One of the biggest issues of watching the sugar levels for Indians is the constant festivals. And in that, the Dusshera-Diwali time happens to be the worst. Ten days of Navratri, and then the few days of Diwali celebrations can undoubtedly play havoc with your blood sugar levels. While most of the time we can say no, sometimes doing it consistently, especially when all around are indulging, becomes a little tough. So, should one keep away entirely from sweets or is it allowed to cheat once in a while? How to get through the festive season, ensuring that your sweet tooth is also satisfied and yet your sugar levels are maintained healthily? Here are a few tips and tricks to help you along.
Adopt Sugar-free sweets
It has been quite a few years since most major mithaiwallas have started offering sugar-free sweets. These taste just like the sugary ones, but are healthier and will not play havoc with your blood sugar levels. In any case, these are just to satisfy those sugar cravings, and one should not overindulge in any case. And once in a while, you may have a sweet otherwise as well, as long as you are aware and in control of your diabetes.
Eat wholesome and healthy meals
Make sure that you do not skip any meals and also eat wholesome, healthy and nutritious food when you have your meals. Usually, during festivals, we find that sweets are easily available at home. When you skip meals or do not eat it in time, the sugar cravings take over, and that is when there are chances of one reaching out for that sweet box. So, eating well on time is one good way to avoid eating sweets. Ensure to have a protein-rich diet as that can help a lot in controlling the sugar cravings. Avoid meat and eat fish, if non-vegetarian is preferred.
Just because it is the festival season, one should not give up on the regular exercise schedule. This is another mistake which most people do. The body is used to that regular exercise, and also, it helps in proper digestion, getting adequate sleep and proper metabolism levels being maintained. Thus, it helps in keeping the normal blood sugar levels. During festival times, you feel like cheating not just by eating sweets, but also by skipping the regular exercise and that just make it a double whammy of sorts, making it worse. Fibre-rich and whole grain foods, oats, eggs, etc. can help with this. Also, few spices like cinnamon, when included in food or even tea, can help with this.
How does one avoid the temptation of reaching out for the sweets? There is a two-pronged strategy for this. One is to keep yourself busy with activities the regular ones as well as the extra ones for the festivals. For example, Dusshera and Diwali may bring in the need for cleaning, changing the furniture setup, curtains, etc. You may have some shopping on hand as well. There could be preparations for some pooja. You may get the diyas and decorate them, take out the lighting and make arrangements for that, look up some wonderful rangoli designs, and so on. Keep yourself busy and eat regular meals on time, and you may find that you do not feel the cravings for that sugary stuff.
The second method is to avoid temptation altogether by storing the sweets away from the normal view in containers and cupboards. If you don’t see, you can resist the temptation to a certain extent. And if you keep yourself busy, you won’t remember that there are sweets at home!
There are many natural sugars like coconut palm syrup, date palm syrup, etc. available in various parts of India. If you are preparing sweets at home, you may try out a few recipes with these healthier options. Even organic honey is a better substitute than sugar. Also, use skimmed milk instead of the regular one with the fat. Using jaggery in place of sugar is also a healthier option.
Apart from all the above options, make sure that you take your medications on time and also stay well hydrated. A little care and some small conscious changes can ensure that we can have a hearty, healthy festive season without having to cheat too much or control out sweet tooth too much as well. It is not tough to find that balance and ensure that blood sugar levels are checked as well.