Navratri fast: Fasting like a boss and losing weight too
Navratri is here, it’s the season of festivity, cheer and joy. The nine-day-long festival that accompanies a period of fasting incites happiness and rejoicing among everyone. This period of abstinence is aimed at renewing our spiritual energy.
For many, Navratri fasting is the ideal way to detox. Observing a fast not only
enhances the digestive capacity of one’s body but also ensures that the harmful
toxins are flushed. Although fasting can be a great way to shape up your body and lose some weight, if not properly executed, the gains made during such fasts can be lost within a very short period of time, much to our chagrin.
“Instead of going into a calorie deficit for weight loss, some people increase
their meal frequency in the name of fasting and they, in turn, increase their
calorie consumption,” says Dietitian Rajat Jain, Weight Loss Expert & Founder of Health Wealth Clinics Jaipur. Kuttu ki puri, singhade ka halwa, Sabudana Vada, sabudana khichdi are some of the favourite dishes loved in Navratri. And these fasting dishes are much more palatable and tempting and you might end up eating much more in your fasting days than you normally do.
“The secret of losing weight is not changing the quantity but the quality of your intake. During Navratras when we aspire to come closer to the divine, the process becomes even simpler as we naturally are inclined to consume ‘Satvik’ food during these pious days. Sattvic diet has high fibre, low fat with a higher satiety factor,” says Aman Jaiswal, Chef Patron , La Marinate.
Fresh fruits, fresh fruit juices, sprouts, nuts, taken during fasts provide high nutrition and also help to detoxify the system.
“Stick with roti/ cheela made with flours that are ok to have during fasts like kuttu/ rajgira /singhara instead of deep fried dishes made from the same. Add roasted peanuts, curd and paneer to amp up your protein intake. Dry fruits are great way to spike up your energy levels with quick snacking. Makhanas, almonds, walnuts, raisins and pistachios should be your go to snack,” says Diksha Chhabra, Certified nutritionist and a fitness trainer.
Nutritionist Harshita Dilawri, Know Your Nutrients suggests healthy recipes like potato with mint chutney, pumpkin halwa, potato lauki muthias (dumplings), carrot kheer, pineapple apple carrot smoothie, rajgira paneer paratha, green peas sundal (stir fried). “You can make your own healthy combos with the right combinations. Start your day with a cup of green tea and two dates. Opt for sabudana khichdi/ rajgira roti with lauki/ arbi sabzi and a glass of chach with rock salt. Another combination which works well is starting with vegetable soup, a bowl of salad with kuttu ka atta/rajgira roti and sabzi followed by low-fat lauki halwa or carrot halwa,” says Dilawri.
For those fitness enthusiasts who have been relentlessly hitting the gym and feel the fast will be a spoiler for their customary fitness visits, Vikas Chawla, founder and director, Vedas Cure has a tip, “The pro tip is to stick on to the home-cooked meals and avoid packaged foods like salted chips, and keep the body moving as much as possible. Physical exercise and walking are not only energy boosters but help in burning the calories at a faster rate,” he says.
Yash Vardhan Swami, health coach and fitness educator cautions all those fasting peeps, “Losing weight during Navratri fasting is actually possible. But remember, it’s just 9 days, so do not expect to lose a lot of kgs. All we need to do is to ensure that the Navratra food is not fried, we are moving enough and are having enough protein.”
Happy Navratri, happy fasting!