground flax seeds. Adding a lemon wedge also punches in flavour and infuses essential vitamin C.
Dr Dana Al Hamwi is a Clinical Dietician at India Gate, KRBL Ltd.