Niuse

For guilt-free festivals

Posted on: August 12, 2008

A string of festivals are set to ring in much cheer. Raksha Bandhan is coming up this week. Soon Gowri-Ganesha will follow. Then will come the bigger festivals — Dusshera, Diwali, Id-ul-Fitr and Christmas. All this means binge eating and giving the gym a miss!

Are you worried about your fitness plans and diet plans going awry? You need to stay on course, come what may.

Says Santosh Kumar, managing director of Figurine Fitness, Bengaluru, “It’s not easy being sandwiched between so many festivals. It’s also the time for guilt trips. But there are some basic rules which can help control cravings and stay focused on your exercise plan.”

The best way to do so would be to never go hungry before any meal, he says. “Ideally, snack on something healthy like cucumber or carrots. Drink water. They may not appeal to your palate during festivals, but they will help you go slow on the portions. The next day, no matter how hard it seems, make the effort to get out of bed and hit the gym or park. A basic cardio workout and crunches will hold you together without tiring you out. If you are not up to your gym workout, walk for 45-60 minutes in a park nearby or cycle. And if motivation is the problem, sign up for a group workout session either for aerobics or salsa till the festival season lasts. Or get a friend or family member to exercise with you,” advises Santosh.

As for food, chief dietitian and nutritionist Manipal Speciality Hospital, Bengaluru, Sreemathy Venkatraman says, “There is no need to deprive yourself of any foods, including sweets. Food cravings need not be suppressed. But when you see foods that you cannot say no to, accept very small portions. For example, if you like kheer and you love the gulab jamuns too, take one tablespoon of kheer and half a jamun. That way, your palate is satisfied and you won’t need to look the other way when you see that line-up of mouth-watering sweets.”

A traditional South Indian meal, even during festivals, is quite a balanced one. There is a mix of pulses, sprouts, veggies, rice, sweet, rasam, youghurt and pickle which takes care of all food tastes. “But moderation is something you have to train your mind to accept. And never go without exercise the day after a festive meal. Do any kind of exercise that makes you happy,” Sreemathy advises.

So keep those running shoes well within your sight as you enjoy a meal with family and friends during this season of festivals.

Source: http://www.deccan.com/Beauty/Beauty.asp

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