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Festive Forget Fulness

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

It’s the festive season — that time of year when staying healthy takes a backseat while weddings, parties, cocktails and good food take centre stage. But, it’s important to keep your health on track and that’s why Dev Goswami & Priyanka Singh help out by reminding you of some of the common health mistakes you maybe making in the midst of the revelry

From tempting buffets and irresistible party treats to spending all your time fixing your makeup, finding your cufflinks and slicking back your hair, December is the time when you’re so caught up with looking your best for the revelry that you forget about your health. Overeating, not exercising and wearing too many cosmetic products… can take a toll on your health and appearance. You might blame it on the festivities — after all, weddings and parties are meant to be enjoyed. But, we aren’t here to dampen your spirits. We’re just telling you about some mistakes that you can avoid to ensure a healthier you.

It is hardly surprising that your diet is the first casualty of the party season. Make sure that you aren’t making these mistakes and you can enjoy the treats at celebrations without any guilt:

This is a very common mistake; fasting or starving in order to compensate for the foods that you’ll be eating later. However, health guru, Mickey Mehta explains why this isn’t a great idea. He says, “Fasting before a party will make you overeat when you’re there as your hunger will have built up, which makes all your good intentions go for a toss. It is ideal to have moderate helpings of healthy meals during the day and have a bowl of soup or fruits before you head out for a party.”

Haven’t we all done this? Avoided oily food and instead gorged on potatoes, pasta, pizza and bread-based dishes? Kaizzad Capadia, co-founder and director of K-11 Fitness Academy, tells us that you should not consume only carbohydrates in the belief that since you’re avoiding oil, you’re staying healthy. He explains that overindulging in carbs will result in direct weight-gain. Instead, keep a balance between all kinds of food.

What with all the mocktails, cocktails and fruit punches, you will find yourself forgetting to drink water. However, water is water, as Kaizzad puts it and nothing can replace it. This is probably something you’re doing unconsciously. If you can’t remember to drink water, set alarms, but do not forget at any cost. Apart from the obvious benefits, you’ll feel energised and it will also keep you from overeating.

Surprise, surprise! You probably thought you’d be safer sticking to cocktails and avoiding alcohol, right? After all, isn’t alcohol harmful for you? Well, it is, but cocktails and fizzy drinks are more harmful. Mickey explains that they are high in sugar content and so, are extremely unhealthy. Have alcohol neat or with water and remember that moderation is the key.

Either because of guilt or because you want to compensate after a party, you’ll put yourself on a restrictive diet that will do you more harm than good. Dr. Niti Desai, consultant nutritionist from South Mumbai, who is also attached to Cumballa Hill Hospital & Heart Institute, tells us, “Instead of detox diets, start eating sensibly; cut down on excess calories and eat small meals frequently. After overeating fat and carbs during the festive season, increase your intake of protein rich foods.”

With so many invites to RSVP and numerous things to sort out, we’re sure that a trip to the gym is the last thing on your mind. We understand the time constraints and so we aren’t going to tell you to continue with your daily workout plan during the festive season. But, what we are going to tell you is to avoid these mistakes:

This is the most common fitness mistake that you are likely to make. You’ll just say, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow,’ and your fitness schedule goes for a toss. However, as Kaizzad says, “Change the timing, reduce the duration, cut your workout plan down by half, but exercise at all cost.” He further adds that exercising becomes more important right now as it ensures that your body’s metabolism and fat burning process work as effectively as possible.

Yes, we know exercising or even moving slightly, is the last thing you want to do when you are hungover from last night’s party. But, it works as just another excuse to not work out during the festive season — something you need to avoid. And in fact, brisk workout can actually help your hangover! Now, stop looking incredulously at us and try it out. It works.

In our first point, we mentioned that you can reduce your workout intensity. But, heavy lifts shouldn’t be the only casualty of a truncated exercise regime. Kaizzad tells us that people have a misconception that heavy lifting only improves the appearance of your body, toning it superficially. That is wrong, he says, adding, “One set of deadlifts can actually result in a higher fat loss than 50 ab crunches. So, don’t completely give up on squats or deadlifts.”

Mickey tells us that another common fitness mistake is over-exercising. Just like detox diets, over-exercising might be a result of you feeling guilty for over-indulging in treats. But Mickey explains, “Overdoing your exercises is harmful. It can lead to injuries and loss of motivation. Even simple exercises at home for half hour will help.”

Another casualty of hurried workouts will probably be the warm up and cool down period. However, ignoring that means you’re putting yourself at risk of injuries. Just a few minutes of stretching will be more than enough to get you and your body ready for the exercises. So, do not skip warming up.

Exfoliating, cleansing and moisturising are put on the backburner and because you are busy with the festivities, you often forget to remove your makeup before going to bed. All these habits are bad for your skin and this shouldn’t be so, because to look good, your skin needs to feel good too — after all, there’s only so much that makeup can do for your looks. Hair bears a lot of brunt as well, because of all the chemicals that it is subjected to. To ensure that you have healthy skin and hair during the celebrations, avoid these mistakes:

While you can apply foundation to make yourself look gorgeous and hide blemishes, too much of it actually clogs fine lines and makes you appear older. Mickey tells us that one should opt for softer, more natural tones. They harm your skin less and also create a seemingly natural glow. Over-exfoliating
Several women think that exfoliating frequently is going to enhance the glow of their skin. This is not true. It’s best to exfoliate no more than once a week, because this gives new skin cells a chance to grow and your skin the time to replenish and rehydrate. Over-exfoliation causes wrinkles, dry skin and scarring. So, exfoliate only when it is essential.

Your skin uses the time you’re sleeping to renew itself and if you’re wearing makeup while your skin is trying to do this, it’ll cause blemishes and dry, dull skin. If you don’t have a lot of time to remove makeup in a step-by-step process, at least wash your face with soap twice, moisturise it and then go to bed. If your makeup is very heavy and you know that when you get home you’ll simply hit the bed, then start removing it while you are on your way back home.

With all those holiday parties, chances are you’re embracing styling tools more than ever for your hair. Consider applying leave-in conditioner spray that has anti-frizz properties, especially before styling with heat appliances, or lightly during and after wet/dry combing and styling. This will help protect and reduce static and flyaways, while adding shine and lustre. It will also help prevent breakage of hair and split ends.

Are you using a strong cleanser, a toner, an exfoliation cream, eye cream, face moisturiser, makeup remover and lots of other products? You might want to slow down and read this. By mixing and matching too many products, you may be doing more harm than good. All those ingredients might cancel each other’s properties out, leaving you with no benefits whatsoever. All you need is a cleanser, moisturiser and exfoliation routine, not just for the festive season, but through the year. You don’t need a variety of products to get results.

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