Don’t let IPL degenerate to Indian Paunch League

Karan Hebbar
Karan Hebbar

The mania that is Indian Premier League (IPL) hasn’t merely descended on us, but is gaining strength with every passing match. Be it Chris Gayle’s smashing century off 30 balls or David Miller’s impressive century off 38 deliveries – cricket lovers are making sure they plan their social calendar in a way that it does not interfere with the game’s telecast.

Most people prefer to enjoy watching the game on a giant screen in a sports bar or resto-bar, surrounded with friends and downing a few beers even as they root for their teams. And herein lies a teensy weensy problem.

With all the nights out cheering for the favorite teams, by the end of the season people end up with their own version of the IPL – the Indian Paunch League! Notice how easy it is to chomp on a few extra fried chicken wings or guzzle a few more mugs of beers when you are watching the game? This is often the scenario whether you are out with friends in a restaurant or watching the game at home.

Now you don’t need to have the will power of an aggressive Virat Kholi to refrain from all things trans-fat. Neither do you need to sulk at home and munch on a celery stick to remain true to your weighing machine. All you need is some smart planning and avoiding mindless snacking and drinking – and voila, you can literally have your IPL cake and eat it too!

First of all, accept the fact that the extra pizza slice is not going to magically disappear once it enters your digestive system. All high calorie, high fat foods will snuggle into your love handles and you will then have to work out like Samson to get rid of the extra kilos! Once you accept this cardinal rule, the rest is easy. Here’s how:

Easy Peasy Tip #1:
Follow the KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) rule and make the right choice. Chuck the fried chicken wings for grilled chicken sandwiches, or opt for stir fried veggies instead of French fries with cheese. If eating out, ask for plain peanuts instead of potato chips or substitute the fried papad with some salad. “1 bowl of peanuts would be approximately 146 grams. This translates to 854 calories,” says Karan Hebbar of Kinesiis, a certified fitness consultant and sports nutritionist. “On the other hand, 100 grams of potato chips has 547 calories with 60% fat and 35% carbohydrates. Choosing peanuts or some carrot sticks is much preferable to munching on potato chips anyday!” See, it’s that easy!

Roasted Beet and Red Chowli Salad with Upbeat Vinaigrette
Roasted Beet and Red Chowli Salad with Upbeat Vinaigrette

Easy Peasy Tip #2:
Drink lots of water in between your drinks. Try to squeeze in one tall glass of water for every alcoholic drink you guzzle. Not only will this flush out the alcohol from your system and keep you hydrated, it will also make you feel full, which means you will be less inclined to reach out for that cheesy slice of pizza.

Make the right choice while opting for beverages. Don’t enjoy the game without a mug of beer in your hands? No problem. Just choose a light beer, especially those that have less than 75 calories a serving, and promise yourself to make it last till at least the first 10 overs. Depending on the team you are supporting, you might end up drinking just one bottle!

Easy Peasy Tip #3:
If you are fortunate enough to be able to watch the action live at a stadium then don’t stop at being a spectator. Be proactive and get fit. Park your car a good distance away from the stadium. This will mean you can have a nice post-game walk where you can discusses the hits and misses of the match and also burn some calories in the bargain. Once inside the stadium skip the chips and have some light snacks like sandwiches or digestive biscuits. And drinks gallons of water so that you are well hydrated.

[box] It’s not only the amount of calories of what you consume that matters, but also its source and type of calories that are equally important. Usually foods that have lesser calories also have the best source of calories i.e. calories from proteins, complex carbohydrates, fiber and unsaturated fat. The below mentioned options are not only low in terms of quantity of calories but are also sources of good calories:

  • Grilled Paneer (100gms = 100cal) / Soya chunks (50gms = 222cal) instead of Garlic Bread (60 cals/pc)
  • Grilled or sautéed vegetables (100gms = 35 cals) / lean meats (100gms = 90 cals) instead of deep fried snacks and thick gravies (100gms = 250-300 cals)
  • Tandoori chicken (1 piece = 100cals) with salad instead of Butter Chicken with Naan (40gms = 150-200cals)
  • Grilled Fish (100gms = 85 cals) with salad instead of Pizza/Pasta/Breads (1 slice=80-100cals)

Easy Peasy Tip #4:
If you are inviting your friends over to watch a match, why not opt for a themed meal and one that is light on the tummy and the waistline? For instance, go Mediterranean and serve grilled chicken with tomato-olive salad or pan-sautéed salmon with herbed Greek salad. Or make a sandwich platter with whole wheat bread and lean meats, lots of veggies and flavored mustard. It’s inventive, interesting, healthy, and what’s more – you can assemble it quickly, so that you do not miss a moment of the game because you are slogging it out in the kitchen. You could also think of Chef Vicky Ratnani’s creation, a nice Roasted Beet and Red Chowli Salad with Upbeat Vinaigrette for your IPL snack board.

And to ensure food is not wasted, opt for portion control. Instead of big burgers, go for mini-sized whole wheat burgers or small sliders. For desserts, try to offer a platter of fruit with low-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream or cheesecake. Again, it’s convenient, tasty and healthy – all at the same time.

Easy Peasy Tip #5:
If you know that the IPL season will mean that you will be socializing a lot more, then make some lifestyle modifications. On an off night when your team is not playing, avoid thick gravies and rice and substitute it with some soup and salad. “IPL or any other event is no excuse to put on weight. By just being conscious and aware of your food habits you can prevent unnecessary weight gain – making simple food choices such as having nuts, lean meats and veggies instead of fried snacks and cream-based rich gravies can not only help you prevent fat gain but also prevent loss of precious muscle tissue,” adds Karan Hebbar.

He also points out that adding 45 minutes of physical exercise on alternate days can help a person improve his or her health and fitness levels by upto 40%! That’s not something one can scoff at!

And before you can throw up the most popular excuse for not working out – lack of time – Karan makes it very clear that there is no particular time for a workout. “The best time for a workout is the time that suits an individual in his/her schedule. A basic workout strength training routine would be your best solution starting with a 10 minute warm-up followed by squats, push ups, pull ups, lunges, planks and finally stretches. This simple yet effective schedule which will not take much of your time will also help you improve your metabolism, which will accelerate fat loss in the future.”

So there you have it – five easy steps that let you enjoy the IPL season to the hilt without worrying about kilos piling on. For all you know, you might actually end up a few pounds lighter at the end of the two months that the game lasts. Now isn’t that motivation enough to do the right thing?

[learn_more caption=”Some places serving IPL inspired fare”]
  • The Earth Plate, Sahara Star, Mumbai: Unlimited beer and soft drinks with buffet dinner @ Rs 2250, plus taxes.
  • Bottle Bar, Mumbai: Buy 1 get 1 free on imported and domestic spirits and cocktails during Happy Hours (4 pm to 10 pm). Win a chance to meet your favourite cricketer in their lounge and also win free match tickets.
  • Aanch, New Delhi: IPL Combo: 6 pints of domestic beer / 6 IMFL + 1 starter @ Rs. 699 (veg), Rs. 799 (non-veg), plus taxes.
  • Masaya, New Delhi: Howzaat Combo – Kingfisher beer bucket (5 pints) + 1 veg on non- veg platter: Rs. 899; Third Umpire Combo – Budwiser beer bucket (5 pints) + 1 veg on non- veg platter: Rs. 999 or Run Out Combo – Unlimited IMFL (per person) (Min. 10 pax) + 1 veg / non-veg platter: Rs. 1099.