In Health Tips On 04 May 2016
Have you ever stepped on a weighing scale after a rigorous diet and got the shock of your life? Unexpectedly, the high intensity workout and diet plans that were very promising seemed to have failed in the weighing scale tests. Vis-à-vis, you sometimes go for partying and eating all junk but the weight does not even budge the next day! Why the unfair weight fluctuations? What is the reason behind them? Well, one thing that we all should know is that it is almost impossible for sudden extra weight gain to be fat. True weight gain is slow. It takes time just like true weight loss. 1 kg weight gain will require around 7000 calories which is practically impossible. So what’s the reason behind weight to drop the next day and shoot up the next? When you step on the weighing scale, the machine weighs your muscles, bones, fat and your organs. Apart from this it also weighs – The water in our body The liquids you have recently taken in The undigested foods you have eaten These can cause big fluctuations in our weight. When you drink a glass of water, it weighs 250gms and this one glass has an immediate impact on the scales. If some salty food is added, its sodium acts as a magnet to attract and hold more water. Paradoxically drinking insufficient water is another cause for water retention. When the body senses its becoming dehydrated, it retains as much fluid as it can. HORMONES: These also play a major cause in weight fluctuations. The female hormones are pretty much related to water retention especially before menstruation and during ovulation. MEDICATIONS: Medications like high blood pressure and anti-inflammatory drugs are also responsible for weight fluctuations. CARBOHYDRATE RESERVES: The body stores carbohydrates for later use as glycogen in liver and muscle tissue. Glycogen holds water in a ratio of 3gms water to 1gm glycogen, which makes it bulky and heavy. The body depletes and replenishes this store of glycogen and water. In weight loss mode, reserves are low and when you eat, the body replenishes them along with accompanying water. FOOD WEIGHT: The food eaten also adds on to weight till it is fully digested and absorbed into the blood stream. As discussed earlier it takes 7000 calories to gain 1 kg body weight in 24 hours. That means around one kg of butter if eaten can add on to 1 kg weight but on the other hand, 1 kg of salads will only weigh extra till the time it is digested since the calorie yield is low. Constipation could be yet another cause for weight fluctuations. POST WORKOUT WEIGHT: Straight after a workout, the weight is less due to water loss during perspiration and glycogen loss during respiration. But this only lasts till you have your next meal. HOW TO DEAL WITH WEIGHT FLUCTUATIONS Avoid weighing yourself post cheat days. The days that you eat junk, your body might be retaining water depending upon the sodium intake along with the undigested and uneliminated food. If suffering from constipation, seek medical advice to help you out. Taking a detox diet which involves drinking good amount of fluids helps you get rid of sodium which brings down the excess gain. Maintain a diet dairy. Every time you weigh more you can cross check the dairy to know your weight gain culprits. Take your waist measurements each week. If scales go up but waist is same, then you know its water, rather than fat your cells are holding.
In Health Tips On 20 April 2016
Sattu or Roasted Bengal gram flour is a flour that does not need cooking to make a nutritious meal. It has immense health benefits. The traditional sattu is widely famous in Bihar and Jharkhand where it provides relief from soaring temperatures. It is a nutritious drink that has a cooling effect on the body and is definitely better than any other cold drink that is of no nutritional importance. Sattu is prepared by dry roasting grains. One method involves dry roasting Bengal Gram and making a fine powder of it. The authentic way of preparing it involves the use of an iron vessel; in which it is roasted with sand. The sand is sieved away after the dry roasting is done. The roasted Bengal Gram is then powdered to make Sattu. Alternatively the roasted chanas can be grinded and sieved at home to make sattu powder at home. Sattu is a perfect blend of balanced nutrients and is prepared in one of the healthiest cooking methods – roasting. In this method, the nutrient value is retained and the shelf life of the ingredients are increased. Health benefits of sattu :- Sattu helps fight against heat waves. Sattu drink is a healthy traditional indigenous coolant. Have a glass of sattu drink with breakfast and another as an evening snack. In few days only, you will observe changes in your body and the quality of life will be enhanced. It keeps your body free from internal heat that results in many disorders. It has a natural taste and easy to digest. It can be consumed by all age groups and hence is good for first solid feeds. The large insoluble fibre content in sattu makes it healthy for the intestines. The fibres also help remove excess fat in the body. It helps to flush out the oil consumed in the diet. It energises and refreshes immediately on consumption. Those who need a lot of stamina can rely on sattu. Growing children are advised an intake of 2 tsp of sattu a day to take care of their nutritional needs. It provides a balanced diet and also helps in achieving a glowing skin. Diabetic conditions and blood pressure patients find it easy to cope with by consuming sattu. Low blood pressure patients can drink salted sattu with a dash of lemon squeeze and bhuna zeera powder. Most of the stomach disorders are generated by improper digestive system. Sattu keeps stomach cool and clean. Sattu helps fight constipation Improper feeding habits and consumption of junk food has enhanced the problem of acidity. Regular consumption of Sattu is very helpful in keeping us fit and fine from the problem of gas and acidity. The hot and humid climate makes our hair and skin dull and tanned. A regular drink can help regain the texture and softness at no extra expense. Sattu can be used in different recipes to provide a nutritionally wholesome food: SALTY SATTU SHARBAT- Everyone likes to have salty and tangy refreshing drinks for summers. It is liked by both your tongue and stomach. Sattu drink can be prepared in salty form using natural condiments: Take a mixing jar and add 2 glasses of chilled water with 5 tablespoon of sattu powder to it. Now add finely and shredded onions, green chillies and coriander leaves. Also add 2 teaspoon of roasted cumin powder and white salt. (Red chilli powder, black pepper and coriander powder to it can also be added according to one’s taste). Mix well and add 10-15 drops of lemon and 2 teaspoon of black salt to it. Mix well and serve chilled in beautiful glass. SWEET SATTU SHARBAT- The sweet form of sharbat is also liked by a lot of people especially the kids. It can be replaced with the cold drinks that are of no nutritional importance: Sugar or jaggery can be used as per your choice. Take a mixing jar and add 2 glasses of chilled water with 5 tablespoon of sattu powder. Add 2 and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar or jaggery to it as as per your taste. Served chilled and enjoy. SATTU BHARTA: This is a traditional Bihari delicacy that is eaten with food. This bharta / chokha forms the filling of almost all other foods like sattu paratha and sattu littis. It is Easy to make and loved by all: Ingredients: 1 cups sattu ka aata 1 small onion very finely chopped 2-3 green chillies finely chopped 4-6 garlic cloves finely chopped 2 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped 2 tbsp mustard oil 2 tbsp oil from any mango pickel salt as per taste Lemon juice as per taste Mix all the ingredients well and roll into small balls. Mustard oil or pickle oil can be increased to make small balls. Serve these rolls/ balls as side dish along with the main platter to add variety and nutrition. SATTU PARATHA: Add salt, ajwain seeds and a little refined oil to flour and mix it well. Add water and knead into a little hard dough. Stuff the filling mentioned in sattu bharta (quantity as per serving size) above into the dough balls and roll into parathas. Cook them in light oil and serve hot. Every ingredient used in the filling adds on to a classy tangy taste that everyone loves. For a more hot variety add some lal- mirch achaar to the filling and it becomes all the more tasty. For diet conscious people, sattu rotis can be opted instead of parathas. LITTI CHOKHA: Ingredients for dough : Wheat flour - 400 grams (2 cup) Ajwain(carom seeds) - 1/2 tsp Ghee - 2 tbsp Curd - 3/4 cup Baking soda - 1/2 tsp Salt - 3/4 tsp Ingredients for stuffing (Pitthi) Sattu - 200 grams (1 cup) Ginger - 1 inch long piece Green chilly - 2 to 4 Green coriander(dhaniya) - 1/2 cup(finely chopped) Jeera(cumin seeds) - 1 tsp Ajwain(carom seeds) - 1 tsp Mustard oil - 1tsp Pickle spices - 1 tbsp Lemon - juice of 1 lemon (if you prefer) Salt - add to taste ( 1/2 tsp) Make rolls of dough and make a cup shaped depression in them to fill in the stuffing. Fill the stuffing and wrap up the dough piece to close it on all sides. Heat the Tandoor (furnace), place the stuffed pieces of dough in the Tandoor and cook it by turning sides regularly till they turn brown (traditionally Litti is cooked on a Upla). dip in ghee foe a sumptuous taste. Ingredients for the chokha: Brinjal(big) - 400 grams (1 or 2) Tomatoes - 250 grams ( 4 medium sized) Green chillies - 2 to 4 (finely chopped) Ginger - 1 1/2 inch long piece ( finely chopped) Green coriander - 2 tbsp ( finely chopped) Salt - add to taste (1 tsp) Mustard oil - 1 to 2 tsp Wash brinjals and tomatoes then fry them. Allow them to cool, peel the skins, keep them in a bowl and mash with a spoon. Put the chopped spices, salt, oil and mix properly. Brinjal Chokha is ready. If you prefe garlic and onion then peel 5-6 cloves of garlic then finely chop them. Peel 1 onion, chop it finely and mix these with brinjal. Serve hot.
In Health Tips On 05 October 2015
Festivity is in the air! Navratri is a festival of fasting and feasting. During the nine days of fasting, the Mother Divine manifests herself in nine different forms with each form signifying something subtle and deep. Before you let loose and indulge, you might want to cling to these quick tips that\'ll save you from landing in an unhealthy muddle. Main foods eaten during navaratri – Flours: Flours that can be eaten during navaratri are kuttu ka atta, singhare ka atta, rajgire ka atta, sabudana and arrowroot flour Fruits: All fruits can be eaten during Navaratri. The healthy fruits that can be eaten during fasting are coconut, pears, singhara and raw banana. Vegetables: aloo, kaddu, shakarkand, jimikand, and arvi (ghuiyaan) are some of the vegetables that can be eaten during fasting. Fresh coriander and ginger have enormous health benefits for people fasting for nine days. Salt: Sendha namak is used for cooking during navaratris. The benefits of sendha namak are that it is a cooling spice that aids as a laxative and stabilizes blood pressure. It also improves appetite, soothes heart burn and removes gas. Spices and Oils: Zeera, choti elaichi, sabut kali mirch and kharbooje ke beej are some of the spices that can be used during fasts. Desi Ghee, olive oils and refined oils can be used for cooking. Dry Fruits: Badaam, akhrot, kajus and Kishmish are eaten during fasts. Beverages: green Tea, black Tea and coffee are healthy beverages that can be taken Dairy products: milk, paneer, dahi, chaanch and cream can be eaten during fasting. They all are a rich source of calcium. Other foods: sugar, makhana and sabudana are eaten during fasting. Sabudana are rich in carbohydrates and gives good amount of energy to the body. 50 gms of these small white pearls give 175 kcals. Also it is a source of calcium, iron and vitamin K. It helps improve blood circulation and aids in digestion. Makhanas are low in fat and high in carbohydrate content. They are also high magnesium and low sodium content. Is fasting healthy? Many may wonder if going on a nine-day fast is indeed healthy for our bodies. Yes, it is an extremely healthy practice as long as you do not starve yourself. Fasting helps you cleanse and detoxify your body and mind. All you need to do is fast in the correct manner by eating small meals frequently and select healthy eating options. Bad effects of not fasting properly: Many people who fast also go to play garba or dandiya in the evenings. Since this requires stamina and energy, it is vital that you fast in a proper manner in order to enjoy the festivities and not strain your body\'s health. Some of the ill-effects of not fasting properly are: · Weakness and fatigue · Fainting due to drop in blood sugar level · Unable to sleep properly · Lack of stamina · Tiredness Who should avoid fasting? I suggest diabetics and pregnant woman avoid this fast as it can cause a drop in the blood sugar levels which is not conducive in both the cases. This navratri, you don\'t want to be binging on those heavy calorie delights and having to face the weighing scale tipping to the wrong side. This Navratri we suggest you tread the healthy way. So before you let loose and indulge, you might want to cling to these quick tips that\'ll save you from landing in an unhealthy muddle. Detoxify your body by drinking water, lemonade, green tea and buttermilk. Taking liquids will also keep you from dehydration. Kheer can be replaced with mixed fruits in curd. If the kheer is a must in the menu then try adding artificial sweeteners in your kheer, and halwas. Substitute whole milk with toned milk to help stay healthy. Vegetable soups can be taken once or twice a day, they will help filling up the stomach and keep you from feeling hungry. Also they form a good source of vitamins and minerals. One medium sized potato gives around 100 kcals. Instead of frying aloo, you can opt for mixing boiled potato with either curd or with green chutney made with dhaniya, tomato, sendha namak and lemon juice. It is relishing for the taste buds. Try not adding boiled potato to sabudana or kuttu roti as it becomes very rich in calories Instead of fried items like pooris and paranthas, try kuttu atta rotis which will be low in calories. Also rajgira atta can be used instead of kuttu atta as it is low in calories and lighter. Ragjiri atta is high in proteins, minerals vitamins and fibre. Dry roast makhanas and moongphalis instead of deep frying them. Combine high calorie foods like sabudana and potato with high fibre vegetables like lauki tomato and palak. Also try baking, grilling and roasting vegetables instead of frying them. Eat a lot of fresh fruits to boost vitamins and minerals. Fruits have high fibre and halp in maintaining weight. Eat small and frequent meals. Starving will never lead to weight loss. It leads to craving and thus eating more and is a short cut to weight gain. Keep your portion in control. Take one cereal option from kuttu, semai ke chawal, singhara atta or rajgiri ka atta and mix it with one cooked/ sauted vegetable portion alongwith curd/ buttermilk. Not only during Navratri, exercising during any kind of fasting has to be properly considered. This is because when you are not eating properly, your body does not get the supply of the essential nutrients. This results in lack of strength and energy which is needed for exercising. For those who have exercise in their routine, exercising a little while after you finish fasting that is after you have eaten something has great health benefits. Simple aerobics, a bit of gardening, small stretching exercises and a short walk are the best forms of exercise during fasts. Garba dancing is also a form of exercise. It helps build stamina and maintain weight during fasts. Healthy Navratri diet plan · Start your day with a cup of green tea and two dates · For breakfast, eat fruits, nuts and raisins · Have milkshake/ kheer/ coconut water around noon · For lunch, opt for saudana khichdi/ rajgira roti with lauki/ arbi sabzi and a glass of chaanch with rock salt · Mid afternoon, have fruit yoghurt · In the evening, eat aloo chat or aloo palak salad · For dinner, start with vegetable soup, a bowl of salad with kuttu ka atta/rajgira roti and sabzi followed by low-fat lauki halwa or carrot halwa · Before sleeping, have a glass of skimmed milk
In Health Tips On 05 October 2015
Toddlers and children need nutrients like - vitamins & minerals Choosing a range of healthy foods helps them cope up with their studies as well as extracurricular activities.While planning their menus, there are certain points to keep in mind:An emphasis on salads and fruits should be given. At least 2 fruits should be eaten by the child daily. Juices if consumed should be fresh and not preserved. For children who do not like eating salad, they can be incorporated in recipes like sandwiches and raitas.Coloured vegetables attract children. Serve a variety of orange, red, dark green vegetables. Soups can be also given to children. Vegetables can be boiled n mashed and added to parathas and roties to give extra vitamins and minerals. Milk and milk products like curd, cheese,and paneer should be taken on a daily basis. Protein sources like egg, fish, chicken, rajmah, chhole, mushrooms, dry fruits, nutrinuggets, and soyabean should be given. Water intake should be adjusted according to climatic conditions. In hot and humid climates, extra liquids and salts should be given. Small and frequent snacky meals should be given instead of big meals. Since children get bored easily so a variety in texture and flavor should be given. Introduce foods in small quantities while trying a new recipe. Children should be encouraged to eat with the family so that he learns to interact with them. Healthy tiffin options for children: Besan cheela (boiled and mashed veggies can be added to cheelas) Bread pizzas Bread pakodas with a stuffing of boiled veggies and potatoes Paneer cutlets/ paneer stuffed parathas Colourful idlis (carrots peas capsicum and beans can be diced and added to the batter) Nutrinugget and chana dal kebabs Steamed sprouts Sample diet chart for a school going child: Early morning: milk + almonds+ 1 fruit Breakfast: suji upma/ veg poha/ stuffed parathas/cheese sandwhiches + 1 chikki/ laddu Midmorning: 1 fruit/ fruit juice- 1 cup Lunch: rotis -2/ rice + dhal- 1 katori + green vegetable- 1katori +salad Evening: milkshake / sprouts and laiyya bhelpuri/ makhanas/ boiled eggs/ biscuits Dinner: parathas 2 + sabzi – 1 katori + salads Post dinner: suji kheer/ fruit custard/ curd Foods to Include Fruits, vegetables, green vegetables, whole grains, pulses, milk, egg , chicken, nuts, , milk and milk products. Foods to Avoid Extra sweets, fried food, processed food, packed foods, butter, margarine, cream, mayonnaise, mutton, meat, fried chicken etc.
In Health Tips On 05 December 2014
It’s time for Christmas carols and New Year resolutions, partying and holidaying! You want to look your best this New Year and fit into the beautiful skimpy dress that has been adorning your cupboards like forever or the pair of jeans that never zips up. Though the winter blues reduce exercise, slows metabolism and increases appetite; this is your one and only chance to prove the world wrong and get those beautiful comments pouring in. The trick is simple. Just a few steps to follow and you’ll look gorgeous like never before! WHITE IN YOUR DIET: When opting for a perfect diet that will help you lose weight/ maintain weight even through the holidays, make a check on the ‘white’ ingredients of your diet. Cream, butter, cheese, sugar, cakes with icings, pastries and pastas comprise the white portion of your diet. These have a lot of carbohydrates that get converted into glucose and excess of glucose eventually leads to getting stored as fats. Opt for a high fiber low carbohydrate diet instead that takes time in digestion hence helps us feel fuller for a longer time. It also binds to cholesterol in the gut and helps avoid sharp rise in blood sugar levels. Bran from grains or cereals, fruits with their peels, brown rice and vegetables are good sources of it. SLASH THE SALT: This winter season, try to lower your salt intake to almost half of what you took during the summers. The cold makes your blood vessels narrow and hence increases the pressure with which the blood flows through your arteries. Also the basal metabolic rate decreases during winters. Intake of fluids decreases and perspiration is slow. All this leads to a considerable rise in blood pressure and water retention in the body, giving a bloated feeling. Avoid salt during the dinners/ having early low salt dinners would be the best solution to overcome this problem. PLANT BASED DIET: Try including a lot of vegetables and fruits in your diet so that the fiber intake increases. Make three-fifth of your diet plant based. Eat a big portion of salads in your diet during the day time, the midmornings should have two fibrous fruits while the nights should have homemade vegetable soups. HIGH WATER INTAKE: As always recommended, drink lots of water to give a ‘full’ feeling to the brain. Try liquids in form of soups and stews. Add cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, coriander, spinach etc. to your steamy hot soups. Avoid straining the soups to add on to fiber and satiety levels. AVOID WINDY FOODS: For those of you who experience bloating abdominal discomfort more during winters, it is due to either because of decrease in activity or because of a wrong choice of food. Avoid foods like pulses, beans, lentils, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and Brussel sprouts and some artificial sweeteners like sorbitol. Dairy products ca also be a source of bloating if you have trouble digesting lactose (milk sugar) Also try eating slowly and never stay hungry for a long time as this leads to overeating and hence gassiness. EXERCISE: The last, but the most important point is to keep exercising to boost immunity and maintain your BMR levels. This should never be neglected and helps you manage your weight loss even in winters. Always remember that the human body is evolved with the hibernation theory i.e. the chemical switch in your body makes it store more during winters thus making it difficult to lose in winters. A wee bit more of exercise or yoga will always be beneficial in achieving your target. So what next! Just take that dress out from the cupboard and promise yourself to fit into it by New Year! This is your secret resolution before the New Year and remember - the countdown has already begun!
In Health Tips On 25 November 2014
That time of the year is close when the cold weather sends your mood to a roller coaster ride. It interrupts your workout routine as the warm snuggly blanket seems more inviting than the stone cold treadmills and weight training sessions back in the gym. The cold winter days and nights get us munching away on warm, comfort foods. But, the question is; are these foods good for our health? It has been noted for decades that blood pressure tends to be a little bit harder to control or a little bit higher than normal during winters. Cold causes vasoconstriction (narrowing of the blood vessels) and thereby causing hypertension. The physical exercise decreases during wintertime. The rate of perspiration decreases due to the cold weather. The water intake also decreases considerably as people tend to drink less during winters. All of this as well as certain hormones of the body add up to weight gain, a rise in blood pressure and sometimes can lead to a heart attack even. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD: According to mental health foundation, SAD is a form of a depression that tends to occur from September to April. Symptoms include low energy levels, extreme tiredness and sleepiness, a lack of concentration, apathy, irritability, anxiety, loss of libido and a weakened immune system so there’s a chance of cathing colds and flu. This is obviously no good news to anyone who is trying to lose weight. So if you are trying to keep those extra kilos off and your arteries clean, here’s some food for thought! Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Opt for whole grain cereals. Avoid honey or sugar coated breakfast cereals. Use skimmed or low fat milk for oats, tea and yogurt. Use salt and oil sparingly. Avoid oily snacks and fried foods like pakoras, samosas and French fries, cutlets etc. Desserts should be eaten in moderation. Processed foods and ready to eat foods like chips, pasteries, cheese, packed soups ketchups and sauces etc should be avoided. Do not skip meals as this can lead to bingeing. Avoid soft drinks, fruit juices, alcohol, excess tea and coffee. Beverages like green tea, warm water with lemon, soup, ginger tea etc should be taken. Include a wide variety of foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, sprouts etc that provide us with essential nutrients for sound health and better immunity. Mushrooms are immunity boosters while carrots are rich in vitamin A. Garlic increases the levels of enzymes that help the liver to detoxify the blood. Avoid cream based soups that are high in fat as well as salt. Reach out instead for broth based homemade soups. Red meat and bacons should be a complete no. Bacons have a lot of salt and fat and red meats have high saturated fats. It’s becoming a fashion to cook with coconut or palm kernel oils but they are loaded with saturated fats. It is better to stick with olive oil or canola oil to keep your cholesterol levels in check. Exercise regularly. Pay attention to your lifestyle too. Staying up late, working at night, eating at irregular times, exposing the body to stress and fatigue, and sleeping during the day can all affect the digestive and body rhythms and thus compromise rather than strengthen the immune system. So this year, spend the cold season staying warm and healthy.
In Health Tips On 12 November 2014
With the growing awareness of health and fitness in the world, people are getting more obsessed to diets and dieting. Usually, the first thing in the morning that the dietician suggests is to gulp down a big glass of water with some healthy ingredients. Believe me, these different concoctions really help in achieving desired weight in different ways. Lemon water: Hot lemon water combines powerful agents that improve your chances of weight loss. Hot water has digestion improving ability while lemon has vitamin C and antioxidant properties. According to an article in the “Journal of American College of Nutrition”, vitamin C is inversely related to body mass. This helps set off a series of chemical reactions that breakdown body fat as use of energy. The other benefits of drinking this concoction includes less heartburn, bloating and burping and helps pass softer stools. Hot lemon water also reduces hunger cravings and drinking it first thing in the morning helps detoxify the body’s process. Coriander juice: Coriander happens to be a natural diuretic and helps reduce water retention. It is a great source of essential vitamins and minerals. Being rich in iron, it cures anaemia, its high magnesium content helps in the functioning of nervous system and strengthens bones. Coriander juice (commonly known as dhaniya water) is a rich source of vitamin A, B and C. It acts as an antioxidant and helps prevent heart related risks. Drinking coriander juice or dhaniya water, helps getting rid of the water retention that adds up to your weight on the weighing scale. One would never think that having homemade lemon coriander soup would be so healthy and yet very delicious! Aloe Vera juice: The gel of this succulent plant is used by herbalists to treat digestive disorders. The aloe vera juice in lukewarm water works as a natural antioxidant therefore retards growth of free radicals. It is used as a laxative as it cleanses the digestive system and it also helps increase metabolism and thus contribute to weight loss. Bottle gourd juice: Commonly known as ghia juice or lauki juice, is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B, sodium iron and potassium. This bottle gourd juice curbs the appetite if one drinks it in the morning on an empty stomach. It also replenishes loss of water by the body, treats sleep disorders and urinary problems. Apple cider vinegar: This ACV is used to detoxify and alkalise the body and aides in digestion while you keep your body hydrated. It also kills unhealthy bacteria in your gut and lowers blood sugar levels. Taking ACV with hot water around 10 minutes before eating helps to eat fewer calories as it gives a feeling of fullness. Thus helps in weight loss.
In Health Tips On 30 September 2014
With Diwali, not only comes the thought of colourful lights and beautiful diyas everywhere; but also mouth watering Mithais dry fruits and other rich preparations. These tempting foods, though delicious to eat, are also rich in calories. Gluttony sets in and makes your weighing machine scream back at you! But, a little conscious effort makes you enjoy the festival as well as stay fit. Keeping a count of your calorie intake, cutting down on simple sugars and adding fibres instead will help you squeeze in space for some festive preparations. For e.g. eating the whole fruit instead of its juice will make your intestines work extra and burn extra calories too. Also, by cutting down on sugars in tea and cola beverages , you can avoid piling up calories which are of no nutritional importance. Look for fibres in foods. Opt for whole fruits, salads, sprouts that give you the roughage that helps in proper bowel movements and regulates cholesterol and blood sugar. A sensible eating with small portions of each recipe on your plate will help you enjoy each preparation as well as stay in shape. Nuts are always a better option than sweets. Barfi, Rasgullas, kajukatri and sooji laddus are preferred to gujhiyas, coconut barfis, malpuas and jalebis when it comes to calories. A little extra workout or a little extra walk during the festive time will also help you stay healthy while enjoying the scrumptious recipes. Drink a lot of water to flush your bowel system clean. Last but not the least, an early and light dinner a couple of days before Diwali will help you cut down on excess calories. So now that you know the mantra for keeping fit this festive season, get geared up because the countdown has begun! Dt. Neha Mohan Sinha