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Overdid the festive food? Experts share their tips to help get your diet back to normal – VOGUE India

Nov 8th, 2019

Its easy to go overboard during festive season, and the last three months of the year are packed to the brim with social events, parties and gatherings for most of us. If youre like us, youve eaten too many samosas, binged on all the desserts you could find, and had too much to drink on too many days in a week. Gatherings have a way of spreading happiness this time of the year, and indulging in your favourite foods only adds to the joy of meeting friends and family. So even if youre a mindful eater otherwise, theres a good chance festive season may have brought out the indulgent foodie in you, explains nutritionist and food coach, Anupama Menon. But instead of taking a holistic approach to bring your system back on track, most of us try to go into detox mode after the busy festive season, pushing our body further to another extreme. If you suddenly shift to not eating or only consuming low-calorie food items right after youve spent a month gorging on high-calorie foods, theres a good chance your body will feel out of sorts, imbalanced and prone to bloating. We spoke to Menon, and USA-based Ayurvedic expert, Dr Robert Svoboda to get a better alternative.

Do not do anything in excess, even dieting. Now is the best time to get on a healthy track, so be balanced and calm, says Dr Svoboda, who is considered to be the first Westerner to graduate from a college of Ayurveda, and will be leading a four-day wellness retreat at The Oberoi Sukhvilas Spa Resort, New Chandigarh, in February next year. When one goes on a dramatic diet, the body will start to think that it is being starvedwhich will slow down metabolism, Dr Svoboda explains. Once you re-start regular eating, not only will you eat more than you normal intake because you have been suppressing yourself, but the extra calories will also not be burned as quickly, due to slower metabolism. Thus, its very important to have a stable, standard time of eating healthily. Exercise just for 45 minutes to an hour a day, adds Menon. You may be tempted to double your quotagym in the morning and swim in the eveningbut dont do that. Increasing your exercise will boost your appetiteand with an appetite that is already high, this may act like a boomerang.

If youve been waking up too early and sleeping too late, youll be able to see its effects in your metabolism. People have busy lives, so its easy to slip into a routine of jumping out of bed, looking at your phone, talking to family and making plans for the day. This puts your body into a fight-or-flight mode immediatelyaffecting your cortisol level [which plays a major role in metabolism] and disturbing the nervous system. I suggest waking up a little earlier, meditating in bed or just laying down to program your body to start the day on a good note, says Dr Svoboda.

A simple way to a good start [to the day] is to not eat anything, especially simple carbohydrates, for at least two hours after you wake up, and just have hot water with lemon to alkalise the body. This helps to digest everything from yesterday, says Dr Svoboda. Your digestive system can only work in one directionit can either absorb food or get rid of the waste, which is one of the reasons why systems such as intermittent fasting are useful. Because not eating for a long period allows your body to naturally cleanse itself. So you might love your tea and breakfast, but wait for two hours, he adds.

With actual meals, both experts suggest focusing on green leafy vegetables, simple home-cooked food and skipping sugar and caffeine. With the rains over, you will now have the beginning of the saag season with beautiful green vegetables that are great to nourish your system. More green vegetables, the better, he reveals. Including foods that improve digestion help to cleanse the body naturally as well. Another concoction to try is mixing equal parts of the seeds of coriander, cumin and fennel, grind them a little, boil it for five minutes, let it sit for five minutes and have it through the day. This encourages digestion, he says. You could speak to your nutritionist or health practitioner to help you naturally cleanse your liver, using spices like cinnamon, ginger powder, turmeric, pepper, green veggie juice or amla shots, advises Menon.

A study of New Years resolutions in the US showed that the average resolution lasts for only two weeks, and 80 per cent of people dont even keep it further than that. That is what you dont want to do, he says. Reduce your portions from the week before, but still eat your three meals and two snacks a day. Choose simple practices that help you stick to your routine, like specific eating timings, drinking water, making it to an infrared sauna or grabbing your favourite green smoothie in the morning, advises Menon. She also recommends that you give away all the remaining sweets and rich food stocked in your kitchen, You will not eat what you dont see, she concludes.

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Overdid the festive food? Experts share their tips to help get your diet back to normal - VOGUE India

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