Diwali, the much awaited and widely celebrated festival in India revolves around lights, firecrackers and food; especially sweets. A bite of chakli, a handful of chiwda and mouthfuls of laddoos, binging on these Diwali snacks continues unabated. The week gone by has been hectic, flavorful, pampered and indulgent. Cards, parties, family time, friends, food – everything was replayed each day with added festivities.
Exposure to smoke from fire crackers, pollution due to the heavy traffic during the Diwali festival and snacking on fried snacks and sweets can build up toxins in the body. However, during the festive season, our body and mind feel tired, dull, inactive and sluggish due to the calorie loaded foods. While it is absolutely fine to indulge in all the revelry once a year, it’s now time to give the body the rest it requires. Excess of sugar may cause hormonal imbalances, spike your blood sugar and blood pressure, cause mood swings and mess up your digestion. It further causes more cravings for sweet and fried food.
How do we deal with this? Striking a balance between what we eat during the festival and after the celebration is over can actually make a difference. In other words, following simple practices that can detox your body from all the sugar and fat that has settled in the body may help from keeping you away in climbing up the weighing machine.
Post festival detox is important to help the body to return and retain toxin-free and active health. It is not confined to starving your body with specific food and drinks.
Here’s how to get back on track after a week full of treats-
HYDRATION IS A MUST
Make sure to keep yourself hydrated. It helps in many ways to rejuvenate your health, body and weary skin. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. Start your day with some hot water and lemon, which will help to flush out toxins from your body. Always remember to consume more liquids than solids to detox your system. Along with ample amount of water, you can also drink, coconut water and buttermilk. The healthy smoothies prepared from fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs should be a must try option as it helps in detoxification along with a good supply of vitamins and minerals. . Use berries, bananas along with veggies to make smoothies Replace your cup of coffee/tea with green tea. Green tea is known to have many health benefits. It helps one to lose weight by increasing fat oxidation and eliminating excess levels of water from the body and detoxifies your body of all toxins.
BURN THE CALORIES
Dieting and controlling what you eat is one way to contribute to shed those extra pounds gained during Diwali phase. Walk, treadmill or yoga- take your pick. You can follow a number of diet plans, but to make them fully effective, you need to get some physical activity. Walking is by far the best activity that can be done by everybody out there. Walking or any other physical exercise will make you sweat, get your heart racing and increase blood flow to other organs. In turn, this assists the digestive system to work better and eliminate sugar and toxins. Practicing yoga and meditation, even for a few minutes will ensure proper alignment of a healthy mind and body.
BOOST BODY METABOLISM AND IMMUNITY
This step helps in preventing weight gain, balancing the disturbed homeostasis and strengthens the immune system. Take a break from fried temptations. Welcome raw fruits and veggies. These will provide essential nutrients and fiber to aid the digestive processes. Foods like green leafy vegetables, yoghurt and lean meat help in wiping off the free radicals, boosting the body’s metabolism and immunity as well. Green vegetables, spinach, cucumber have enough antioxidants that help increase the metabolism. Include foods rich in Vitamin C like lemons, tomatoes, oranges, amla etc. citrus fruits are antioxidants that help you feel refreshed. Add beetroot to your salads to fast track your detox process. It contains vital vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants.
Always opt for home cooked meals involving all essential food groups imparting all required nutrients. Avoid processed and packaged food options as these have a high content of synthetic additives and preservatives. Also avoid foods like ready to eat meals, refined sugars due to absence of essential elements like micronutrients, good fats and fiber in them. Eat pure and natural foods that can make you feel fresh, energetic and help you get rid of the sluggishness. A diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, water and totally eliminating processed food in the form of snacks, soft drinks, ice cream, chocolates can help in weight loss.
During Diwali, sleep patterns tend to go haywire, sleeping at odd times lowers the metabolism of your body which results in slower digestion and absorption processes, lethargy and acidity. And as a result of slower processes the body does not utilize the nutrients but stores them, adding to the weight. Therefore post Diwali one must make sure to sleep on time and follow a routine pattern. Getting a good night’s sleep is very essential. However many tend to overlook this. Make sure to sleep for at least 7-8 hours to feel fresh, energetic and stress free.
Post Diwali detox is very much essential and should be done not by starving but with a good amount of natural, home cooked food, proper rest, meditation and good supply of water. Vitamins, water, fiber rich food, lemon, green tea- some of your best pals for this season. Let your body get the rest it requires.
HAPPY DETOX/ DIWALI IS OVER ITS TIME FOR SOME DETOX
Mrs. Swati Awasthi Chief Dietician