5 fitness-conscious foodies share post-Diwali mantras to get back in shape
Five fitness-conscious foodies, for whom looking good is part of the job, share their post-Diwali back-to-shape mantras
Moderation is key Freddy Daruwala, model
I’d be lying if I said I don’t indulge during Diwali! However, I am more conscious of how much I eat rather than what I eat. Anything in moderation will not harm your body. At the same time, it is important to not regret your Diwali excesses. I enjoy my off-days as much as my routine days. A regretful mind does not breed a healthy body. Post Diwali, I resume my fitness regime. I usually start with mild exercises for the first few days, before getting back to my regular diet and hardcore workout sessions. I try not to give my body a sudden shock, since that can increase the risk of injuries.
Give your system a break Ranveer Brar, celebrity chef
Every year, I tell myself that I am not as young as I used to be, and neither is my BMR the same as it was when I was 20 and I could afford to go all out during festivals. Yet, the guilt trip sets in on the day of Diwali, when I realise that I have indulged in enough cooking, eating and parties to have lost track of how much I have been eating and the kilos I have gained! The paranoia eventually builds to a crescendo by the evening, when I — having fasted all day — am cranky and end up avoiding pictures on Diwali night. The next morning, I sober up, sit down and draw up a plan. To give my system a break, I begin by shocking my body for the next three days by drastically reducing my food intake while consuming a lot of fruit and water. While this detoxes my digestive system, I get back to my Kalaripattu routine and add some light yoga for the next seven days, to ensure my body is back in harmony and free off guilt. I follow this up with two weeks of functional training, focusing on the lower body, and opt for a lean diet comprising foods that are either low in carbs or contain complex carbs. This three-week routine has worked for me in the last 15 years, right from my days in Boston when I would spoil myself silly during the festive season.
Treat your body well Shruti Seth, actor
Although I look forward to Diwali every year, I must admit that the celebrations can be overwhelming with the late nights, parties and unhealthy food that can take a toll on your health. Your workouts, too, can take a beating, and this can make you feel unhealthy and sluggish. During the run up to Diwali, I eat lighter and healthier meals through the day. I make sure to use any time I get from the festivities to hit the gym or go for a quick run. Once the festivities have ended, I dedicate a week to eating light, homemade meals, with a focus on fresh and raw food during the day. I also up my intake of fresh juices and water to keep my body hydrated, and eat more salad and fresh fruits to ease my system back to usual. Diwali or otherwise, it is important to be mindful of how you treat your body. Give it the rest it needs every once in a while. At the same time, don’t be too cautious, Diwali only comes once a year!
Eat light, eat small Shakti Mohan, dancer
Although I am usually quite mindful about my health and diet, the season of festivities does leave room for small indulgences, including sweets and fried foods. However, I always keep in mind that any indulgences must be moderate, sensible, and in small portions. I also firmly believe that fitness must be a way of life, and the discipline of working out regularly stays with you even during the festive season. On days when I feel like I have eaten too much, I step into the studio for an energetic dance routine. Even on days when I have no time for the gym, I make sure to start my day with 15 to 20 minutes of stretches and yoga. I also try to get in at least one or two strength training classes a week to tone my muscles. The week after Diwali, I try to go back to my mantra of eating light. I have recently turned vegan and swear by eating small portions of light, homemade food. This, I believe, keeps you energetic and boosts your productivity all through the day.
Increase cardio workouts Abhinav Mahajan, personal trainer and YouTuber
Most of the food we binge on during Diwali is rich in simple carbohydrates and saturated fats. To counter a week of such excesses, I try to cut back on foods that are rich in these two components for a month. This means eating more complex carbohydrates that are high in fibre, such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes and brown rice. I also bump up my protein intake by 20 to 30 per cent, considering that we eat less protein than recommended during the mostly vegetarian Diwali week. I supplement this with unsaturated fats, such as almonds and olive oils. As a rule of thumb, I cut back on my total calorie intake by 20 per cent. During Diwali, while doing grocery shopping, I make a conscious decision to stock up on healthy snacks — it can be easy to neglect doing so in the rush to shop for Diwali sweets and treats, which means that any food you reach out for is invariably sweet, oily and unhealthy. With most gyms closed for the festive season, workouts suffer. I compensate by upping my cardio with 30 additional minutes of walking or jogging, every alternate day for the next month. I also use an activity tracker to make sure I am walking more, boosting my metabolism and burning extra calories. It is important, however, to not try and do too much at one go.
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