Navratri season is upon us! The triumph of light over dark, good over evil. People of north and west India eagerly wait for these nine nights every year, while on the other hand in east and north east India its known as Durga puja. In north India people experience fasting during these nine days. Even though it sounds like people might actually lose weight during this nine day fasting, they actually tend to gain weight, hence increasing the body fat percentage.
Reason why people gain weight during navratras
Some of the obvious reasons which may lead to weight gain during navratri are avoiding healthy food alternatives, not drinking enough water during fasting, eating only fried foods throughout the day and avoiding fruits, consuming more calories than they actually consume during non fasting days, eating anything blindly after breaking the fast.
Due to these reasons one gains weight even during the fasting season.
Ways to lose weight during navratras
Now here are 10 tips to maintain your health and actually reduce weight during navratri fasting!
#1 Stay hydrated
What mostly happens is that during fasting (and sometimes during non fasting days too), we forget drinking water. Even while dieting, we just concentrate on what foods we eat, its calories, its macronutrients and be least bothered about water intake.
Inadequate water intake increases the risk of kidney stones and can also be major cause of urinary tract infection in women.
Therefore we must keep our body hydrated by drinking ample amount of water throughout the day. Not just water, you can go for fluids such as coconut water, lime water, and vegetable juices in order to keep your body hydrated and filled. Otherwise, you will be hungry as well as weak due to the fasts.
#2 Take account of vegetables
Vegetables are important part of healthy eating and provide a source of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, folate (folic acid) and vitamins A, E and C. They're an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation and other digestion problems.
Avoiding vegetables can cause vitamin and mineral deficiency in our bodies. It may also cause digestive issues due to low intake of fibre, and increase in weight.
Therefore vegetables should be added to your navratri diet. Vegetables will keep you full during fasting as well as after breaking the fast. You can try vegetable salads as well as veg soups to fill you up.
#3 Consuming small meals
Not eating or starving the entire day will only drop your blood glucose levels and will take away your energy. So instead, try to have small 3-4 meals to maintain a healthy navaratri diet plan, throughout the day.
#4 Eat healthy snacks
Navratri brings a variety of snacks that are really hard to avoid. Instead of having pakods and puris, you can have saboodana, sweet potatoes, or baked and boiled potatoes. You can also go for fruits and raw vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, which would also help to detoxify your body.
#5 Go for low fat products
Instead of the common products, choose the low-fat substitute of that product. Go for toned or double toned milk instead of full cream. Instead of having paneer which is high in fats, go for tofu.
#6 Cook at home
In today's fast-paced world, dining out is sometimes unavoidable. Even though it can be really tempting eating outside during navratri season, but one must avoid eating junk as vendors mostly serve fried food which is high in carbohydrates, fats and cholesterol.
So go for cooking at home during this Navratri. This will also help you to keep a control on the oils and other ingredients.
#7 Dry fruits
Almonds, walnuts, dates, anjeer (figs) give a lot of energy. Three figs in the morning will keep you charged through the day; 4-5 dates with 1-2 almonds a day are enough to make up for your iron deficiency that you may get while fasting. Cashews should be avoided if you have high cholesterol. Kishmish (raisin) intake should be accompanied by lots of water as kishmish promotes urination, which could cause dehydration.
#8 Jasmine tea for detoxification
Jasmine tea helps to prevent water retention and treats any water retention you might have. Thus, it should be preferred over green or black tea during this time — Try to drink milk before sleeping as it is a great source of protein.
#9 Proteins and fibers
Proteins and fibers greatly help in weight loss. Pomegranate has lots of fiber. You can incorporate curd as a protein source in your diet.
Last but not the least, no matter what you eat, don’t avoid your daily workout just because you are fasting. Just fasting will not reduce your belly fat. Exercise and fasting go hand in hand. Do crunches and its variations, cycling, swimming, running or jogging. Go for the foods mentioned in this article as they contain almost all the essential nutrients and energy for your workout!
I hope you enjoy this festive season to the fullest. Happy navratri to you and your family.