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Eat right this festive season

Festivals in India are an integral part of people's life. They are celebrated with an assortment of mouth watering, rich, irresistible sweets and snacks.

During festival season it is difficult to stick to diet because of expectation to join in the celebrations. One neither want to be snobbish nor a spoilt sport by declining every time offered those "loaded-with-calories" and sinfully delicious stuff. Here are some simple tips to avoid accumulating those extra pounds during the festival season:

Smaller portion size
Small portion size of fried snacks, sweets and other fatty preparations will help in keeping weight under control.

Avoid second helpings
Howsoever tempted you are, be firm and put your plate down after you are through with your first helping.

Eat slow
Instead of filling the plate to brim, take fewer things at one time. Eat them slowly and gradually.

Use low fat ingredients
- While preparing sweets at home, try using low fat (skimmed) milk and other dairy products. - Rather than refined sugar, either switch to artificial sweetner or if possible, substitute with natural sugar like honey, jaggery and dates. Use of Dalda i.e. Vanaspati Ghee is to be avoided every time.  Use whole wheat flour instead of refined flour for making sweets and snacks.

Choice of sweets
Prefer sweets like ladoos (suji, coconut etc), Kheer, Gajar (Carrot) or Doodhi (bottle gourd) halwa. They are nutrient dense and have fewer calories than fried sweets like Gulab jamun, Jalabi, Bundi items etc. Try to have sweets and high calorie foods in the first half of the day.

Dry fruits over deep fried
If there is a choice between dry fruits and sweets, opt for dry fruits. Even if dry fruits are equally high in calories at least they are not "empty calories". Most of the snacks and sweets are made of refined flour, which holds very less nutritive value.

Drink water before snacking
To bring in the feeling of fullness, drink water before snacking. This will definitely bring down your craving and will make you eat less. Gulp few sips of hot water after having sweets for better digestion.

No to carbonated drinks
Try to stay away from carbonated drinks as they add unnecessary empty calories, which will be very difficult to burn later on. Plain soda is a better alternative.

Exercise regularly
Continue with regular exercise routine, motivate yourself to run an extra mile, if you are lusting on sweets.

Share gifted sweets
Don't be greedy and keep all the sweets and chocolates that you get only for your indulgence. Be generous. Share them with young ones in the family, relatives, neighbors and people in the area or those who are less fortunate.

Light dinners
Try to keep lunch parties instead of dinners. Have early and light dinners.