Fasting On Maha Shivratri? Our Nutritionist Explains How To Fast And The Impact On The Body
According to Pooja, fasting can help in detoxifying your body.
Every person responds differently to fasting
- Maha Shivratri marks the arrival of Spring season
- People fasting on the occasion should avoid too much tea or coffee
- Fasting can lead to weight loss
It is the auspicious occasion of Maha shivratri. Observed as the night of Shiva, Shivratri is celebrated to worship the Hindu god. While Shivratri comes once every month, Maha shivratri comes only once in a year, and marks the arrival of the Spring season. And as is the case with many other Indian festivals and occasions, people fast during Maha shivratri as well. The intensity of the fast varies from family to family and cultures to cultures. Some cultures might follow very strict methods of fasting, and others follow comparatively lenient ways of fasting.
Did you know? This fasting can impact your health as well.
Delhi-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra says, "The impact of fasting depends on the kind of fasting that you are doing. If you are fasting in a way that you're having salt in one meal and avoiding it in the other, it is definitely helpful."
Many people fast by eating a lot of processed food and packaged food which is loaded with salt. "But people who have home-cooked food with salt, or fruits, nuts or milk, then fasting is helpful in terms of detoxifying the body."
According to Pooja, people can respond in varied ways to fasts which continue for the whole day. Some people might feel acidic, experience headaches and get gastric attacks by fasting for the whole day.
What to avoid when fasting
You must avoid anything which is caffeinated, like tea or coffee as it can lead to acid production, says Pooja. "People who are fasting should prefer eating simple foods. They should keep themselves well hydrated and eat more nuts and fruits. Having a lot of tea or coffee without eating food can make you feel acidity and discomfort."
Also, people tend to overeat when they are eating after a long duration. That should be avoided. Eating after a long gap, acidity and eating in big portions can cause discomfort.
"Overeating during fasting makes you consume much more calories. The food eaten during overeating is more likely to store in the body in the form of fat. Hence during fasting, the portion-size of your food should be in control," suggests Pooja.
Can fasting can lead to weight loss?
"It certainly can," says Pooja. "If you are fasting through the day, where you're refraining from meals, alcohol, smoking, etc; taking one home-cooked meal; and for rest of the day you're keeping yourself satisfied with fruits, nuts, salads, milk, then definitely it can help you in losing weight."
(Pooja Malhotra is a Delhi-based nutritionist)
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