Updated: Nov 12
With the festive season round the corner, many of you may be struggling with how to manage the upcoming week when it comes to eating healthy and maintaining your healthy lifestyle! The festive season is indeed a time for celebration and enjoyment with friends and family, and food plays a central role in these festivities. Balancing the joy of indulging in delicious treats with maintaining self-control can be a challenge. The key is finding a balanced approach that allows you to enjoy the festive treats without unnecessary guilt.
Here are Eight tips to help you navigate the festive season without compromising your well-being:
Eat smartly How much food is actually required to fill you up ? Is all this food worth eating and sacrificing your health to satisfy your taste buds? Will this food give you long term satisfaction or a bad flare up? Think about a few of these questions and then indulge yourself and be aware of what needs to be done post-meal.
Eat right and avoid over eating - Instead of going out, it’s often better to stick to home cooked meals where you are aware of what's going in your stomach. As much as possible avoid intake of processed carbohydrates and avoid overeating which can lead to indigestion or bloating.
Most difficult choice is the sweets! - Festivals are all about rituals and food and especially sweets. Best option would be to choose fruit-based sweets or nuts & dry fruits-based sweets made with natural sweeteners rather than opting for the store bought ones.
Avoid skipping meals - Just because you are due for eating a heavy lunch doesn’t mean you will starve yourself and skip the other two meals. Skipping meals can make you eat more and cause more damage in spiking the blood sugar levels. It would be advisable not to skip your meals.
Post-meal strategies- It would be advisable to take digestive enzymes post meal to aid in digestion and prevent bloating. Before sleeping, ginger, fennel and ajwain tea can also help in improving digestion and result in undisturbed sleep.
Stay hydrated - Often we think that we are hungry for food but most of the time it’s actually dehydration and during festivals with busy schedules it would be wise to keep yourself hydrated with coconut water or lemon water instead of reaching out to aerated drinks.
Socialise Away from the buffet - Engage in conversations away from the food table to minimise mindless snacking. Focus on enjoying the company of friends and family.
Forgive Yourself - If you do overindulge on occasion, forgive yourself and move on. Ensure that you implement the post-meal strategies.
Along with food choices it’s also important to be mindful about lifestyle changes during festivals. Here are some mindful choices:
Start your day with a brisk walk, yoga or light exercise: The key is to keep the metabolism and body active as festivals demand a lot of physical hustle as well. A good start of the day will keep you brighter throughout the day
Include fruits and vegetables in your diet: Even if you are about to indulge in the most luxurious and rich meal. To keep your system moving, fruits and vegetables are important and it will keep you away from constipation and indigestion which will save a lot of time by staying away from the bathroom.
Avoid eating very late at night: Try maintaining a gap of atleast 2 hours between your food and sleep. Othersiw, it lead to bloating or acid reflux and can be a total spoiler for all the activities that you might have lined up.
Maintain proper sleep time: As our mind is trained to sleep at a certain time according to the circadian rhythm and it doesn’t understand or differentiate between regular days or festivals. So, even if it might get a little difficult, it’s important to complete your sleep as most of the repair happens during sleep.
Prioritise nutrition over temptation: Unlike in the older times, these days most of the time, festival foods lack nutrition, minerals and fibre. Don't get into the trap of unhealthy food that ends up making you lethargic and low on energy.
Lastly, festivals are time to meet family and friends so keep your choices clean and have fun socially. Its not difficult to have enjoy the festivals when you have certain diet restrictions. If you plan it well, you will not only enjoy it well, but also avoid post celebration fatigue and gut issues.
Have safe and healthy celebrations from the entire team of Functional Medicine Clinic!!!