By: Nazima Qureshi
While summer means South Asian wedding season, it also means lots of food. Food holds many meanings and goes beyond just being healthy or unhealthy. In the context of weddings, food is a means of celebration. With that being said, it can be easy to get caught up in all the celebratory meals. Here are 5 tips you can follow during wedding season so you can be a bit healthier:
1.Plan your meals for the week of the wedding. Especially if you’re a part of the wedding, what you’re eating when there are no events happening might be the last thing on your mind. The result? Eating out or grabbing whatever you can find, both of which are not the healthiest choices. Instead, plan out your meals and snacks for the days that you’re at home during these busy weeks. Ensure these meals have a lot of veggies and protein and are limited on refined carbohydrates such as white rice and white bread.
2.Don’t skip meals on the day of the wedding event. South Asian Wedding events are known for their buffet-style and overwhelming amounts of food. So, in theory, it might make sense to save all your calories for then. The reality is that skipping your meals will not only leaving you feeling low on energy but it also may result in you overeating. Instead, have a breakfast and lunch high in protein and veggies. You can completely skip the carbs during earlier meals though since you will likely have quite a bit at the event.
3.Portion out your carbs. Carbs quickly add up at South Asian Wedding events. And I’m not just talking about the rice. You’re usually starting off with a high carb deep-fried appetizer such as samosas or pakoras, followed by multiple carb options like rice dishes and naan at dinner, and of course, you can’t forget dessert. Instead of using an extreme approach and trying to avoid all carbs, be mindful of how much you are putting on your plate. I usually recommend a ¼ plate of rice or 1 naan.
4. Don’t overstuff your plate. Picture this: you get to the buffet line, see 12+ options, add everything to your plate, come back to your table, and 15 minutes later your full but your plate is far from empty. We’ve all done it and for some reason continue to do it when we see a lot of food options in front of us. This is mostly the psychological aspect of eating taking over, where you are overestimating how much you will actually eat. The problem with taking too much food is that not only are you wasting any uneaten food but you’re also more likely to overeat from an overstuffed plate. Instead, try and take items that you are excited to eat and tell yourself that you can come back for seconds if you want to.
5. Enjoy your food. As simple as this tip may seem, it is one of the keys to preventing overeating. By taking some time out at a busy event and enjoying the food, you will be satisfied with a smaller amount of food. Don’t make eating and drinking a passive act during these events. Instead, sit down and enjoy that pakora, your dinner, and your dessert. Reminding yourself that you have multiple events this summer can help you move away from wanting to eat everything at every event to instead only eat and enjoy what you really want to.
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