The festive season is upon us and maintaining our diets can be tough. Here are some tips and tricks from Ryan Fernando, celebrity nutritionist and founder, Qua Nutrition, to help you maintain your diet and shed some festive kilos! By Anushka Goel
Come October, India’s weather starts having a nip in the air, allowing evening outings with friends and family a more regular affair. This, combined with the festive and wedding season, brings out our social side, allowing us to go out, party, and just unwind with our close ones. It’s that time of the year when we usually set ourselves free. However, managing a diet with the festivities and binging can be a tough task. Ryan Fernando, celebrity nutritionist and founder, Qua Nutrition, shares his top tips to maintain your diet amid all the celebrations.
Ryan Fernando’s top tips to manage a diet after Diwali
It’s been more than a week since Diwali, but all the feasting has affected our body. To get your body back on track, Ryan recommends you feed the body foods that will help you de-bloat. “When on a body-cleansing diet, it is recommended that you consume protein and limit or avoid your carbohydrate consumption,” he says, adding, “A high-protein breakfast will reduce hunger pangs and help you feel satiated for longer.”
For a healthy, filling breakfast, add some low-calorie fruits to your morning meal. Since festive foods are usually heavy, sugary and greasy, fibre-rich fruits and green, leafy vegetables will add the much-needed fibre to your meal, allowing you to kick-start that detox journey.
Wedding binging? Balance it with a healthy diet
Right after Diwali, the wedding season begins in India, and while you may have had the time to detox from all the Diwali mithai, your meal schedule may be set to go haywire again. So, consuming a well-balanced diet is essential whenever possible. When you’re home, Ryan recommends that you consume a diet with a proper mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat:
- Add complex fibrous carbs such as whole-wheat products, fruits, vegetables, salads, etc, and lean protein sources such as eggs and milk products.
- The beneficial fat comes from Omega 3 foods like almonds, walnuts, fish oil, and flaxseeds.
- Get your skin festive-ready with anti-oxidant-rich foods such as almonds, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, and whole grains.
Consume a healthy diet when at a wedding, too
Maintaining calories is essential during the festive and wedding season as it helps you get the body you want when the actual days of the festivities come. But when at a wedding, finding healthy, nutritious meals may get tough. Ryan recommends some hacks that you can use to ensure you get as much nutrition into your meals at weddings as possible:
- Opt for paneer dishes in a wedding buffet. Casein makes about 80% of the proteins in milk, says Ryan, and it has a range of health benefits, including assisting the body in the absorption of minerals like calcium and phosphorus and decreasing blood sugar. Keep your serving size to a half cup, which should have about 180 calories and 8 grams protein.
- Consume salads such as carrots, cucumbers, and green vegetables, to maintain cholesterol levels and calories. Replace some of the rich gravies and kormas with the simpler dals from the menu, to increase your fibre and protein intake.
- Buttery naans may not be a bad option, as long as you limit your consumption ((half a naan equals approximately 100 calories), says Ryan. Because tandoori roti is baked in a clay oven, it has a lower calorie count (one roti = 110 calories). Avoid ghee at weddings because while it is a healthy fat, you can’t be sure of the quality of ghee used and it can cause more harm than good.
Offset your intense dessert cravings by including additional nutrients in your sweets, such as dried fruits and nuts. If making desserts at home for the festive season, replace sugar with jaggery or coconut sugar. Also, using ghee instead of dalda or oils will increase the amount of healthy fats in your diet and will help you keep your calorie consumption in check. Fenugreek, garlic and chillies aid in weight loss and muscle endurance, and these ingredients are commonly found in Indian cuisine. And micronutrients can be obtained by consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Eat well and exercise
The most common way for generating a calorie deficit is to completely eliminate carbohydrates from your diet, but this is not a wise choice. Instead, limit your carbohydrate intake and opt for fibre carbs, such as like whole grains, says Ryan. Completely eliminating carbs will mean that protein and fats will be used as energy, depleting your skin and hair of vital nutrients they need to grow.
The hectic festive season can make it tough to get some exercise, but there are ways to work around that. Use the stairs instead of the lift or escalators, and when running short-distance errands or doing last-minute shopping, walk instead of travelling via a vehicle. Carry out all your phone calls while walking to burn some calories, and at home, do yoga to keep yourself fit. Try to walk at least 10,000 steps each day and track your progress with a fitness band. And if you’re simply lounging around and watching TV, incorporate some squats or lunges in the commercial breaks to get some exercise.
If you’re having trouble chalking out a meal and nutrition plan for yourself, you can contact Ryan Fernando’s team at +91 97434 30000 or visit www.quanutrition.com.