Fasting, in simple terms, means abstinence from certain or all food products for a determined period of time. It is known to help with spiritual well-being along with many health benefits whereas feasting involves indulging in all types of food items and eating to your heart’s delight without following a certain diet pattern or a plan.
India is known for its varied cultures and communities, and living here, it is not unusual for one to come across a range of fasting and feasting opportunities. Every month, every season there is a festival for us to celebrate and indulge ourselves into feasting. Similarly, there are certain days or weeks every month or year when one observes fasts which vary across all religions.
CHECK YOUR HEALTH STATUS
Before indulging into any kind of fast, it is important that your body is physically fit and healthy to withstand the changes that might occur during the fasting state. Pregnant females, to avoid any nutritional deficiencies are usually advised not to fast. Also, diabetics, to avoid fluctuations in sugar levels are advised against long periods of fasting.
KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED
The one thing that stays constant in every kind of diet is to maintain your hydration. Not having enough water makes you feel fatigued, lethargic, weak and can result in severe dehydration. The trick is, keep sipping water (either warm or cold, depending on what you prefer) throughout the fasting period.
STOCK YOUR KITCHEN WITH HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES
Never break your fast with high-calorie sweets or deep-fried or processed unhealthy food items.
DO NOT OVEREXERT YOURSELF
Try and avoid strenuous workout regime during fasting. Since the body is not receiving enough calories and nutrients, high-intensity exercises might lead to dizziness, fatigue and in extreme cases, fainting. A light stroll or a normal walk in the garden should be okay if you are well hydrated.
BE AWARE OF YOUR BODY’S SYMPTOMS
Sometimes, we tend to continue fasting without listening to the body’s symptoms. We could be fasting for religious purposes, for weight loss or for any other reason, but it is important to place your body first. If you feel sick, weak or unwell, consult your doctor and discontinue the fast immediately.
This article courtesy goes to NEHA DHULLA, Manager, Clinical Practices and Nutrition at Digestive Health Institute by Dr Muffi.