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Ganesh Chaturthi Calorie Cheat Sheet With Dietitian Namita Pangaria

  • IWB Post
  •  September 17, 2015

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi folks! It is that time of the year when we fondly bring Lord Ganesha home. What follows the deity to our residences is a ten-day extravaganza of celebrations, togetherness, anddd the sweet and irresistible aroma of besan ke laddoos that lingers in the house.

As I am typing this, I swear, I am hopelessly craving sweets! After all, we’re all no Popeyes who can hog on spinach all the time! And so in the festive season we indulge heavily in sweets, thereby forgetting our diet charts, and thereby crying about it the next day. *Facepalm*


But, ‘I have never cheated in life’, said no living human ever! On this festive occasion, I stole some minutes from dietitian Namita Pangaria’s day and built a Calories Cheat Sheet. Lo and Behold! (And thank me later!)

Sweet tooth and diet chart are two things that tear us apart in the festive season. How to flatter them both?

Craving sweets is more of a psychological thing than a physiological one. So, if you’re having a really intense craving, and do not want to add a hideous amount of calories to your system, you might as well have a piece of dark chocolate…maybe a Bourneville. Or, even better, go for naturally sweet things like dates, raisins, etc.!

I know all sweets are sinful for the diet-maniacs. But yet, on behalf of them, I have the audacity to ask: Which sweet can they ‘healthily’ go for? Koi toh hogi!?

Go for sweets like sandesh, rasgulla, rather than gulab jamuns and jalebis. the former are milk based whereas the latter are fried and hence, doubly sinful. As a matter of fact, sweets like sandesh and rasgulla are nutritious too, because of being milk-based.

Say Whaaa?! There exists something called ‘Nutritious sweets’?! Am I in Utopia?

How about the use of those consoling devices like ‘Sugar-free’?

There’s always a big-yes to them! And if you don’t cherish the idea of using a sugar-free, go for artificial sweeteners like sevia or sucralose. They taste equally well, minus the truckload of calories.


Let’s face it, there’s nothing stopping us from savoring those laddoos today. But, while we are at it, tell us the #ThingsToDo this festive season to bring down the calorie count.

If you eat more, you should burn more. It’s that simple. But on festivals we not only take the liberty of hogging on all that’s sweet, we divorce our gyms and daily exercise schedule too, thinking that festival pet toh chalta hai! Here are 4 things that you can do:

  1. Let one meal of your day be a light one. Don’t overload your tummy with sweets and heavy dining.
  2. If festivals are too hectic for you to afford exclusive time for exercise, try embedding it in your routine. If there are stairs at your home, go up and down, say 10 times extra!
  3. Take your meals on time. We tend to push ahead our breakfasts or lunch during festivals, and that disturbs body cycle and you end up being more hungry.
  4. Also, take adequate rest. Take a power nap of let’s say 30 minutes? Sleeping helps in calming down your cravings.

Power naps? I’m always up for them! Except my naps last for 300 minutes.

Because besan ke laddoo are the delicacy of the day, and are also flooded with calories, suggest some other healthy alternative out of which a laddoo can be made.

Besan ke laddoo are healthy in a way because there’s no mava and they are not fried, but one cannot ignore the voluminous amounts of ghee contained in them. One Besan laddoo scores 150 calories.

  • So you can rather go for a laddoo of dry fruits made with jaggery.
  • Or you can make a lauki barfi, or make kheer with carrot instead of rice.
  • And for the savoury dishes, go for steamed ones instead of fried. Replace samosa with dhokla.

These alternatives will sharply cut down your calorie-intake this festive season.

While we are talking about the dos, also enlighten us on the donts. Things to steer clear of?

Try and refrain from mava-based sweets. Also, most importantly, try to stay away from bazaari sweets. In the high demand festive seasons, shopkeepers heat and reheat the ghee several times which creates unhealthy fats. Such sweets are not at all apt for consumption.

All hail! Continue stuffing delicacies in your tummy without the fear of putting on, as long as you have the cheat sheet by your side. And if anyone tries to be nosy about your weight, don’t wait to do this:


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