Diwali Eating Checklist: What To Eat And Do In The Countdown To The Festival

The festive season is always looked forward to with joy and thoughts of celebration with family and friends! But also with a wee bit of trepidation. I’m sure nutritionists all over are visited dutifully to be asked one question “How do I manage my eating while I’m out almost daily?”

Firstly, accept that we do not have Hermione Granger’s magic wand. Even the most clever eaters will falter when the palate and food desires clash with beautifully dressed tables loaded with the most mouth watering eats! The food has a goal too, to make you eat, so you are up against the best.

But do not fret. Being judicious in your approach towards the festival season as a whole will take you a long way in being able to control your appetite and your weight! So relax and read on.

  • Everyone today is talking of intermittent fasting. It may not make it to the crown of a lifestyle practice for all but everyone can use this principle during the festive season to better regulate their weighing scales! Apply the 14 hour fasting principle. So essentially if you have last eaten at 12 pm, you will eat next at 12 noon or 2 pm. Waiting it out to 2 pm will give you greater advantage.

But hydrate yourself well, you can have black coffee, lemon juice, green tea and the like but nothing with calories.

What if you cannot last out until 14 hours and 12 hours is all you could manage? There’s a solution, last the remaining 2 hours with fat. A cup of black coffee with 2-3 tsps butter, or for those who like consuming ghee, just 2 tsps of plain ghee will last you another 2 hours.

Even after you have broken your fast, consume a meal where ½ your plate has veggies, a quarter has carbs and the remaining quarter has protein. It’s important to have a well balanced and fulfilling meal at the end of the fast.

  • Chalk out 2 days of the week where you do not have an invite or a “do”. Make these 2 days your “special days”. In your mind see these days as days of rest and detox. Drink a lot of lemon water, consume a larger portion of fruit, infact replace a meal with a plate of fruit and a vegetable juice. You could also eat nuts, drink buttermilk and in the night end with a protein meal. Soups are welcome, not too much salad, a small portion is opportune. Consume more of the lightly sautéed or cooked vegetables.

  • Try and maintain your activity at 10000 steps. All smart phones have smart apps that will record your steps for the day, keep it counting. Walk while you talk. No car to run quick errands close to home. Take the stairs. Leave no opportunity to stay up and stay walking.

  • Sleep maybe short. So make sure whatever hours you sleep, you sleep well. Meditative music and a short 5 minute hot foot soak with Epsom salt and lavender oil may do the trick for those light sleepers or for those who have trouble sleeping quickly!

A quick self foot massage with olive oil and a pair of cotton socks must be your sleep armour.

  • At parties, do not keep eating in bits, which is the tendency generally. Eat in chunk. A quarter plate at a time with a gap of an hour or an hour and a half in between.

Knowing a party generally lasts 5-6 hours (sometimes more), give yourself about 4 quarter plates an evening, less if you aren’t tempted. This practice will help food digest and metabolize better.

  • Your chances of maintaining your weight are drastically higher when your digestion is smooth and comfortable. When you eat heavy and different from your routine, chances are that you may get constipated or be encountered with even the reverse.

So for the week of the festive season, consume 2 tsps virgin olive oil mixed with the juice of 1 lemon before bed at night.

Festivities are ceremonious, are symbolic of our zest for life. So enjoy the company of friend and family, sample the choicest of foods served with love and always remember that your scales can reverse, not the time.

So just incase you do falter, do not fret. Day 1 after the festivities, train your body to get back to routine and clean eating. The faster you do that, the faster you will shed the excess weight you may have gained, “new kgs” are the easiest to lose!


Anupama Menon is a nutritionist and food coach based in Mumbai and Bangalore offering sustainable nutritional plans with 3 chEATs per week. To book an appointment call 9902060225 or follow her on Instagram @iamanupamamenon


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