Raksha Bandhan: Nutritionist offers mindful eating tips to avoid weight gain | Health

Raksha Bandhan 2022: The festival season is here again with Raksha Bandhan and while people cannot wait to celebrate the joyous occasion along with their siblings and family members, many are worried about all the festive food that may entice them to move away from their fitness goals. Raksha Bandhan cannot be complete without sweets and hearty meals with family, but it doesn’t mean one can’t follow mindful eating and enjoy the feast at the same time. (Also read: Raksha Bandhan 2022 sugar-free sweets: Dessert recipes for people with diabetes)

The first step to mindful eating is healthy cooking. Ditch maida, sugar, refined products and embrace whole wheat, nuts, fruit pulps for sweetness and spices for flavour.

Dr Meghana Pasi, Nutrition Consultant MyThali program, ArogyaWorld says adding whole wheat flour and other millet flours to your sweets in place of maida will increase the fibre and nutrient content in them while including flax seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds to your goodies will increase your heart friendly fats.

Dr Pasi cautions that one must replace refined sugar with fruit pulps, cinnamon, cardamom, saffron and nutmeg to perk up the sweetness and honey, dates, figs and jaggery can also be used instead.

“Try using alternate methods of cooking like roasting, baking, steaming or grilling in place of deep frying to reduce the amount of oil. Bake goodies at home and avoid sweets from the market. Serve fresh fruit juices, lemonade, coconut water or green tea in place of alcohol or soda/colas,” says the nutritionist.

“Don’t gorge on the large box of chocolates/laddoos all at once. Take a piece and share the rest. In this way you will share the calories as well. Opt for high-quality dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate as it contains less sugar,” she adds.

Here are some balanced eating tips while you dine out with friends:

• Have a fruit or some light snacks to avoid overeating before you head for dinner

• If you prefer a non-veg dish, then go for lean meats

• Go for steamed, sauteed or grilled veggies in place of veggies with creamy gravies.

• Go for some healthy and nutritious soup instead of any alcoholic drink

• Drink enough water to stay hydrated to avoid cravings for sweets and fried snacks.

Have balanced meals to make space for festive food. Here are some tips by Dr Meghana Pasi:

• Have a protein and fibre rich breakfast like idli-sambar, veg upma, poha, veg parathas, grilled sandwiches in place of kachoris, samosas or bhajjis even on a festival day. This will power you with energy to keep going through the day.

• Be it a home meal or dine out, eat balanced. Do not forget your portion sizes and try and include all food groups on your plate.

• Continue with your exercise regimes. Do not skip your routine workout just because it’s a festival. In fact, it’s even more important that you stay physically active on such days. This will not just help you run errands, it will also keep your digestive and immune systems working.

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