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Navratri festival is marked by elaborate pooja and worship of the nine forms of Maa Durga and fasting. Fasting during this period of nine sacred days is believed to bestow prosperity.
Fasting starts in the morning and lasts till the completion of the evening pooja. This means only one meal is taken at the end of the day during the fast. Some people choose to survive only on milk, fruits and fruit juices over the entire length of fasting.
There are two forms of fasting. One is rigorous and the other is milder. Those following the rigorous fasting do not take even water until evening prayers and thus taking only one meal at the end of the day. Those observing the milder form of fasting consume only milk, fruits, milkshakes, and juices the entire day concluding with one meal after the evening pooja.
There are many popular foods that people consume during Navratri fasting. One has to be vigilant while selecting the foods and snacks if she/he wants to lose weight during this time period. Few important things to be kept in mind to budge the weighing scale after fasting for these nine days include:
Stick to home-cooked food. The store-bought falhari chips and other snacks consist of unhealthy ingredients that you should not be consumed during Navratri fasting. Do not go for the packets which say ‘diet fast snacks’. These are marketing gimmicks to get you into buying and consuming these foods which are actually loaded with oil and are unhealthy.
Do not hog on fried thinking that you are fasting. There are a myriad variety of delicious snacks and foods which are difficult to say ‘no’ to. But at the same time, they are very unhealthy. You have to stick to pan tossed snacks with minimal oil to fill your tummy. One tablespoon of pure ghee can be eaten every day to remain healthy.
Eat small portions of healthy foods that can be eaten in Navratri fasting after regular intervals of time, say every three to four hours. Load your Navratri diet with fruits and nuts. Do not starve yourself and at the same time do not overeat. We all tend to eat more food when we are fasting to ensure that we stay full. It is totally wrong as it will defeat your fasting purpose and also make your stomach upset.
Remain high on liquids such as lemonade, coconut water, buttermilk, green tea, fruit milkshakes, and fresh fruit juices without adding sugar. These beverages will keep you satisfied for a long time.
Stick to drinking a lot of water, maximum of two litres a day for proper body functioning and keeping you well hydrated. Do not consume tea or coffee in excess as they can dehydrate you.
Eat grilled or baked vegetables and try adding them with high carbohydrate foods like sabudana. Amaranth is the best protein origin you can take during fasting. Make amaranth porridge with milk or cook it with sendha namak and lots of vegetables like namkeen dalia. Samak rice is also very easy to digest. Make samak namkeen rice adding lots of vegetables.
Control those evil sugar cravings. Replace sugar with honey or jaggery. Eat dates, apple kheer, and fruit raita to curb strong sugar cravings.
Consume skimmed milk instead of full cream milk.
Eat fibrous foods more as they take longer to digest and thus keep you feeling full for long. These foods also take care of your cravings.
Take plenty of rest and sleep well as the body is undergoing detox during the fasting period. Make sure to sleep for seven to eight hours every day. Do not overexert yourself. Try to relax and do some meditative exercise to support detoxification.
Try and do healthy snacking and do not overeat. It will help you lose weight and leave you feeling great. Go for healthy snack options that are nutritious. It is seen that people eat plenty of starchy foods after they break their fast in the evening. Nothing can be more harmful than this kind of practice.
Happy weight losing during Navratri!