Eating guilt-free this Diwali

Diwali is the festival of diyas – and sweets. It is a celebration of wealth and generosity – and opulence of festive foods. A time when even the most disciplined eater is tempted to let down her/his guard and reach out for those mouth-watering Diwali sweets!

It is a time for inviting and visiting and gifting of the choicest of edible temptations. It is definitely an event when you are most surrounded by foods!

And then I tell you to diet in the midst of all this! Is this sanely possible, you may ask. Nothing can make you more instantly unpopular than talking about dieting during Diwali. But then, after the fun and feast is over with Diwali, one remembers what was over eaten and tries to undo the damage.

Have a guilt-free Diwali this year, with these 6 simple rules to follow and stay lean this festive week.

1. Never shop on an empty stomach. Shopping for Diwali can have serious collateral damages if you are going out close to mealtime. You tend to shop for ages during festivity and end up feeling hungry especially if it is time for your next meal. So plan your shopping schedule. Go soon after your main meal, and get back well ahead before the next. If this is not possible, then eat a fruit and salad before you venture out so that you may resist temptations to snack outside.

2. Disassociate eating with celebration. Socialise, mingle, visit your friends and relatives but separate the eating part of it. Stick to your usual routine of eating and same quantities. A polite bite of sweet occasionally is fine, but definitely no gorging.

3. Keep a realistic goal. There is definitely going to be some extra eating during this week. So if you are on a weight losing diet plan, then focus on maintaining the weight now and not reducing. If you have the will power to stay away from over indulgence totally, kudos to you. If not, keeping a realistic goal will give you self-control and spare you a binging trip. If you are going to eat the sweets, do so sparingly so that you will not increase your weight, if not reduce.

4. Give away those extra calories. Do not keep trays or baskets of gifted calories at home if you are a weight watcher. Gift it away to someone less fortunate or more in need of food. It makes you feel good hearted and brings a smile on a hungry face. Diwali is a season for sharing and not selfish indulgence.

5. Do not make a meal out of the special foods prepared for the occasion. That’s where the bonus calories add up. In fact, when you know there is imminent eating later in the day then you should be extra watchful as to what you eat the rest of the day – consciously eat more vegetables and fruits; deliberately reduce oil in cooking – small considerations like these will stop you from going overboard with calories.

6. Exercise! Last but not the least, exercise. If you are not doing so now, then this is the time to start. If you are already on an exercise regimen, then do not stop it. Nothing can be as harmful to your body, than stopping your exercise during the festive season. The calories that should have got burned with exercise also pile up when you stop exercise and add to the calories from overeating – together they will give you a quick weight increase.

These are simple rules to follow, but will help tremendously in keeping your weight under control. So, go out and enjoy the Diwali celebrations with a sensible attitude towards food and eating.

Happy Diwali!

Parvathy R Krishnan

The author is a trained Nutrition & Dietetics expert with over 20 years’ of experience in hospitals like Vijaya Hospital in Chennai and the Armed Forces Hospital and New Mowasat Hospitals in Kuwait. She is presently a member of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India. Parvathy blogs at

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