The biggest cultural festival of Bengal and bengalis is here. The festive mood, the spirit, the energy has reached a feverish pitch not only in the state but the world over where “poojo” is celebrated with much passion and grandeur. Especially, in Bengal, the mood is palpable where Durga pooja is not only a religious festival, it’s also a cultural and social festival where family and friends get together, spread positivity, revel in the spirit of dhak and dhunuchi, and spread joy all around. And of course, feasting is a major part of the festivities. In fact, pandal hopping and feasting are two inseparable factors of Durga pooja. The state transforms itself into a food lover’s paradise with pandals serving delicious bhog comprising of khichuri, payesh, labra, mishti, and so much more. In fact, the best time to visit West Bengal is during Durga Puja to experience the rich culture, heritage, frenzy, and of course great food of the state. Bhog is served at pandals with the food having all the elements of celebration, and in the evening, it’s all about having more food from the stalls lined out on the street. The variety of food that you can dig into during pooja is unlimited – from puchkas, biryani, to Chinese food stalls selling chowmein and chop suey, you can get just about everything in stalls lined all along the streets. It’s also a time when we entirely let the guards down because it’s time of celebration and there’s nothing else except celebration and feasting on the mind. Worried about gaining weight during Durga pooja? Don’t fret, because there are clever ways to avoid putting on excess weight without dampening the spirit of this amazing festival. We list out the problem areas and how to tackle them one by one.
1. Late Night Pandal Hopping: As mentioned before, pandal hopping is a part of the social fabric and culture of the city, but it’s also a time when we let down guards and indulge in a lot of food, and that too at odd times. Most of the popular food served out there on the streets can be considered junk food and that’s why late-night pandal hopping can lead to weight gain. But you can actually turn things around, visit as many pandals as possible, and do so by foot every single time. You will be burn off all the excess calories just by being on your feet and moving as much as possible. Also, do remember to carry a water bottle to avoid reaching out for fizzy and carbonated drinks (high on sugar and empty calories).
2. Overindulgence in Decadent Sweets: Rosgolla, chom chom, ladoo, sandesh – the list of mouth-watering sweet treats during pooja is endless. Well, here’s a trick that you can implement where you can enjoy the treats without worrying about them expanding your waistline. Eat the desserts slowly, in fact, stop at three bites. Take break between each bite, and you will notice that by the third bite, you are done with the dessert and would most likely push the plate away. If you are out with friends and family, you can share the treats with them
3. Overconsumption of soda, mojito, mocktails, ice cream, soft drinks, carbonated sugary beverages to go along with all the mouth-watering delicacies and also to replenish energy during long hours of pandal hopping. Please stay away as much as you can from these sugar shots (bad for your waistline) and try to quench your thirst with plain water, coconut water, lassi, etc. to prevent dehydration and quench thirst.
4. Five-day Festivity Extends into a 3-Month “Time-Off” From Diet and Healthy Eating: Durga pooja is considered the beginning of festivities, with Dusshera, Diwali, Christmas, and New Year coming in quick succession, most people tend to take extended “time off” from their diet and weight loss program, and wait till New Year’s to kickstart their weight loss journey once again. Needless to mention, we just add “weight loss” to every new year’s resolution year after year. But please don’t wait till all festivities are over or for the New year to get back on the diet, you can begin all over again. Enjoy the 5 days with full fervour, indulge in the awesome food, and get back right on track once the carnival settles down. Consider each meal as an opportunity to lose weight.
Summing up, it’s okay to celebrate this festival in its glory, enjoy the delicious delicacies, and let your guards down for these five days, but make a promise to yourself to jump back on track once the festivities come to a close. Also, if you are struggling to lose weight, try Rati Beauty diet to lose excess pounds as well as inches off your waist.