Karva Chauth, is a very popular and an important festival for married Hindu women. The one-day festival, which is celebrated every year in Northern India, is now being observed all over the country.
On this day, married Hindu women observe ritualistic fasts or Karwa Chauth ka vrat from sunrise to moonrise to pray for the long life and safety of their husbands.
While fasting has been linked to many health benefits, including weight loss, not doing it the right way can have damaging consequences.
Karva Chauth fast, unlike other occasional fasts, requires women not to eat anything the entire day, which means no food and water until the moon appears in the sky.
On the day of Karva Chauth, married women also wake up early in the morning (before sunrise) to eat sargi a meal usually prepared by their mothers-in-law.
After eating sargi which mostly consists of Vermicelli, milk and dry fruits women stay without water and food all day until the moon appears. While fasting all day itself is a challenge, for those women who are working, it can be even more difficult.
But, following a few diet tips will help you fast in a much healthy way without putting any extra strain on your body. This will also help your body detoxify naturally, which may aid weight loss if you’re trying to shed a few pounds.
Healthy fasting tips to stay hydrated and aid weight loss.
Before the fast
It is suggested that your sargi should comprise of fresh fruits like berries, bananas, oranges, pomegranate, papaya and pears. They are an excellent source of soluble fibre that will keep you full for longer and provide energy throughout the day.
Eat dried fruits like almonds, cashew and nuts. They are a rich source of protein and other essential fats that will help you stay full for longer.
Avoid fatty foods and sweets that will make you feel dizzy, thirsty and hungry sooner because they affect your insulin activity.
Instead of having sugary tea or coffee that can cause dehydration, opt for a refreshing drink of lemon water packed with vitamin C, which will detoxify your blood and boost your immune system.
Drink plenty of water to keep your body well-hydrated.
Try not to overeat your last meal before starting the fast as this will make you hungry faster.
After the fast
If you break your fast with high-calorie foods, it can disrupt your digestive system, leading to constipation and other digestive problems. You must opt for foods that are high in protein and fibre but low in calories.
This will not only help your digestive system get back on track but will also boost your weight loss plan as well as help you stay tuned to a healthier, fitter body.
* Break your fast slowly instead of shocking your system with caffeine-based drinks or fried foods, start with a glass of water, or fresh fruit juice preferably 50% juice and 50% water to make it easier for the digestive system.
* Eat a few dry fruits a mixture of almonds, walnuts, raisins and some seeds like flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds to give you the right push. Sip some water again to replenish your fluids and then eat your meal, which should be light containing whole foods like fresh produce.
* Include protein-rich foods in your meal that help decrease hunger and induce a feeling of satiation.
* Opt for low glycemic index carbohydrates, such as vegetables, whole grains, beans and legume- perhaps, whole grains in the form of rotis or chapattis, and some rice with pulses or dal are a good option here.
* Avoid fried and fatty foods, alcohol, caffeinated drinks immediately after the fast.
* Make sure that you do not overeat overeating after fasting is common but can cause severe stomach issues.
* Have a bowl of plain curd after the fast.
Some tips and cautions to keep in mind: It is recommended to drink water half an hour before or after a meal. If you are pregnant or have a health condition, you should consult your doctor or a healthcare provider about how to fast without harming your health.
This is especially important for those with type 2 diabetes who are at risk for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious complication of diabetes), and dehydration during a fast. So, plan ahead before fasting and make an appointment with your doctor to create a customised plan that you can safely follow.
Disclaimer: All content, including tips and suggestions, is purely for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.>