Diwali 2019: Tips for your post-festive detox
Did you go a bit overboard during the festivities? Faced with table after table of homemade food, was it hard to say no? Check out some easy fixes that will get you back on track after Diwali.
This weekend marked Diwali, which means you were probably surrounded by refined carbs, high-calorie sweets, your favourite homemade treats and well-meaning family members, probably asking you about your love life. And you didn't have the heart to tell them that dating in 2019 is a nightmare and you're never going to find someone, because that's not very #festive. (Just us? Okay.) Seriously though, Diwali bloat is real, and it's thanks to consuming more carbs and sugar than normal — which many of us end up doing during the Diwali season. If the struggle is all too real, check out some tips that will get you on your way back to wellness in no time.
1. Make a workout plan and stick to it
This one is a little preemptive, but you have to set yourself up for success. "Don't wait for the New Year; January 1 is just like any other day, so my best advice would be to start today. You got this," Kabir Khan, fitness trainer and instructor at The Studio, Mumbai says. He recommends planning your workouts ahead of time and making a conscious effort to stick to them. Also, drink a lot of water. A lot of water. "At The Studio, a favourite move of mine is the French twist, a full-body exercise targeting the obliques. There is a twisting motion throughout the exercise detoxing the organs as well as a built-in stretch as you release,” he adds.
2. Try a digestive enzyme
"We all know that Diwali week can be stressful. While the festivities can create some anxiety, it can also impact our digestion. Stress can decrease the number of enzymes your body is making, which in turn makes it hard to break down your food," says Mumbai-based dietician and clinical nutritionist Geetanjali Shah. She recommends taking a broad-spectrum digestive enzyme, which will help your body break down protein, fat, carbs, and fibre. This can help decrease bloating and improve your digestion, even when you are stressed, she adds.
3. Eat enough protein
Shah, who specialises in digestive health, recommends upping your breakfast protein intake. "During Diwali, many of my clients end up eating carbohydrate-heavy breakfasts (sugary smoothies, bread, greasy and processed foods etc.). This leaves them hangry and bloated before lunch," she says. "With the festive celebrations winding up, aim for 20 to 25 grams of high-quality protein for breakfast, such as organic eggs, to keep blood sugar steady and help to reduce bloating from carb overload."
4. Eat whole-food carbs
"Replace the sweets with whole-food carbs like sweet potatoes, potatoes with skin, brown rice, lentils, pumpkin and bell peppers," Shah says, adding that "these carbs are filled with nutrients your liver needs to detoxify." Plus, "whole-food carbs digest slowly to help keep blood sugar steady to reduce cravings for more carbs," she explains. Always be conscious of what you're eating, what mood you're in when you're eating, and whether or not you're truly hungry, she adds. "If you stick with a meal plan and eat every three hours, you should never feel deprived," says Shah.
5. Get creative with your hydration
Being hydrated is one of the best things you can do to help your body detox from one solid week of processed carbs and abundant sweets. But you don't have to just chug water to get the benefits. "Of course, water supports digestion and elimination, but this can be in the form of juicy fruits and vegetables, soups, broths, and decaffeinated herbal teas," Shah says.
6. Start taking probiotics
If you haven't jumped on the probiotic bandwagon yet, there is no better time than the present. "Another great way to de-bloat is to take a daily probiotic; a healthy gut will improve digestion and therefore cause less bloating," Shah says. Probiotics help your gut by increasing the number of good bacteria.
7. Avoid desserts
Sugar is highly addictive; once you start a daily sugar fix, your brain finds it hard to resist all the highly processed and refined desserts. The solution: cleaning out your diet in order to get over your sugar addiction and retrain your taste buds to not crave the sweet stuff.
8. Get rid of stagnation
"If you're stressed out, your body's energy will not be moving, and one of the symptoms [is] bloating," Shah says. "Some of the best remedies for bloating are ginger tea, peppermint tea, and radishes." Foods that cause stagnation are greasy foods, hydrogenated oils, red meat, dairy, processed flour, and packaged chips.
9. Keep a sleep schedule
It's hard to get your sleep back on track after days of Diwali get-togethers and outings, but the sooner you get your sleep schedule right the better you'll feel, and the easier it'll be for you to jump back into your healthy habits. "Not getting enough sleep can have an effect on your stress levels, blood pressure, and weight," says Khan.
10. Keep a food diary
Keeping note of everything you eat in a day may sound tedious, but if you're trying to clean your act up after your decadent Diwali celebrations, it's one of the best healthy habits to adopt in the short run, Shah says. Seeing how much or how little you're getting from your meals will spur you on to prep easy and filling meals that nourish your body rather than snacking on empty calories.