It’s that time of the year all over again! The weather has changed and the lights have come out, all that hard work has paid off and the dress code is perfect for showing off all that downtime spent working out. The smooth abs, the slim waists, the lean biceps, all come out. But the festival of lights, usually inundated with loud crackers and a lot of sweets, can be safe and healthy too. From the card parties which flag off the season, to the endless array of snacks and sweets we eat, Diwali is definitely the time when we tend to lose track of our eating, drinking, and fitness habits. So here we have it, the seven absolutely definitive ways to staying fit this Diwali!

- As a rule of thumb, you should always avoid binging on sweets, fried snacks, and other foods rich in monosaturated fats and sodium/sugar. Disassociate eating with celebration. Socialise, mingle, visit your friends and relatives but separate the eating part of it. Stick to your usual routine of eating and same quantities. A lot of substitutions are available but mostly it is important to practice portion-control – remember that nuts are better options but not the roasted-salted variety.

- More than avoiding binging on the mithai, the increase in food adulteration around Diwali is what will hurt your health more. There is reportedly an increase in misbranded, substandard and unsafe sweets during Diwali.To keep yourself safe, remember to check the manufacturing and expiry dates, along with license number of packed products, and always get a bill against your purchase.

- Stay hydrated – again, this is a rule one should never let go of. Not only does water flush out the toxins of the body, it also helps during hangovers for after those late nights.

- Drink in moderation: Although Diwali signifies celebration and enjoyment, it is better if you limit your alcohol intake. Excess alcohol not only causes dehydration, gives you a hangover and makes you look tired, but it also increases the risk of accidents on the auspicious day.

- Start your day with a light, clean meal for breakfast because as the day progresses and you meet friends and relatives, keeping your calorie intake in check can get tricky!

- Instead of having coffee and tea, the more sensible choices would be lemon water, fresh juice, or jaljeera. It will help you avoid calorie uptake. While drinking alcohol, try to avoid fizzy drinks that are high on sugar and additives – instead try tonic water or plain soda.

- Finally, you must try and stick to a basic cardio routine. It’s imperative that all excessive calories are burnt off in the right amount of time before they cause health concerns.

It’s no secret that fitness is an important part of life and one should never compromise on health for anything, but this Diwali it’s okay to take things easy. The tips are simple and can help you get through even the heaviest, richest of sweets.

Stay fit, stay safe!

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