The aroma of food wafting right under my nose and the knowledge that the food is waiting…to be devoured. My name’s written on it. It’s my right. My soul food. On vacation, the pure bliss of doing nothing. By the beach playing scrabble with a book I’ve been dying to read. In the distance I can hear my Y chromosome wrestling with the kids. We have a simple rule. We never buy a ticket for our routine on holiday, it parties by itself at home. Works for all of us.
10 days later as much as we would have liked to bring the holiday routine home with us, we have no choice. We wake up to our days of bustle, chart meetings, ferry kids, fight, make up and at night reminisce over the holiday photos being uploaded on social media. In the quiet of the moonlight, I think of the amount of food my body has consumed. While I was holidaying my body was on overdrive burning (what it could) and storing (what it couldn’t burn) all the excess!! And unconsciously my hand reaches out to those extra bulges that have made home in my tummy, happy, satisfied, sated. My friend who has a significant funny bone always says “Holiday food has no calories”, sadly she’s mistaken!! Sigh!! Most of us have similar stories!
So when the going gets tough, kick it on the hind side and move on!! Exactly! There are remedies always, you just have to be smart enough to adapt them!
1. Size Down Them Portions
You are overloaded, time to download. Cut all your portions down by a quarter for the next 1-2 weeks.
Your tummy just got used to larger portions over the last fortnight, it will take time for your appetite to crunch. Do not feed your hunger, for if you do, your appetite will never see a low. So while you need to eat, you do not need to overeat.
2. Say Hello To The Weighing Scale
Bring down the weighing scale from the attic, rub off the dust so that your eyes don’t have to squint to see your early morning empty stomach weight zooming down. Keep this check going until you’re back to your pre-holiday weight. This daily activity will keep you conscious.
3. No Carbs At Night!
Stay off carbohydrates at night for the next two weeks. Non-vegetarians can put that smile back on their face with lean meat/fish/egg servings while vegetarians can choose between dal chillas/dry or gravy legumes/tofu/paneer. Keep the hunger at bay with fresh salads and soups.
4. Increase The Fluids
Three times a day, have a refreshing portion of parsley & fennel tea by steeping 1/2 tsp dry parsley and 1/2 tsp fennel seeds in a hot cup of water for a minute. Strain and enjoy!!
Two vegetable juices a day, can be made of any veggies (when I say veggies I mean the literal meaning in the dictionary, you do not want to mistake it for fruit!) – green leaves, carrots, beet, bottle gourd and if your palette is inhuman, even karela!
5. Sweat It Out
Walk early morning with periodic two-minute bouts of a jog/sprint on an empty stomach for 30 minutes. A 30 minute exercise span must have 2 sets of the sprint/jog. No conditions attached, if 10 minutes is all you have, so be it. Just make sure it happens, 10 minutes/30 minutes/1 hour, anything is better than nothing.
6. Give Yourself A Reward
Binge once midweek, as much as you want of whatever you want. This is quintessential. If such essentials don’t exist the zest in life won’t either!
Weight generally piles on over the years, and it isn’t a constant increase. It’s periodic. You generally put on weight during those 2-3 holidays/vacations in the year which never comes off. Finally that excess weight ferments in your extremities, cements itself, making a potential increase in weight and fat in the coming years an easy possibility!
Hence it’s important to lose that seemingly harmless, yet potentially risky even slight increase in weight after a holiday or even a festival season!