​It might be tempting to over-indulge in all those traditional dishes and snacks, but it's possible to eat in moderation whilst still enjoying yourself. Whether you're a host preparing these meals or the guest visiting, here is a guide to healthy eating on this festive occasion.

If You Are A Host:

#1. Serve Water & Fruits Throughout The Day

Welcome drinks are served to guests throughout the day and this might include sugar laden syrups or sweetened drinks such as coffee or tea. But nothing beats good, old plain water to keep yourself in charge and cut down on snacking in between. For that added flavour, consider adding fruits such as lemon to your kefir water or jal jeera. Another good option is sparkling water over carbonated sodas. You can also look out for the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS) when picking out packet drinks to serve to your guests.

#2. Use Healthier Methods For Preparing Traditional Dishes

Grill, boil, steam and bake instead of frying where possible. It's a much healthier alternative to deep frying those samosas. As you're the one preparing the dishes, you get to limit the amount of unhealthy ingredients that are being used or substitute them with healthier alternatives instead. For example, swap out ghee for healthier oils such as canola or olive oil. Indian cuisine is also renowned for its use of spices. These staple spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, clove, and cumin add flavour to your meals which helps you cut down on the amount of salt used.

#3. Add Nuts To Your Meals

Add almonds, walnuts, dry apricots, raisins, sunflower, and sesame seeds to your traditional Deepavali sweets to increase the protein content. You can even add nuts to your spicy chicken curries but also remember to consume in moderation.

If You Are A Guest:

#4. Practice Portion Control

If you want to resist the desire to overeat during Deepavali, consider using smaller plates or cups. Try to stay hydrated by drinking water regularly to help you eat less. While the cultural practice is to have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the appropriate times, snacks and goodies are available in most homes in between. Consider eating a quarter or half portion of your usual serving during the major meal timings so you won't have to feel guilty about munching throughout the day and exceed your daily calorie intake.

Related: How Much To Eat? Perfecting Portions

#5. Time Your Food Intake

It might be difficult to completely avoid indulging in unhealthy food during a holiday. That's why it's important to drink more water or snack on fruits and vegetables in between your Deepavali meals. By proportioning each meal, it helps to digest them as well throughout the day.  Head out for your Deepavali house visits earlier so that you will not be eating late or staying back for supper. Since the celebrations might continue over several weekends, it's important to plan and set expectations so that you don't overindulge and end up gaining weight. Also don't be obliged to over-eat. You can always kindly decline those extra servings once you're full. But also, be sure not to skip meals and end up bingeing on desserts and snacks after. Always make sure everything you eat is balanced.

#6. Sneak In A Light Workout In Between House Visits

While exercise is encouraged, we don't want you to perspire through your beautiful Deepavali outfits. Instead, consider taking the stairs and not the lift when visiting other houses. Go for a walk to help digest your food in between visits to incorporate light exercise throughout the day. Ultimately, it is possible to adopt healthier eating habits while still enjoying your Deepavali celebrations. This can be achieved successfully with good planning and mindfully choosing to eat in moderation.

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