It is time to prime yourself for the incoming sugar rush of the festive season. But when it comes to getting your body in shape for Diwali, it doesn’t have to be a radical process. Despite a kaju katli averaging about 100 calories per piece, and containing nearly one-third of the recommended added sugar intake per day, there are ways to eat them, and their likes, without derailing your fitness routine.
It is important to remember that sugar-heavy products also come with a high diminishing margin of utility. Each bite is less satiating than the previous one, and the craving for more is triggered by the brain. There are some tips to control this. For example, replace sweets with fruits. That way, you substitute added sugars with naturally occurring sugars found in fruits. If you’re doing this, then remember that the more the quantity of water in a fruit, the less the sugar it has. On the other hand, you could just have a large glass of water every time you feel a craving. On top of this, you could also make sure that you are eating enough fibre through the day for gut health. You should also remember that no two bodies are alike, and different people respond differently to exercise and diet. So make sure to work with the signals your body gives you.
The best way to maintain your fitness though, is by continuing to follow your exercise routine while spreading your cheat meals over the course of a few days. This is surely easier than developing a resistance to family and friends shoving mitthai boxes towards you. Given that gyms could be closed and one will probably be shamed for any show of iron-willed fitness discipline, here are some (calorie-based) workouts that you can try out now and squeeze into the festive week in late October.
30-minute full body cardio with no equipment: This video by Nobadaddition is a no equipment and no exercise-repeat sequence, fun and very doable even as an active rest day workout. Working on a 40 seconds on and 20 seconds off formula, it has some low-to-high intensity moves that will keep you guessing and all the muscle groups working. It claims to burn 500 calories.
30-minute HIIT with no equipment: There’s an instant connect with workout videos for home which are also shot at home. But this one from TIFF x DAN has a lot more going for it apart from just that. While the first workout on this list has more exercises on the feet, this one is slightly biased towards high-plank variations. But it also adds little tweaks, like sumo squat on toes or walkouts plus plank T-rotations. This makes the half an hour worthwhile in terms of learning new moves which you can then add to your gym routine.
45-minute power vinyasa flow: Most yoga videos might not end up giving you a burn and an activation of muscles and a great stretch but this one does. Briahny Smith’s yoga workout is well-paced and malleable enough for beginners, yet challenging enough for seasoned yoga practitioners. It has some hops and holds, and activation exercises that will make you feel upbeat and healthy as you navigate the holidays.
8 x 30-second sprints anywhere: Do not forget to warm up for this one. Also remember to get 90 seconds of rest time between the sprints. This workout claims to burn around 200-300 calories, but a routine like this will make sure you are burning more calories through the day. It’s a quick but challenging workout and for that, there is a follow-along video by growwithjo. Even doing half this workout after a low-intensity routine is enough. It can be done on a natural surface or on a treadmill. She does it on a treadmill using the following settings: A speed of 14-16, and an incline of 0.5-3.0.
30-minute full body dumbbell strength workout: For those who have dumbbells, this is the workout you need to squeeze into the off days between holidays. From the super cool renegade row, to front squats, and loaded tuck crunches, Juice & Toya offer an all-round workout with lots of modifications for those who may find some of the moves tough. The channel is hugely popular for the smart workouts, and the instructors always include warm-ups and cool-downs. You’re completely covered with this one.
Pulasta Dhar is a football commentator and writer.