Dr Chiranjiv Chhabra, leading dermatologist, SkinAlive Clinics
During Diwali, many of us lose control over our strictly held diets. Our diet charts go berserk as we indulge in delicacies and splurge on the best sweets and dishes on offer. Be it rich sugar coated temptations or oil-laden deep fried salty delicacies, it is difficult to say no. The culinary list of ‘do-not-eat’ items is incredibly long and difficult to avoid in this festival time. Barfis, laddoos, sohan halwas, mysore paks or fried salty beckons… they all are there to attract you. Not to mention the festive spreads you encounter in every home you visit this season and the drinking sessions that you will indulge in with your friends. All this eating and drinking is certain to take a toll on your system.
With all the different kinds of foods consumed and drinks gulped, our bodies will need a good cleanse and detox once the festive season is over.
Toxins are poisonous substances that are chemically unstable in the body. They are an accumulation of normal body by-products that haven’t been eliminated. We can divide toxins into two forms: endogenous toxins and exogenous toxins. Endogenous toxins are waste products our body creates in the process of normal functions. They will pose a danger to the system if they are not eliminated. Uric acid, a by-product of protein metabolism, is one example. Exogenous toxins are those not normally found in the body such as environmental pollutants (tobacco, exhaust fumes), alcohol, food additives, chemicals, drugs, heavy metals and pesticides.
It is important to detoxify your body before the festive season, so that it can take a little overindulgence without guilt or ill effects. Detox after Diwali too: It acts like a wonderful cleanser.
Drinking about eight glasses of water is a great and simple way to flush out any acidic toxins. Before the festive season starts, fruits, juices, raw or boiled vegetables, soups, etc can even help you shed a few kilos. Supplement your dietary regimen with yoga, aerobics and meditation. In this case, even if you put on a few pounds during festive eating, you will not go crazy at the sight in the mirror.
Start taking care of your skin. Get a face massage to improve blood circulation, make sure you are using your moisturizers and sunscreens regularly. By eating so many fried & fatty products you might see the ill effects on your skin in form of pimples. Using natural scrubs like moong daal and spreads like dahi, honey and banana pulp can work wonders for your skin. So can a session of a medifacial at a dermatology clinic or a treatment with laser rejuvenation or chemical peels.
Visiting friends and relatives is a must during Diwali, and at every home, you will be offered something delicious. Try to do some deft calorie counting – and refrain from reaching out for that one more laddoo. Sweets are an important part of Diwali. Go low-cal and easy on oil; use polyunsaturated fats. Opt for the healthy alternatives. Use skimmed low-fat milk in sweet dishes. Make use of corn, soya or olive oil rather than saturated fats, such as ghee.
Reduce the amount of cream, butter, sweets, ice creams, etc. Eat products make from low-fat milk, cottage cheese and yogurt. Avoid eating biscuits, chocolates and cakes. Eating more fresh fruits, vegetables and pulses, which contain protein. Include cereals, bran, chapatis etc., in your diet.
Foods during Diwali are mainly deep-fried disasters. It is the mindless eating that is detrimental to health. So be clear about your portion and the foods you consume in a day.
However, once the festival season is over, you will be left counting the excess calories you consumed and the harm the spicy, salty and deep fried food did to your body and skin. Here are some ways to detoxify yourself:
Include a glass of lemon water in your daily diet for some days. Rich in citric acid, lemon helps the body cleanse itself up of the toxins accumulated over time. Every day, make sure you drink a glassful of lemon water and see the effect on your body. Your body and skin will return to its normal self. Citric acid will also help break down fat molecules.
Go on a fruit diet:
Once the festival time is over and you are done counting the kilos you gained, give yourself three days without a normal diet. Rather go on a fruit diet. Rich in vitamins and minerals, and fibre content, the fruits will help you cleanse your system.
Indulge in heavy exercise:
Drink at least eight glasses of water every day and get into some heavy exercise. This will help you flush out the toxins as well as the pollutants through sweat. It will also help increase your blood circulation.
Exfoliate and pamper the skin:
To undo the ill effects of the rich diet on your skin, take to exfoliating daily for 4-5 days. Use a scrub with fine particles so as not to cause harm to the skin but scrub daily and use hydrating moisturizers and face packs to get back the nourishment.