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Diwali indulgence won’t make you fat

Happy Diwali!

Shashank Mehta
2 min read • 
22 October 2022

Hey there, I’m Shashank, founder of The Whole Truth and co-founder of Truth Be Told (TBT). And I have a feeling that you have a feeling that we TBT folks are no fun! That we’re those boring know-it-alls talking calorie-counting and body-hacking when everyone else is eyeing that piece of cake. I also have a feeling you might be right, but only partially 🙂 

I mean, c’mon. It’s Diwali weekend. There’s a slight nip in the air. The fairy lights and diyas are out. So are the Jalebis and the Gujiyas. Even the staunchest of us can’t resist giving in to that festive feeling. And I firmly believe we shouldn’t even try. 

Why? Michael Pollan says it best:

We forget that, historically, people have eaten for a great many reasons other than biological necessity. Food is also about pleasure, about community, about family and spirituality, about our relationship to the natural world, and about expressing our identity. As long as humans have been taking meals together, eating has been as much about culture as it has been about biology.

I wholeheartedly agree. I love food. And I love how it brings everyone together. These few days of Diwali (plus Christmas, for me, I admit) are like the warm hug at the end of a tiring year. A hug I sorely need to get ready for the next year. 

So, I indulge. Black coffee with a decadent, choco-chip cookie. Aloo-puri for Sunday lunch (and then a long snooze). Some unabashed drinking on teen-patti nights. (I don’t play, I just drink and judge.)

I do it all. 

You’ll be just fine

What I don’t do is give up on my hard-earned healthy habits. So I still make it to the gym three times a week (not five). I still do intermittent fasting (especially on days when I know dinner shall be heavy). And I still exercise portion control in my non-indulgent meals (which still are 80% of all meals). 

I do all that and I indulge. 

Because I’ve found that indulgence isn’t the problem. It’s the ‘complete switch’ that is. You know what I’m talking about. That tendency to write off November and December. That voice in the head that goes, ‘we’ll just start back properly in Jan.’ That liar. That’s the problem. 

So don’t give in to that voice. Don’t make it an either-or. Make it and

Indulge. Have that samosa and that barfi. Live. Laugh. Hug. Celebrate. A few days of fun and family won’t make you fat. In fact, it might be just what you need to refresh that fast-depleting reserve of willpower. That well you’ve been dipping into for the whole year. Have a blast, and re-fill that well. It’s ok. Just don’t completely lose all those other hard-earned good habits. And you’ll be just fine. 

Happy Diwali,
Shashank Mehta
On behalf of Team TBT

PS: Okay, you were right. I’m no fun. Here are four hacks to make even your Diwali indulgences healthier. 

1. Indian Sweets:

If possible, try and avoid the ones with hydrogenated fats and the ones dipped in sugar syrup. A piece of barfi is better than a gulab jamun dipped in chashni. 

2. Portion Control:

If I’m being completely honest, I portion control sweets too. I find that the most joyous bites are the first few. After that, I’m just eating out of compulsion. Proof: if I take half a piece of cake on my plate, I feel the exact same happy feeling as when I finish a full piece (or two).

3. Dry Fruits:

They are your best friends to nibble on. Especially on those drinking nights. Where the combination of savoury bhujia and sweet gujiya can reallllyyy get out of hand. (Okay, now you know too much about me.)

4. Intermittent Fasting:

If you know dinner shall be at Nani’s, and Nani shall shower love, prep for it in the day. Fast. Then eat big. But eat slow. You’ll enjoy the food even more. 

There. Done. 

PPS: Maybe I need help. Or just cake. Yup, cake.

Check out our best reads:

1.There are so many cooking oils. And even more myths surrounding which one’s ‘healthy’. Swetha Sivakumar from @Upgrade_My_Food writes the definitive guide to finding the right one for you

2.If you don’t want to lose sleep over sleep, this is the one article to read. Our resident bio-hacker Ankush Datar digs into his all he’s learnt in his experiments with the snooze.

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