Let's learn to remain fit in this season of feasting

Friday, October 12, 2018

Festivities are an integral part of Indian life.  And most of these celebrations go by the name of ‘party’. And this party should be grand in proportion to the reason for it. The grandness of a party often depends on the grandiosity of its menu.
Since I am a physician--- one with a sweet tooth, I must confess—I can very well understand the plight of my diabetic/ hypertensive/ obese and cardiac patients who are struggling hard every day to achieve their targets of blood sugar and weight. But whenever they reach somewhere near their goals, some or the other celebration—or should I call it a party?--comes and their target goes for a toss. Although post- party fluctuation of sugar level and weight may be transient, its effect on ‘motivation’ and ‘psychology’ are longer lasting and detrimental to the morale. Many a time, after repeated failure to achieve their goal, people become depressed, frustrated and de-motivated. Well, there are party-spoilers, but this is a peculiar case of the party spoiling your well-laid health plans.    

So, what can be done to reverse the not-so-healthy situation? Well, most of the time we think that we eat more calories only on special occasions—but the problem is there are too many special occasions and we do not even realise that. So let’s have a relook at our occasions to celebrate -- and maybe how to celebrate them. In our culture where even change of weather comes with its own calorie- packed recipes – rains with Pakodas; winters with Gajarhalwa and Til ke laddoos; summers with thandaai, Sshikanjee (lemon water), and cold drinks.

Then there are occasions such as birthdays, engagements, marriage,  and even are incomplete without puri, kachodi and sweets. And no, the list of festivals does not end with Diwali, Holi and Dussehera, there are a host of other festivals we like to celebrate without bothering about the calorie count.
The most interesting are the festivals when we are supposedly fasting, but end up feasting.

Do you still believe that we consume extra calories only on special occasions?

All this business of feasting is age-old, started by our ancestors. But what we forget is that those were different times—the times when people engaged in a lot of physical work , and the food and environment were not polluted. But today machines and devices ensure that humans have to put in less and less physical work. Most of the time we are sitting, standing or moving in a vehicle. Food items are also adulterated.

That is the reason why we need to change how we celebrate 'special occasions.’ It may not be a bad idea to identify the real ‘special’ occasions to celebrate.  
Organise get-togethers, play games, arrange fun activities or simply sit and chat with your near and dear ones. Go for cycling or jogging; have a picnic in a beautiful garden with fruits and regular food; fast ( without feasting, of course, ) to detoxify your body.
As the festival season has arrived, I advise you to forget the fried food and sweets. Keep your diet ' non-celebratory', as it were.  Party with juice or salad. You can make kuttu (buckwheat) ka chilla instead of puris and pakora. It is very high on protein. Amarnath porridge and swank ke pulao or khichdi are other low-fat options. Drink and a lot of water and eat loads of fruits. You can have boiled potatoes and paneer. Gift fruits or dry fruits instead of readymade sweets. Let’s pledge to shed weight, let ’s pledge to remain fit even in this season of feasting!

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