Eating Mindfully During Festivals

Fill up on Festivities…..Not your plate!!

In today’s fast paced life, eating together is a rarity. So Festivals are a time we gather- as family or friends and share our meal. The chief benefit is the social interaction, which psychologists say is important for mental health. It isn’t just good for your mental health, it is good for bonding as well. Generations sit together at the same table….or under one roof and it’s a general time of feeling happy and positive. When you eat in a group, you also get to eat multiple dishes and can then have a varied diet.

However, the downside is- Over indulgence! The tongue craves fatty, sweet foods…the stomach has the burden of digesting it. Our body can barely cope with the “ goodness” overload.

It isnt new or a rare occurrence that most health goals are lost during the festive season or during special occasions.

So how to socialize, enjoy , yet be mindful

– Eat a small healthy snack before you set out

Avoid going for visits on an empty stomach to prevent overeating or over-indulging on festive treats. Eat some sprouts or fruit or low fat yogurt before set out for the party.

– Stop when you feel almost full

It takes a while for your body to register that your stomach is filled to capacity so if you eat until you feel really full, you would have over-eaten.

– Scope what’s available

Choose foods that are high in fibre because these will keep you fuller for longer.

Also, before you start on the main course, start with a healthy dish that has lots of low-energy dense-foods such as salads or vegetable soups. These will fill you up before you hit the High carb Biryanis or desserts 

Drink water instead of drinking calories

 Drinking a glass of water fills you up as much as a can of a soda — minus the calories. So instead a bottle of juice, a soda or an alcoholic drink, opt for a few glasses of water instead. You can even have flavored water instead or plain soda with lemon.

– Say ‘later’ when you have trouble saying ‘no’

In most cultures, hosts keep refilling plates to “ heap the love” . If you feel you can’t say ‘no’, try saying ‘later’ instead. This way, you don’t seem impolite and hopefully, your host won’t remember to load your plate later. Tell it to yourself as well! When you want that extra serving to satisfy your taste buds.

Eat slowly

Finally, eat slowly and focus on the socialising rather than eating. Eating slowly allows your body time to register that you have had enough so you don’t overeat. Sip water intermittently helps to stop over eating.

Offer Healthy Dishes when you host

Be the change you want to see. When you are hosting , make sure there are healthy options. Like- Brown rice biryani , Steamed momos, Multigrain veggie pastas, sprout chaats, jaggery based traditional sweets, fresh and wholesome juices.

Communal eating is about celebrating life, and nothing celebrates life more than delicious food that promotes health. So stay healthy and stay fit by eating wisely and finding the time to stay physically active during the holidays, and make it a healthy holiday instead of one that causes too much damage to your health and waistline.

Complied by Team Navitae