September in India can only mean one thing—it’s festive season. The journey from Rakshabandhan to Diwali and finally wedding season is one peppered with sweets and savouries of every shape and size. So, really, how does one manage to stay fit in the face of temptation? The answer lies in a steely resolve and some expert guidance. We spoke to celebrity experts – fitness trainer Namrata Purohit and nutritionist Suman Agarwal—who share how one can maintain their fitness through the celebrations.
How much of your fitness is exercise vis-a-vis diet?
Namrata Purohit (NP): Fitness is about striking balance between exercise, nutrition and sleep. In order to lose weight, what you eat plays an important role; to get toned, exercise is imperative. However, remember not to fall for any fad or drastic diets. Instead, work sustainably, eat well (not less) and train smart.
The routine to follow before wedding season
NP: This is subjective as every body type and goal is different. However, generally speaking, a mix of cardiovascular exercises and strength-based exercises such as pilates or EMS (Electro Muscle Stimulation) is a great combination and can help everyone achieve their goals. The intensity required would vary from person to person.
Easy at-home exercises that can be done without equipment
NP: For cardio at home, you can skip, do a tabata routine or do high intensity interval training and include exercises like high knees, jumping jacks and plank jacks amongst others. Mat-based pilates and body weight training is also an excellent option to build strength, flexibility and improve muscle tone.
Ideal meal plan to be followed
Suman Agarwal (SA): Diets differ as per weight, height, gender and goals. Largely, the rule of thumb is to keep the breakfast healthy and filling so you don’t binge later in the day. Start your day with a beverage of your choice—hot water and lemon, black tea or coffee or even coconut water. Ensure that 60-70% of your daily calorie requirement is filled up by lunch time. Breakfast should be rich in protein with foods like eggs, curd and paneer. If you’re hungry between breakfast and lunch, you could opt for a whole, water-based fruit.
Recommendations for lunch
SA: In order to avoid hunger pangs, have lunch within four hours of breakfast. Lunch should be the biggest meal of the day and should be a combination of protein, carbs, fat and fibre. Opt for foods like paneer, tofu and chicken. Or it could be a basic Indian meal consisting of roti-dal-vegetable and curd.
Recommendations for the latter part of the day
SA: If your lunch is at 1:00 pm, an ideal time for an evening snack is between 4:00 pm- 5:00 pm. If you’re hungry before this, opt for a herbal tea and nuts. Your evening snack is important as it will ensure you don’t overeat during dinner and can consist of options like quinoa, kurmura, makhana and amaranth crackers. Sometimes, I have a smoothie made of almond milk, protein powder, blueberries, bananas and flax seed powder. Dinner can be between 8:00 pm – 9: 00 pm so you maintain 12-hour fasting. You can choose between dishes like paneer paratha, grilled chicken or one-pot meals like chicken noodle soup, fish and vegetables, curd rice or khichdi.
Balancing alcohol consumption
SA: Eat before stepping out. Intersperse your drink with water or a plain soda. This way, the alcohol will not hit and you will also consume in limits.
NP: I recommend eating a little before going out so you don’t crave everything you see. Honestly, it’s ok to binge sometimes; when you do, don’t feel guilty. Instead, reward yourself and get back on track the next day. The worst thing to do is stress!
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