Diwali, the festival of lights, is here. With it comes the delight, cheer, and indulgence of our favorite sweets and savory snacks.
While it’s the time of celebration and indulgence, we need to be a little mindful about our intake to stay healthy and maintain our healthy body weight.
Serve on Smaller Plates
One simple yet effective way to control portions is by using smaller plates and bowls. When you put your festive treats on smaller plates, it automatically limits the amount you can eat.
Larger plates tend to encourage overeating as they create a visual illusion that you need more food to fill them.
Opting for smaller plates can help you savor your Diwali delicacies without going overboard on calories.
Prioritise Healthy Options
Amidst all the sugary and fried goodies, make a conscious effort to prioritise healthy options.
Load your plate with fresh fruits, salads, and lean protein sources before reaching for those mouthwatering sweets. Replace sugars with natural flavoring agents.
By filling up on healthier foods first, you're less likely to overindulge in the calorie-dense treats.
Mindful eating involves paying close attention to what you're eating and how much while savoring each bite. It's all too easy to gobble down sweets without even realising how much you've consumed.
Instead, take your time to savor the flavors, textures, and aromas of your favorite Diwali dishes. Sometimes you nibble on something just because you are bored, instead, be a little vigilant.
This will help you recognise when you're satisfied, preventing unnecessary calorie intake.
Set a Limit and Minimise Variety
Before you dig into the festive feast, set a limit for yourself. Decide how many sweets or snacks you'll allow yourself to enjoy and stick to that limit.
Setting boundaries will help you avoid mindless munching and ensure you don't overindulge. At the same time, even though it is true that variety is the spice of life, it can also lead to overeating.
When faced with numerous dishes, it's easy to take a bit of everything. Instead, choose a few dishes you truly enjoy and have them without overloading your plate.
Share and Enjoy
Diwali is all about sharing joy and happiness. So, why not share your Diwali snacks with family and friends? This way, you can enjoy a variety of treats without consuming excessive portions.
For instance, splitting your favorite dessert allows you to enjoy the taste without consuming a complete portion.
Sharing also makes the celebration more special and adds an element of togetherness to your Diwali festivities.
Lastly, don’t forget to keep up with your regular exercise routine in this festive season as well as pay attention to your body’s cue for hunger and fullness.
Don’t force yourself to eat more if you are not hungry and stop when satisfied. Stay hydrated as thirst can sometimes be mistaken as hunger.
The festive season is a time to celebrate and enjoy, and you don't have to sacrifice that pleasure for the sake of portion control.
But you can savor the flavors of the season without overindulging. These tips and tricks for portion control will help you maintain a healthy balance during the festive season and ensure you start the new year feeling great.
(Avantii Deshpaande is a food science and nutrition expert with over 20 years of experience in the field. You can find her on Instagram at @nutritionist.avanti.)