Navratri Fasting Tips: Fasting is not only an important spiritual aspect but it is a great way to detox your body. A good detox comprises a cleansing plan that assists our body in relieving itself of excess substances and old sludge accumulated in our tissues over a course of time. The consumption of light, fresh and unadulterated food including fresh fruits and vegetables, natural beverages including coconut water, green vegetable juices, lime water, and fermented drinks supplement these natural detox methods of our body. Fasting also aids weight loss by limiting calorie intake and boosting metabolism. Although people with diabetes need to take special precautions if they are planning to fast.

For people with diabetes who are thinking of fasting in the upcoming Navratri here are the points that need to be taken care of:

  • Keep yourself hydrated by having some coconut water, milk or even normal water at the start of the day.
  • Monitor your sugar levels regularly throughout the day to ensure you avoid a Hypoglycemia attack.
  • Do not skip medication during fasting. For insulin, patients make sure you adjust your insulin dose according to your blood glucose levels and meals. You may consult your diabetes educator or doctor before doing so.
  • Eat small meals during the day at a gap of 2- 3 hours. Long gastric emptying can lead to acidity.
  • Opt for Low Glycemic index food options such as baked snacks or fruits, yoghurt and milk. High Glycemic foods spike up your sugar readings and this can cause problems.
  • Avoid high carbohydrate foods; refined flour and potatoes instead opt for healthier better alternatives such as amaranth flour with which you can make Rotis and baked snacks.
  • Munch on power-packed foods such as fruits, nuts and seeds, paneer or makhanas during the day. Avoid too much coffee or tea as the excess caffeine can stress out your body and even disturb your sleep pattern
  • Avoid strenuous exercise during the fasting season as this could cause hypoglycemia.
  • Avoid sugary treats and fried foods. Choose healthier alternatives like nuts, roasted or baked snacks to satisfy cravings.
  • Opt for fibre-rich and high protein foods, which are slowly digested into the system and give you a feeling of satiety for a longer duration.
  • Break your fast immediately or treat yourself with glucose tablets immediately if your blood sugar levels went below 70 mg/dl.

How do you keep your energy levels up during the festive period while fasting?

There are a few tried and tested methods that one can effectively use to keep their energy levels in check during the fasting period.

  • Small and frequent meals keep help avoid blood sugar spikes and therefore leave you feeling more energetic throughout the day
  • Meditation, light yoga or walks are great forms of physical activity to keep your body active and boost energy levels.
  • Avoid overexertion during the day and being out in the heat all day.
  • While the body is devoid of the food it needs, it becomes even more important to get adequate sleep. Half-hour power naps adequately address this, leaving us refreshed and rejuvenated.

How do you satiate your craving and not overindulge the minute you break the fast?

Most people end up breaking the fast with a heavy meal and this may actually leave you putting more calories into your system. A great way to curb this desire is first to ensure you have had lots of small frequent meals with healthy foods.

While fasting we desire to taste something different rather than the body’s need for nutrition. Hence, a sudden burst of flavour can stop us in our tracks from overindulging in our diet while at the same time satiating our cravings. Mixing lemons, oranges, berries or cucumber with water can accomplish this with ease. This adequately addresses our hunger and can help keep us refreshed at the same time.

What are some of the things that could go wrong if you are careless during the Navratri period?

  • Not consuming adequate quantities of fluids can lead to dehydration. It is therefore essential to be properly hydrated during the fasting period.
  • Apart from this, it is crucial to be particular about our meals in terms of quantity and quality. Fasting may lead to Hypoglycemia and you must always keep an emergency glucose tablet/ sugary snack handy.
  • Listen to your body; watch out for signs like dark urine, a headache, nausea and vomiting. These can be due to extreme dehydration. If you experience these signs stop fasting.

Fasting calls for a much more disciplined approach to your diet in terms of both food and other habits along with a check on the activities we engage in. So feel the vibrant vibes of Navratri and stay healthy and balanced.

(Inputs by Sujata Sharma, Senior Diabetes Care Coach, BeatO App) 

This content was originally published here.