High calorie food in the festive season may be unavoidable, but you can outsmart the temptation by indulging your sweet tooth with a different and healthier form of sugar, suggest experts.
Celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija gives some shortcuts:
* Sugar, not fat: Not all sweets are born equal. Some, like rasgullah, are high on sugar while others like gulab jamun are high in sugar and fat. While it's best to control sweets of all kinds, if you must, indulge in only-sweet-based desserts like dark chocolate, plain sandesh, mishti doi, rasgullah, jellies and custards to reduce the impact on your health post season.
There are several options available in the market today – sugar free, gluten free, organic, dry fruit and more. You can pick up these desserts which are based on natural sweeteners like stevia or use stevia to make your favourite desserts at home – it gives your desserts a 100 per cent sweetness without the calories.
* Low fat does not mean low calorie: Just because something is low fat, doesn't mean that it is low calorie. A sweet is a sweet and should be treated as such, unless it is sweetened with healthier alternative sweeteners.
* Dry fruit bears fruit: If you have the option, choose the offered dry fruit instead – although try and give cashews a miss entirely if you can. Moderate amounts of dry fruit (say, a small handful a day) contains loads of good fats and are good for you.
* Exercise: Step up the workouts this season, because your body will thank you for it in the New Year. Fight the instinct to stay curled up in the comfort of your inertia.
* Hydrate: With water, that is. And lots of it (about 2-3 litre per day). Your hunger and thirst centres are set very close together and sometimes we eat because we're thirsty. And while we're here, don't forget that alcohol adds tons of liquid calories, so a glass of wine once or twice a week is really the healthiest way to drink your calories.
If drinking water straight up gets a bit boring, you could alternatively make some infused water by adding some fruit to it like strawberry or orange with a pinch of a natural sugar substitute.
* Get your eight hours of sleep: Best for health and weight management, don't underestimate the power of a good sleep. It has proven benefits for weight loss and health management. In other words, you can snooze to lose.
Govindrajan, Head, Research and Development, Sugar-Free, says controlling your own environment is vital.
"If you're having guests over, you can do healthy versions of your favourite desserts. Use dates to sweeten your sweets instead of sugar or use a natural sugar substitutes.
* Try loading them with a lot of dry and natural fruits.
* Roast your dish rather than deep frying it.
* Use natural sweeteners.
* Also, you don't have to eat everything you've been gifted. Donate, and sweeten someone else's life.