Losing weight with fasting – Know what to eat during Navratri, tips, recipe to fast safely  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
Many people fast on all nine days of Navratri, while others opt to fast on some
Some food groups and foods are off the table, according to the rules of fasting
Know what you can eat through out the 9 days of Navratri, some tips to fast safely, and recipes you can make quickly
New Delhi: Navratris mark the beginning of the festive season, especially in North India, where people start looking forward to the festive season of Durga Pooja, Diwali, and Dushehra as the auspicious days commence. Most people, who practice the Hindu religion, fast on some, or all 9 days of Navratri, and while it has its spiritual significance, fasting during the festival is also seen as a good way to lose weight and get in shape.
Many diets can help you lose weight. Low-carb diets, low-fat diet, eating more fruits and vegetables, etc are a good idea, but this alone is not likely to help you lose weight. Eating high-fibre foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, and high protein foods, drinking lots of water, are also important steps to take in order to lose weight. People tend to think they’re hungry, when they are really just thirsty. The fasting rules of these 9 days allow people to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. This helps in detoxifying the system of toxins as well as building immunity. Fruits are also generally low in calories and high in fibre, which may help you lose weight- in addition to a well-balanced diet. In fact, eating fruit is linked to lower body weight and a lower risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease. Bhavya Singh, Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Noida, gave us more insights on how to lose weight while fasting, and ensure that your body is safe and healthy.
What should we eat on these 9 days of Navratri
The 9 days choices can be made from foods not usually taken and this is a time for great experimentation. Various combinations of grains, veg protein and antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits can be included in addition to milk and its products. All these 9 days of including a wide variety and new different types of food are very beneficial for your health. You can try all these offbeat dishes at home & comfortably consume them, as they are easy on the tummy and deliciously different too.
Day 1 – The first day of Navratri, you can prepare dishes like kuttu ka chilla or uttapam, rajgira ka chilla or sabudana khichdi. This is a start to try new grains not usually consumed for the rest of the year.
Day 2- On the second day of Navratri, you can consume kuttu ka dosa or Pumpkin and apple soup, potato chaat etc.
Day 3- The third day of Navratri is you can cook elaborate dishes like sabudana kheer or makhana kheer, sweet potato Kheer for the day.
Day 4- Fourth day of Navratri, devotees can consume kuttu ke atte ka malpua in the form of bhog. Ye can add on fruits on the side and nuts to make it healthier.
Day 5- The fifth-day food options include Palak Paneer Makhana vegetable (with rock salt), banana walnut lassi and kele ki sabzi.
Day 6- You can be a little more creative and make your own vrat-friendly Sabudana Kheer, Sago yoghurt with Fruits, arbi kofta, fruit chaat etc.
Day 7- You can add jaggery to your vrat-friendly sabudana kheer, kuttu ki khichdi and even in juices. Savoury options include amaranth flour rolls stuffed with tofu or paneer and veggies-easily eaten during the busy festivities.
Day 8- You can make Arbi Cutlet as a snack and wash it down with banana Walnut Lassi. Curd can be good addition on these days to ease digestion and improve gut immunity.
Day 9 – Dishes like Sabudana upma with assorted veggies and topped with boiled peanuts, boiled sprouts and chana. All of this can be taken with Rock salt nimbu paani and or cucumber chaas to cool the system.
Fasting completely for one or two days a week, known as the Eat-Stop-Eat diet, involves eating no food for 24 hours at a time. Many people fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch. People on this diet plan can have water, tea, and other calorie-free drinks during the fasting period. However, use caution with this approach as blood pressure and blood sugar levels can dip for some people- so do check with a nutritionist how you can do this safely.
9 tips to help you fast safely
Eat small amounts of food on fasting days, at regular intervals.
Stay hydrated. Keep sipping on fluids throughout the day.
Go for walks, or meditate. You can also practice yoga and listen to some soothing music.
Do not break your fast with a big meal or feast.
Do not fast if you are unwell, or feeling uncomfortable.
Eat enough protein throughout the day.
Eat fibre-rich grains and fruits and vegetables for balance.
Ensure foods are prepared fresh daily and do not consume carryovers.
Remember if done right, fasting can help detoxify the system and cleanse the body of toxins.
Easy Kuttu Chilla Recipe for Navratri fasting
Kuttu ka Chilla
200- gram kuttu ka ataa
11/2 tsp. rock salt
Coriander leaves – freshly chopped
1 tsp. ginger grated
2 piece green chilly, finely chopped
1 small potato – raw
1 small cucumber – raw
In a mixing bowl, add kuttu ka aata, rock salt, freshly chopped coriander leaves, grated ginger, chopped green chilly, grated potato (potato laccha), grated cucumber, water as needed. Mix it well and make a medium thick smooth batter.
Heat the tawa and grease it with a little bit of oil. Wipe off the extra oil with tissue paper and make the pan smooth.
And now spread a spoonful batter and spread it evenly in clockwise to make chilla.
Drizzle little oil all around and top of the chilla.
Let it cook for a minute or until it becomes brown from downwards, once cooked flip it over and cook the other side till dark spots appear on the lower surface.
Repeat the same process for the remaining batter.
Take out Kuttu ka chilla from the pan and serve hot with any green (coriander and mint) chutney, Coconut chutney, red chilli peanut chutney of your choice.
Benefits of kuttu ke chilla:
It is a great grain easy to digest, an antioxidant, helps controls cholesterol, and provides essential vitamins and minerals. Kuttu ka atta or buckwheat flour is low in glycemic index, due to this it is easy to digest and good for diabetes. This chilla can also be made on normal days, it is very healthy and nutritious.
Nutritive Value [Per 100 grams]:
Energy – 457 kcal
Carbohydrate – 96 g
Protein – 13 gm
Fibre – 7 gm
Calcium – 68 mg
Iron – 8.4 mg
Please note – In pregnancy, exercise caution while taking any type of fasts, as the baby’s needs are specific and usually fasting is not encouraged. If you are still keen to know how to modify your diet during Navratri, please contact your nutritionist for safe personalized guidance via a video consultation so that you can reach out from the safety and comfort of your homes.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose 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.