The fun-filled festival of Navratri is here! And for those who struggle to lose some rigid flab, this is an excellent opportunity. With endless nights of swaying to soul stirring music dancing the ‘garba’, Navaratri is also the time when many of us fast (Navratri vrat) for 9 days. While some of us eat only once, there are those who survive the entire period fasting on fruits and liquids.
In spite of fasting on such strict terms, many of us hardly manage to shed a few pounds which we tend to quickly gain back within a week. While fasting is all about worshipping our deity, we can also use it for the benefit of our bodies. In ancient practices and in many countries, fasting is done as a way of detoxifying the body. You can pick a day every week or fortnight and survive only on liquids or fruits the entire day to detoxify your body.
While fasting, one needs to maintain a proper nutrient uptake and sufficient hydration. This will keep the body fit and active. Most of us follow ‘Intermittent fasting’ during the Navaratri. If planned properly, one can easily lose significant weight and thoroughly detoxify one’s body. The entire pattern of intermittent fasting follows an ‘eat-stop-eat’ routine. One consumes calories only during a particular time in the entire day and restricts oneself from eating the whole day. Some do not follow a very strict fast and thrive on fruits and liquids the entire day and consume grains only once. So fasting coupled with endless nights of doing the garbha definitely by itself helps you shed the kilos.
But, there are some wrong fasting practices most of us follow which leads to acidity, bloating and flatulence as soon as we consume our meals. Wrong foods eaten in large quantities often tend to make us sick. Read on further to know about some essential tips one must follow while fasting:
- We all have the notion of stuffing in too much food when we eat our meals while fasting thinking that we won’t get to each for long after that. This leads to bloating, lethargy and flatulence. The stomach can only digest a limited amount of food at a particular time. Not eating the whole day DOES NOT mean that you can eat all 3 meals of the day at 1 time!
- Remember to drink a lot of fluids the whole day to keep you feeling hydrated and full. Fluids like tender coconut water, lemon juice, fruit juices and herbal teas are a great option.
- Feast on grains such as Amaranth and Kuttu as they are an excellent option if you fasting only on fruits and vegetables. They are high on proteins and energy and are basically fruits only.
- While nuts are a healthy snacking option, do not eat more than a fistful of nuts every 2 hours. Eating more than that will generate heat in the body.
- Skip on your ‘potato chips,’ ‘chiwda’ and ‘fried puris’. Eat ‘potato subji’, roti and green vegetables. Eating too much of oily food makes you acidic and sick. Opt for ‘Sabudana khichdi’ instead of ‘sabudana wada’. The stomach stores the excess oil as fat and you will not lose any weight even after starving the whole day.
- Substitute your sugary items with jaggery or honey. Eat a lot of sweet fruits to curb your sugar cravings. Opt for ‘doodhi raita’ or ‘cucumber raita’ instead of sweet curds.
- Eat your fasting meal for lunch instead of dinner. This way your stomach gets plenty of time to digest your food and you don’t sleep as soon as you eat. This also increases your metabolism.
- Opt for freshly squeezed juices instead of canned ones as they are loaded with sugar and preservatives. Though the ideal practice is to eat whole fruits instead of juicing them. Choose vegetable juices or smoothies instead and add a small fruit (half apple, or orange) to the juice mix to make it tastier.
This way, eating healthy during fasting will not only help you shed some weight but will also help you detox your body in an ideal way. The body needs food in frequent and small intervals to speed up its metabolic rate. Though you cannot eat frequently while fasting, perhaps you can compensate by drinking plenty of fluids in regular intervals. Plan your Navaratri diet keeping in mind the above mentioned tips.
Akansha is the Founder and Consultant at Beyond the Weighing Scale. With a wide range of expertise and skills, she is adept to speak about nutrition, health, lifestyle management and physical activity. She is a popular food columnist, a passionate foodie, a health enthusiast, an avid traveller and a happy yogi.