4 Easy Tips to Maintain your Weight this Festive SeasonLuke Coutinho
Over the next couple of days and weeks, there are four lifestyle changes that we can adopt throughout Diwali and the festive season to make sure:
- You maintain your weight or continue losing weight the healthy way.
- You keep your immunity strong.
- You genuinely enjoy festivities without having to obsess about your weight, how you look, and your health.
- Eat, but do not overeat:
No one wants to hear the word ‘diet” during the festive season (not that they work, because only smart diets do). So enjoy what you eat, but do not overeat. This is the key. Eating a little bit of whatever you want is not going to affect your weight, but overeating and gluttony certainly will. Your body does not know what to do with excess food. Whether it is a sweet, apple, or salad, our bodies cannot digest anything in excess. Excess consumed is stored as energy by the body, and this energy is mostly in the form of fat. Enjoy all the festive specials, but with mindfulness and gratitude.
- Do not eat with guilt:
Eating without guilt is way more powerful than you think. It is sad that as soon as Diwali and other festivities approach, instead of rejoicing and being happy, most of us get scared and anxious about piling on the kilos and so on. The moment guilt and fear kicks in, it triggers the release of cortisol (a.k.a. the stress hormone). It so happens that the fear of putting on weight turns out to be true, because cortisol is a fat-storing hormone. Not only does it slow down your digestive system, but it also creates inflammation, suppresses your immunity, and slows down your metabolism. You then ultimately manifest what you think. So, please! It is the time for celebration and joy! Enjoy what you eat, practice gratitude, and do not have any guilt. If you feel it is hard for you not to feel guilty, then you are better off not eating and enjoying it at all.
Practice this affirmation and let it register onto your subconscious mind:
“I have prepared myself for this festive season. I am going to eat in moderation and thoroughly enjoy it. My body knows how to digest it well.”
- Add some physical movement:
Have all the fun you want, but make sure you are not sedentary. You do not have to go to the gym or workout with your trainers during the festive season. The idea is to stay active and move at the least. One could also include a 4-minute workout called TABATA, which is a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and needs no equipment. There are plenty of YouTube videos of TABATA to follow, or you could check this out: Tabata – 4 minutes HIIT.
This is a powerful workout to increase your metabolic rate and turns your body into a calorie-burning machine. It helps stoke up your metabolism for the next 4 – 5 hours and is way more effective than working out for 20 – 30 minutes at a steady pace.
One round of TABATA two hours before a party means your metabolism will be up and running throughout the party, thus supporting better digestion of all the food and beverages you may consume. This is how one could choose specific lifestyle changes to moderate and compensate for the gaps that occur during festivities.
If you cannot do TABATA, because it requires a certain level of fitness, then aim for 10,000 steps a day, do a couple of Surya Namaskar’s, or try these bodyweight exercises.
As for Yoga, asanas that involve twists like Supine Spinal Twist, Seated Spinal Twist, Revolved Chair Pose, and Twisted Lunge support detoxification and digestion very well.
Planning is critical here. If you have celebrations planned in the evening, try to be active during the day and plan a morning workout. Workouts do not have to be for an hour; it could even be for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, or 30 minutes. Guilt mostly sets in if you do not execute your part well, so workout and stay active, and then your guilt will fade away automatically.
- Get in your daily dose of rest:
Do not let your sleep bear the brunt of festivities. Our body needs daily rest, no matter how busy and excited we are about the festivities. We cannot compete with the natural intelligence of our body. If you notice that your sleep is getting affected, spend 3 – 5 minutes before bedtime to practice deep breathing. Deep breathing puts you in a state of “Rest and Digest”, i.e. it activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is one of the best conditions to be in for a restful night. So, even though your quantity of sleep is reduced, you at least make sure you are getting quality sleep in those few hours. You can also practice left nostril breathing, bhramari pranayama or simple OM chanting.
If you wake up feeling heavy and bloated the next morning, that could be because your body was not able to complete its detoxification process and is still in the elimination mode. This mostly happens when we eat late-night meals. In such cases, honour your appetite and do not stuff yourself with breakfast. Listen to your body and follow intermittent fasting until your real hunger kicks in. During intermittent fasting, you can have plain water, and when you are ready to break the fast, do it with lemon water and fresh whole fruits.
Follow these four lifestyle changes, and you are sure to have a healthier festive season, no matter which part of the world you reside. After all, it all comes down to your lifestyle, and how you choose to live it.
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