How not to put on weight during the festive season

By | October 21, 2015
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Now that the Navratri ‘fasting’ is over, the feasting will begin! This also means feeling our clothes tighten in the coming weeks. Who can resist that kaju katli, gulab jamun, jalebi or chocolate?


Jalebis in old Delhi. Photographer: Rajat Sethi

The reason we all crave sweets is because we are programmed to do so.

When humans were living off the land, mainly relying on what they could gather from the forests, sweet and fatty food were hard to come by. Sweet fruit was seasonal and nuts were rare and hard to crack. Therefore, a desire for fat and sugar is in built into the human body.

Today there is a problem, as there is a plethora of fatty and sugary foods all around us, especially around the festive season. It seductively beckons us to eat it, even though a little voice at the back is saying it’s not good for us. So how do we resist when our willpower is weak and we have that proverbial “sweet tooth”? And the answer is…

Eat more fruit!

The natural sugar present in fruit helps to satisfy the urge for sweets. The fibre in fruit releases sugar slowly into the bloodstream and prevents weight gain. Moreover fruit is loaded with live enzymes, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, which is what your body really needs.

Ever notice that one rosgolla or jalebi is never enough? Part of the reason is that sugar is addictive, but another reason is that all these sweetmeats are devoid in any real nutrition. They have no vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants or enzymes. They are just dead food, mostly refined carbohydrates, which taste good due to excess fat and sugar.

But the body is really looking for the nutrition inside the food, which it needs to support healthy functioning. Alas, these unnatural foods do not offer what it is looking for, so in its wisdom, the body goes on asking you to eat more, hoping that some nutrition would arrive. But the only thing that happens is that we keep adding EMPTY calories! “Empty” of any nutrition.

This is why “stuffed and starving” is a paradox of our times.

So, the intelligent way out is to start your day with a lot of fresh fruit as the first thing you eat before you eat your breakfast. Don’t just eat a slice of apple. I mean a LOT of fruit. Try a green smoothie with 2 bananas or a large bowl of fruit salad with grapes, apples, pears, papayas, bananas and few raisins if you like it even sweeter. Eat as much as you want. Also, snack on fruit anytime you are hungry during the day.

The more fruit you eat, the lesser should be the craving for concentrated sugary foods. The only rule for eating fruit is to eat on an empty stomach. Because fruit is digested quickly, there should be nothing in your stomach when you eat it. Otherwise, if you eat fruit after a meal, it is stuck in your stomach with the meal, which takes much longer to digest. This can make it ferment and causes gas and bloating. How do you know when your stomach is empty? You will be hungry.

So try out this method in the coming days and let me know if you were able to resist those sweet nothings and instead treat your body to a burst of life supporting nutrients and keep your weight well under control. Then if you really really really (I have a 3 really rule) get tempted to have a bite of that tempting jalebi – go right ahead! Perhaps you may not need so much or even find it too sweet for your liking.

Happy Festival Season!

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Nandini loves to help people achieve their health goals and makes it easy, tasty and fun! She helps bridge the gap between wanting to live a healthy lifestyle and actually doing it. She conducts retreats and workshops across India. Nandini has an MBA and is a certified counsellor and NLP master practitioner from London. Her favourite vacation spot is a forest to learn about life from Nature.

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2 thoughts on “How not to put on weight during the festive season

  1. Jyoti

    Enjoyed reading your blog Nandini! Enjoyed meeting you even more! Going to embark on fruit therapy now. Can you recommend another smoothie with seasonal fruits but minus bananas?


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