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Travelling can cause weight gain just as any other unplanned event in our life can, for eg, a family wedding or as simple as a late night movie for which you did not plan ahead. Failing to plan is planning to fail after all. Hence, travelling or any other real life situations that we often go through do not lead to weight gain but our approach towards it does. We need to plan for our food, exercise etc. before hand just as we plan other things in our itinerary. If that is done, travelling will only be a happy experience without the stress of gaining any weight.

IN-FLIGHT MEALS

During a flight journey because of reduced air pressure, our bodily function slows down and digestion gets sluggish. Keeping this in mind, one should follow these few points as mentioned below-

1. Do not leave home empty stomach. Have your meal just before you leave from home.

2. Carry some portable snacks like nuts/ dry fruits/ fresh fruit that can help you through the long check-ins and also upon arrival

3. For short duration flights, the in-flight meals can be brought from home (roti roll, sandwich, poha). For longer flights, you can choose to have one homemade meal (brought from home) and one in-flight meal. For the in-flight meal, choose hot meals (like rice & beans) instead of packed juices, muffins, cakes etc.

HYDRATION

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that
mild dehydration can cause metabolism to slow down by as much as 3 percent, causing weight gain. Hence, its important to stay well hydrated during travels as water also helps in digestion and flushing out of toxins from the body.

EXERCISES TO DO

I always recommend people to do Surya Namaskars while they are travelling as it helps to work out the entire body, without the need of any special equipment. Also, since it gets done within a short span of time (10-15 minutes) and can be done in the hotel room itself, it makes for a great choice for people looking out to fit in some exercise while they are traveling.

TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE ORDERING FOOD ON A JOURNEY

1. Always do a bit of research about good eating places before leaving for your holiday. Apps like zomato and trip advisor can help you to narrow down few options before you actually reach your destination.

2. Look out for places that serve fresh, local food.

3. Always order 2 items max for a main meal, for eg- warm salad and pizza if you are traveling in Europe OR Rice & curry for a holiday anywhere in Asia

4. Order dessert as a separate meal and avoid having it post a big meal

5. Instead of looking out for calories, look out for freshness in the meal- how fresh are the ingredients, how freshly is it prepared/ cooked etc. Needless to say, avoid pre-packaged sandwiches etc. that are prepared long time back and kept on the shelves

DRINKING DURING HOLIDAYS

Stay hydrated and take it slow

To pace yourself, have no more than one standard drink per hour, with water as “drink spacers” between your alcoholic drinks.

Note that for every person, no matter his size, it takes about 1 hour for the liver to completely digest one standard drink. Sipping on your drink slow and staying well hydrated, keeps the liver from being overloaded; it enables a person to maintain a safe blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and achieve the social relaxation effect that most people desire.

Unsure about the right diet for you? Are you torn between what you’d love to eat and what you hear is unhealthy for you? Sign up for a one-on-one nutrition & diet consultation with leading Mumbai dietitian Munmun Ganeriwal

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NOTE: The following article was written by me and was published by leading Indian newspapers like Economic Times, The Indian Express, Hindustan Times and Economic Times amongst many others on 18-19th Oct 2017.

Overeating, over drinking or going completely sleepless creates toxicity for your mind and body, and hence the need to fall back upon a ‘detox diet post Diwali. Staying in balance during the festivities will ensure you don’t end up needing a post Diwali detox.

Few tips to remain in shape during the festive season are-

* Start your day with a teaspoon of gulkand (or a teaspoonful of gulkand mixed in milk). Rich in probiotic bacteria, gulkand works at enhancing your gut flora and thereby curb acidity, constipation, bloating and make your belly look flatter & thinner.

* In the middle of all the preparations, cooking, shopping and socialising, make time to eat. Starving during the day and binging at dinner represents the classical fasting and feasting behaviour. Eating every 2-3 hours will make sure you don’t end up feeling bloated, acidic, dull or tired. In short, you don’t end up needing a post-Diwali detox.

*Sweets: Stick to the traditional homemade sweets, laddoos, halwas, barfis etc. Made at home the traditional way, they are nutrient dense and regulate our blood sugars. Result of which is that you don’t crave and reach out for a bar of chocolate loaded with harmful preservatives and commercial sugars.

* Anything in excess is a bad idea. Distribute the sweets among your domestic help, watchman, driver and other people around you. This will reduce your chances of over indulging in them.

* Fried Food: Since the homemade namkeens like mathris, wadas, chaklis etc are deep fried in ghee or filtered oils like groundnut, sesame etc., they provide for essential fatty acids which work at lowering the overall GI of the food item. Their blood sugar regulating effect will keep you satiated so that you do not end up binge eating later.

* Avoid the packaged/processed ones since they are loaded with trans fats and high GI carbs, both of which together make for a lethal combination.

* Alcohol: If drinking till the crack of dawn makes your Diwali night come alive, ensure you sip on it slow. “Mindful drinking” will ensure you do not end up over drinking. Do not mix your drinks.

* Also ensure that you are not on an empty stomach. Eat a good wholesome meal before leaving home like poha, upma, cheese toast, khakra ghee etc.

* Eat deep fried snacks/starters or good fats like cheese along with your drinks as it will help to form a thin lining in the stomach to digest the alcohol easily and prevent you from having a bad hangover the next day.

* Drink enough water throughout the day and between your drinks.

Wish you a happy and colourful Diwali!

Image credit: Google images

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