The recent awakening for wanting to lose weight and be fit has brought many lifestyle changes. One of these is a trend to keep a fast for one day a week. In ancient Indian Ayurveda fasting has also been defined as a way to keep the body healthy. Fasting helps to give the digestive system a rest and the fruits and ‘ falahar’ eaten during fasting helps to detoxify the body and mind.
Although, many people have a misconception that fasting means avoiding food and water. Our body needs energy to survive and this energy comes from food and water. Avoiding food and water means depriving your body from getting needed energy. A lack of energy leads to weakness, restlessness, constipation, acidity and sleeping disorders. To avoid these here is a list of some of the rules to be followed during fasting.
- If you are eating ‘ Falahar,’ that is fruits , dry fruits and milk, then do not eat them all at once, but eat them after short intervals as it will help you to maintain the glucose level in the body.
- Try to eat juicy fruits like mango, watermelon, and oranges more. This will help you to keep the body hydrated and will control your appetite.
- Many people have stir-fried potatoes, fried sago and pulao (flavored rice) without salt. Avoid using excess oil in such cases.
- Many people have a tendency to have black tea to kill the appetite and to get rid of headaches. Avoid drinking too much tea as black tea has more caffeine than milk tea and it can in fact aggravate headaches.
- Do some type of exercise even if you are planning to keep a fast or go for your regular evening walk. This helps to keep the body and mind fit. During exercises you inhale more oxygen and this can keep you refreshed the whole day.
- If you are feeling low or weak then take a deep breath. It helps your body to get extra oxygen. Count to 30 while inhaling and release it by counting to 6.
- Try to keep yourself busy by doing regular work. There is a common myth that during fasting the energy level is low so you should avoid doing work and take a rest.
- All it requires is for you to maintain the glucose level in the body. If you have ‘Falahar’ at short intervals and drink plenty of water, then you will not feel weak.
- Try to maintain a mental peace. Avoidance of common salt during fast makes our nervous system slow and thus it is important to maintain mental peace. Practice yoga or meditation once or twice during a fast.
Last, but not least, never force yourself to keep a fast. It is not the way to reduce weight or to show that you are religious. Keep a fast only if you can bear it.