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Nutritionist & Dietician Dr Shweta Mahadik Advises A Post-Holiday Detox To Get Your Weight Loss Back On Track

1. Which holiday habits lead to actual weight gain during the festive/party season?

Several studies indicate that the holiday season could be crucial for gaining weight, beginning from the month of November to the second or third week of January. The causes that could describe a weight gain during the holiday period are diverse. Usually, people have a more carefree lifestyle at this time, special meals are served at events, and social meetings can be more regular, exposing them to conditions that raise food intakes like a greater variety of foods, calorie-dense foods which cause loss of weight regulation, contributing to Hyperphagia (excessive eating) and Obesity.

2. What are some foods/food groups one should be mindful of eating or try avoiding if they’re on a weight loss meal plan?

Foods like French fries, candy bars, sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, cola, pastries, cookies and cakes, some types of alcohol (especially beer) all are packed with unhealthy ingredients like added sugar, added oils and refined flour. Intake of refined carbs foods result in surplus energy intake and decreased energy expenditure which leads to positive energy balance and energy storage. Excess energy storage manifests as fat accumulation, weight gain, and obesity.

3. How does a sudden change in eating habits affect the body? Is the weight gain short or long-term?

Some studies found that there are variations between specific foods or beverages and long-term weight gain, telling that dietary quality (the types of foods and beverages consumed) influences dietary quantity (total calories). Sudden changes in the consumption of food were positively associated with weight gain because as calorie-rich food it lacks in micronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, or amino acids, and fibre.

4. How can you prepare your body for a post-holiday season binge detox?

After indulging in refined carbs, treat your body to have some complex carbohydrates like whole grain cereals, pulses, fruits, and vegetables in your diet. Include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day as they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants. Some studies found that increased intake of dietary fibre improves kidney function through the alteration of bacteria in the Liver to enhance excretion and aid in detoxification.

5. What’s a model meal plan one can follow during the detox?

Early morningGreen tea/ Lemon teaHerbal tea/ black tea Break fast150ml vegetable fruit smoothie 150ml yoghurt (dahi) fruit smoothieMid-morning1 fruit + 5 almonds + 2 walnuts + 2 pistachios1 handful of trail mix (unsalted)(Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, muskmelon seeds) or 2 boiled egg whites LunchBig bowl salad (carrot/cabbage/kale/cucumber/tomato)Vegetable dal khichdi/brown riceButtermilkMix vegetable soup (pumpkin/ bottle gourd/ tomato/ spinach/ mushroom)Vegetable daliya khichdiCurdSnackLime water1 bowl boiled sprouts Chia seeds water1 bowl flakes- wheat/multigrain/makhanas/puffed Jowar/puffed BajraDinnerLemon coriander soupSprout vegetable stew

6. Can intermittent fasting help with post-holiday detox and weight loss?

Many people think of intermittent fasting purely as a means to an end when it comes to weight loss, but in fact, like every other weight loss technique, it’s just a special way of limiting your calorie intake. Some people that may be predisposed to success with such a technique because it provides very strict parameters to follow and it may work with their lifestyles, while it may be less appealing to others and sound absolutely unbearable to some.

7. Do Detox drinks and juices help?

There is an irrational and unscientific definition of detox drinks. Detox drinks are low in calories made up of fruits, veggies, herbs, and water. Your body will eventually begin building up chemicals called Ketones when you starve your body. This results in nausea, fatigue, light-headedness, and irritability.

8. What are some lifestyle habits that can help facilitate weight loss and detox?

– Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as it is high in fibre. Vegetables and fruits that are deeply coloured are especially recommended as they have the highest micronutrient content. – Choose whole-grain, high-fibre foods. These include fruits, vegetables, and legumes (beans). Good whole grain choices include whole Wheat, Oats/ Oatmeal, Rye, Barley, Brown Rice, millets and more – Consume good amounts of protein like skim milk & its products, cow’s milk, legumes, pulses, whole grains, Egg whites, poultry, and fish.

9. How can one drink alcoholic drinks mindfully during the party season to avoid doing too much damage to their weight loss plan?

These include: – Set limits for yourself and stick to them – For women, up to one drink per day, and for men, two drinks per day – Start with non-alcoholic drinks and alternate with alcoholic drinks – Drink slowly – Eat before or while you are drinking – If you participate in rounds of drinks, try to include some non-alcoholic drinks – Choose a low-alcohol beer and/or wine – Keep track of how much you are drinking and make sure you stay in control, otherwise, you can be at risk of harming yourself

10. Which cocktails and mocktails are lower in calories than others?

Mocktails are a non-alcoholic drink consisting of a mixture of fruit juices or other soft drinks. – Strawberry-Banana: Blend 1 Pear + 1 cup Strawberries, + 1/2 cup each low-fat Vanilla yoghurt + 2 teaspoons Honey + a pinch of Cinnamon + 1 cup ice – Triple-Berry: Blend 2 cups mixed Blackberries, Strawberries, and Raspberries + 1 cup low fat milk + ice – Pomegranate-Cherry: Blend 1 cup frozen Cherries + 3/4 cup Pomegranate juice + 1/2 cup plain yoghurt, + 1teaspoon Honey + 1 teaspoon Lemon juice + a pinch each of Cinnamon and salt, + 1 cups ice

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