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Staying Fit amidst Festivals and Food

by Tanya Agarwal

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The Festival season is finally here! It’s that good time of the year – good vibes, long nights and drool-worthy platters of amazing food!  From the fitness angle, festivals means good, heavy food.  Exactly the same food – you have been trying to avoid the whole year. 🙂

You don’t want to lose the hours of hard work you’ve put on your body nor you want to offend your friends and family and being called a snob, so what are your options?

My take is don’t shun  the sweets altogether, but being smart in your choice helps.  Here are some of tips that will help you balance the sugar intake or heavy food intake so that the festive season doesn’t build on your waistline

  1. Focus on maintaining weight: Change your focus from losing weight to maintaining weight. You can allow some slip up in your normal diet. For your incoming loads of calories, adjust to your diet by cutting some carbs.
  2. Good snacking: Keep a handful of healthy bars, juices and yogurt at your disposal. This becomes imperative on the days you anticipate force-feeding of sweets and other sinful indulgences
  3. Food journal: now this is tough but when you’re looking to stay in shape, diaries are an excellent resource that serve to highlight your worst habits.So, even if you’re kicking up on the couch in front of the TV, keep that pen and notebook handy.
  4. Chew, chew & chew: now we are going back to basics, you have heard it before. Practice soulful eating, chew on every bit, enjoy the food. You will find yourself eating lesser than usual and yet feel satiated.

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  1. Find time for workout: You don’t need to slave away for hours on end in the gym this festive holiday, but do make an effort to go. A quick 30-40 minute session three times a week will help shift your body into gear. A 10 mins brisk walk will also help. Read our article on How to keep fit when you are busy.
  2. Think High Intensity workout: A good way to maximize your training is to up the intensity of each individual session. High-intensity training is a sure-fire way to see results quickly. The next time you’re on the treadmill, push yourself at your maximum intensity for two minutes, then take an extended break, as opposed to operating at an easy pace for twenty minutes.
  3. Don’t skip breakfast: If breakfast under your control, have a healthy breakfast with high fiber, try oats, quinoa, poha, upma. These will keep you feeling full for longer and supply lesser calories and more energy.
  4. Become responsible drinker: if you can’t avoid it, then become responsible. I will not ask you to count calories on per glass of alcohol you had. If you have options, drink wine, avoid cocktails or drinks with added sugar. Slow down & enjoy your drink, avoid bottoms up. If you are driving, avoid drinks completely. Drink plenty of water.
  5. Home food: Eat at home wherever possible, make protein dense meals with lentils or white meat (fish and chicken).
  6. Get enough sleep: The festive season usually means an increased social schedule and, as result, a lot more late nights. Other than resulting in low levels of motivation, sleep deprivation can also impede your body’s ability to burn fat. While we all enjoy those late night, make sure you catch up your missed sleep by taking the occasional daytime nap.

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AND FINALLY!

Be a little forgiving of yourself and enjoy the festivities! : It’s easy to feel like we are completely failing at our health goals at this time of year, so it’s important to remind ourselves to be a little bit more forgiving of ourselves. This season is about joy, celebration, festivities and togetherness, with the odd little bit of indulgence thrown in here and there.

Life is about balance, and it’s crucial that we don’t beat ourselves up if we have an “off day” or indulge in too sweet an indulgence. At the end of the day, having biryani and missing one yoga class is really not going to harm you in the greater scheme of things!

I highly doubt that enjoying festival and missing some of your fitness goal will do any harm, provided you keep your yoga mat, running shoes, trainer ready and handy for your next workout session.

Enjoy and have a wonderful, healthy festival season.

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Tanya Agarwal is Founder and Blogger at WellthyFit - a health and fitness blog on Yoga, Running, Healthy Living, Nutrition, Travel, Joy and everything Life! She reviews fitness products and experiences. WellthyFit is her platform where she invites passionate fitness writers to share their expertise. With her blogs and fun videos she motivates people to stay the course of health and fitness day after Day.

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