Articles on fasting

How to Last a Fast?

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
As an Indian national, surely, you will not only have observed some form of fast at some point, but also known someone within your close circle who did the same. Religious fasts are ritualistic acts which have existed for centuries now. As a country, we take our fasts quite seriously. The West is in fact only recently catching up to the idea of ‘fasting’ and creating juice cleanses, 5 hour fasts called ‘Fast 5’, half a day fasts etc. as a means to ‘cleanse’ and ‘detox’ the body. Fasting is quite the trend off late. So what’s the verdict then? Is fasting good for your body? Should you fast as a diabetic patient? Read on for clarity.Just to get some basics out of the way, fasting is when you willingly abstain from certain foods, drinks or both for a stipulated time period of the day or several days. Reasons could be religious or personal or a combination of the two. However, it is important to remember that giving up food and beverage is an act which symbolizes something greater. The ritual of fasting is a form which has a deeper essence.For instance, in Christianity, the idea of Lent is to cultivate self-discipline by giving up an unhealthy behavior-this could range from overeating to smoking to excess television viewing. In Hinduism, fasts during Navratras are observed as a means to, amongst other things, inculcate virtues like stoicism and build willpower and inner strength. In Islam, fasts are observed during Ramadan to build empathy towards those who have little to eat and drink every day. All faiths point us to the common virtues of charity, generosity, good-will, self-discipline, abstinence and self-control and what better way to build these than through a medium as powerful as food itself?Even if you’re a cynic and a non-believer of religious rituals, fasting does have some legitimate psychological and physiological benefits to boast for:One day or a few hours without all food or specific foods is enough to make you realize just how much our lives revolve around foodFasts focus on eating lighter meals as a means to allow your digestive tract some downtime. With our massive Sunday brunches and wedding buffets and endless rounds of appetizers and drinks, the stomach rarely gets any downtime unless we schedule it deliberately via a fastPerhaps you know this already but giving up alcohol for any amount of time will only do you good (yes darling, red wine included)But fasting also has some possible downsides:AcidityDehydration (especially if you observe dry fasts)Migraine or hunger induced headachesLow blood sugar (cause of concern especially if you’re a diabetic)Should you not fast if you’re diabetic then?Unfortunately, there isn’t a very black and white answer to this question. Consult your doctor who could help you with the precisions and guidelines on this. However, broadly, as a diabetic, what’s important for you is to avoid any grand deviations in your blood sugar levels. Bearing this in mind, we have designed sample meal plans for Lent, Navratri and Ramadan. Please note that there are broad guidelines/principles based on which we have listed specific foods. The listed food items are not set in stone and could be swapped or replaced with other items which share a similar nutrient profile.Too often, we see clients/patients fast and then feast/binge/overeat once the fast is completed. This would cause huge disturbances and fluctuations in your blood sugar and it would make your poor pancreases work overtime to release enough insulin to cover all the glucose just sitting in your bloodstream. Work on avoiding these scenarios via these 3 simple steps:Step 1: Focus on eating slowlyStep 2: Chew the meal contents thoroughly as opposed to gulping (yes, we know you’re starving but please make an effort)Step 3: Eat a decent, not ginormous, amount at one goAren’t you looking forward to these fast-friendly foods? Haven’t they already made the upcoming rituals a lot less dreary and more fun?!For more comprehensive meal plans and to have specific queries resolved, do touch base with us

Disadvantages of Fasting for Weight Loss

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Fasting has been around for a while. Mostly used for religious purposes it is also considered a technique to lose weight. Some people also use it as a detox mechanism but the fact is there are organs & natural foods that are already doing that job.Do you think then fasting is the right & effective approach to weight loss?Let us explain through facts whether fasting is good for you or not.There are different definitions of fasting. Some people fast without any foods or water at a stretch while some are flexible and allow themselves to have raw fruits, water & caffeine. Fasts lasting a day or two are unlikely to be dangerous for most healthy adults. But the following people like the elderly, anyone with a chronic disease, pregnant women, and children fall under the high risk category and are advised against any type of fasting.Fasting can be dangerous if followed for prolonged periods, anywhere from three days to a month. What happens to your body when you fast?You lose weight. But that’s because you have drastically cut down on your calories. Also you are not losing fat this instance instead that change on the weighing scale is reflecting the loss of water in your body. Remember our body is 70 % water and that’s why on a fast one loses the “water weight” which comes instantly back the minute eating is resumed. Fasting also slows down the metabolism that’s the reason why a lot of people tend to put on weight even when they have been on prolonged periods of fasting instead of really losing it.Next time you are thinking about fasting to lose weight you might want to reconsider going through that route especially when the end results can this discouraging.The healthy and the most effective way to lose weight are to get into a routine of healthy diet and regular exercise. Following a balanced routine not only leads to a healthy weight loss but also a fit and toned body.Basic Eating Rules to follow include:-Plan your meals in advance. This will help you manage healthier meals.-Don’t give too much gap between your meals. Giving too much gap will lead to binging and snacking on unhealthy food.-Eating too often might burden your digestive system and will not really help you keep the weight off in the long run.-Don’t eat if you are stressed or exhausted.

Fasting, feasting, and everything in between!

Ms. Raminder Kaur Deshmukh, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Hey!! watch out Navratra's are ahead.As navratra's are here and everyone is prepared for the festivities ahead. If you are undertaking an extending fast one must take special care.Here are some tips which one can follow:Keep yourself hydrated by choosing coconut water/green tea/lemon water/water/fruit shakes/fruit yogurt/vegetable juices.Eat at every regular interval of time.One should take fruit in breakfast as it will energize your body.Avoid oily and fried food like fried potato/ fried tikki/ puri's etc. as it will lead to weight gain.Try to adapt baked/ grilled food like baked potato/ grilled stuffed potato with green chutney.Include sago(sabudana) khichdi with lots of veggies as it will give you feeling of fullness and also provide you fiber.Include sabudana kheer with low-fat milk as a sweet option or prashad. One can add dry fruit to it.At the time of snacking one can have roasted makhana with green tea or tea or baked chips with green tea.In dinner, one can have fruit shake with chia seeds/ veg. samakia with salads/ roasted or baked paneer with veggies.Fasting doesn't mean one have to starve for the whole day and eat more food at one time which is known as feasting. When we overeat our stomach stretches to accommodate extra food. we gulp more food at a time which also lead to heartburn or acid reflux. This occurs due to fasting for the whole day and feasting at a time.It is better to chew food well and eat slowly as it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain when we are full. Overeating also lead to bloating/ acidity/ heartburn/ abdominal cramps etc.Hence, one should fast in a healthy manner.SAMPLE MENU FOR THE UPCOMING NAVRATRA'S:Breakfast: Fruit with milk/ fruit shake with 5 to 6 almonds.Mid-morning: Lemon water with fruit /coconut water with fruit/ green tea with fruit.Lunch: Grilled sabudana vada with green chutney/ Buckwheat flour (kuttu atta) chapati with vegetable and salad and ghiya raita/ Baked sabudana tikki with vegetable and curd/ Vegetable samakia rice with curd and saladAfter Lunch: Green teaEvening: Green tea/ tea with baked chips/ Roasted makhanaDinner: Paneer tikka/ milk with fruit/ A bowl of veggies and salad/ Petha+ ghiya soup with vegetable/ Apple soya shake with chia seeds/ Curd+fruit smoothie.

Healthy Fasting Tips for Karwachauth

Dr. Pallavi Jassal
Faulty fasting can sometimes have damaging repercussions, specially your health. So let's make this karvachauth a special day for you and your health as well.Begin this auspicious day with a healthy Sargi:Sargi should comprise of fruits like berries, bananas, oranges, pomegranate, papaya and pears. These are an excellent source of soluble fiber.To satisfy your carbohydrate quotient, have a good portion of paneer and an oatmeal or bran roti. Oats are very good option as these have soluble fibers, which delay emptying of the stomach, thereby making one feel fuller for a longer period. Instead of sugary milk or tea, have a refreshing drink of lemon or lemongrass. Try not to follow sweets in the mornings with oily paranthas. Oily paranthas and sweets are only going to make you feel dizzy, thirsty, & hungry sooner as they affect your insulin activity. Try having fresh fruits and dried fruits instead, like almonds, dates and figs.A Sample Meal For Sargi: A bowl of mixed fruits 1 Oat or whole wheat roti 100 grams of cottage cheese with methi or mint leaves ½ cup of dahi Few minutes later Lemon water or coconut water Few almonds, dates or figs along with some pomegranate (Ideal for delaying the thirst & hunger pangs)Importance of having healthy Sargi The meal had at Sargi will help you be content for the next few hours without any discomfort. Keep yourself busy whole day to avoid thoughts of thirst or hunger. Though, our body can function without food for up to 48 hours but may show signs of dehydration without water very soon. Exercising or strenuous movements will only leave you more tired and drained.Tips While Breaking The FastYou might be very thirsty and hungry and can over-hydrate at one time, causing strain on kidneys and the gut. Be calm and you will be able to assess your body’s needs for food and water. Start with a glass of plain water or any flavoured waters suggested above. Your body is usually tired and blood glucose level may be lowEat a few dry fruits, a mixture of almonds, walnuts, raisins and some seeds like sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds will give you the right pump.Drink a glass of water again to replenish your fluids and then eat your meal. The ideal meal here can be your favorite carbs to break down easily and faster in the blood stream, to help refill our glycogen stores.Avoid oily food always to avoid feeling heavier and tired.A Sample meal for the night: A glass of water/ refreshing lemon water or coconut water Some nuts and seeds ½ a fistful A glass of water 2-3 Idlies, or plain soda or whole wheat chapati A bowl of dal or sambhar or sprouts A bowl of yogurt A bowl of veggies A piece of dark chocolate to can satisfy your sweet cravings instead of heavy sugar and oil laden mithai.Wishing you all beautiful women a very healthy and happy karvachauth.Stay blessed & LiveLifeMore Together.

Fast and Furious Dentistry

Dr. Bianca Nazareth Arya, Dentist
Everybody is in a hurry these days. We know it by the incessant honking while driving. We see it by the number of traffic signals people break. We sense it when people keep looking at their watches in the middle of a conversation. We read it in the abbreviated smses we receive. Everyone thinks they are starring in the Fast and The Furious. It doesn't matter what it is that has to be done next. It may not even be significant. The important thing is to finish what we are doing right now and get on with the next thing on the schedule even if it is just driving to the next pan shop and lighting up a cigarette. This perpetual hurrying extends to everything - it even extends to medical and dental treatment. For years these same people may have lived with a broken tooth but when they finally start treatment they want it done in a day. In the past - this blog post may have focused on patience however with dentistry evolving at the speed that it is we'd much rather focus on the fact that hurrying is now possible. Hurrying WITHOUT compromising on quality. Technologies that enable chair side scanning and milling ( example CEREC) are here to save the day and how. Technologies which allow a tooth to be fabricated in a day. Right in front of a patient. No more impression taking and waiting for 4-5 days for the laboratory to send back a crown. Now this can be done chair side. Beautiful, aesthetic and life like restorations fabricated right beside you. People who come into town just for dental treatment will no longer need to keep travelling back and forth or stay at hotels till treatment is completed. They merely take an appointment, come in, get treatment done, and travel back the same day. (Of course this means that consultation either physically or online has been done previously and the plan is in place). What is more - cosmetic/aesthetic cases where the patients don't want to stay 4-5 with temporary teeth in their mouth CEREC will be a godsend. Wait a few hours in the clinic and you walk out with a glowing smile with permanent restorations. More and more innovations are directed today at time saving preserving quality at the same time. Single sitting root canals, single sitting crowns, dental implants and a whole host of other treatments done in one sitting. One day. Of course not all kinds of patients fall into the category of One Day Dentistry but most patients do. All you need to do is identify a dentist who possesses the technology you need. We understand the world is running. Dentistry is catching up. FAST and FURIOUSLY! 

How to Eat Healthy While Fasting

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
India is a land of tradition and various religious practices. Fasting is an integral part of our tradition. Fasting means holding one back voluntarily from eating certain or even any kind of food for a definite period of time. It can range from practicing a fast for a day, a week or for an entire month. Fasting for too long or not having the right food can have an adverse effect on health. It’s important to know how to eat healthy even while fasting to get the most out of it.Tips For Healthy Fasting -Drink plenty of water during your fast to help your body stay hydrated and energized. If the fast demands elimination of foods and drinks completely, then have water in pre and post fast meals. Avoiding water intake for long hours can lead to dehydration.Try to always have a pre-fast meal. It helps the body to sustain itself throughout the day without nourishment. It helps in giving strength and energy to the body. This does not mean that one should stuff one’s stomach with heavy foods before the fast. Choose light and healthy food items such as fruits, milk, nuts etc.Avoid strenuous workouts during fasting. A brisk walk can be included but heavy workouts; long hours of running or swimming should be avoided. As the body is not getting usual portions of food while fasting as compared to normal days, activity patterns should also be reduced to avoid excessive weakness and fatigue.Optimize your nutrition during fasting. Which means if you’re eating less, the nutritional quality of what you eat becomes that much important for the body. Do not include fried, high on sugar items like fried parathas loaded with ghee, pakoras, chips, khoya sweets, halwas etc. Instead go for non-fried stuffed rotis, baked and less oily vegetable preparations, fruits and light home-made milk preparations. Avoid caffeinated drinks such as colas, excessive coffee or tea as they act as diuretics and stimulate faster water loss through frequent urination.Eat healthy when breaking the fast. Always start with a glass of water and some fruit. This won’t cause a sudden spike in the sugar levels post long hours of fasting and will have a revitalizing effect. Main meals should be wholesome and light. These should contain whole grains and less oily preparations. One should not gulp food post fast. Chew your meal properly in order to avoid over eating, gas, nausea and acidity.Pregnant and lactating women, diabetics and people with chronic medical conditions should avoid practicing long hours of fasting as this can be harmful to their health and can lead to fatal consequences.

4 Ways Fast Food Is Ruining Your Body

Dr. Geetanjali, Dietitian/Nutritionist
The name 'fast food' comes from the fact that it can be prepared and served in a jiffy and not to mention, tastes delicious. Don't be fooled by the smell and the taste, they have such little to no nutritional value that they can hardly be called food. They are rich in calories, fat and sugar that lead to various kinds of health conditions. Popular junk foods include gums, sweets, carbonated drinks, desserts, dried foods; you probably love them now but after knowing their effects on your health you might want to eliminate them from your diet. Here are some of the conditions which can be caused by consumption of excessive fast food:Heart diseases: Fast food contains high amounts of trans or saturated fats that can clog your arteries and lead to high level of cholesterol later in life. People who have junk food more than four times a week increase their risk of dying by 80%.Obesity: Adolescents who have poor eating habits are at high risk of being obese. Gaining a lot of weight beyond a recommended proportion can cause many health problems. Junk foods have sugar and calories that lead to weight gain. It has also been noticed that people who are prone to eating more fast foods are less likely to consume fruits and vegetables and this further weakens their immune system.Peptic Ulcer:Peptic ulcer is a disease that occurs in the gastrointestinal tract; it is acidic in nature and causes extreme stomach ache. Spicy oily and salted food combined with stress and alcohol can lead to this condition.Diabetes: Busy work schedule prevents many people from cooking at home and they take resort in fast food but it is advisable not to let work get in the way of your health. Consuming regular fast food coupled with poor lifestyle and lack of exercise lead to obesity which in turn cause Type 2 diabetes.Cut down on junk foods and incorporate fruits and vegetables and also make time to include a daily exercise routine to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

10 Low Calorie Snacks You Can Find in Your Kitchen

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Having mid meal cravings is quite natural for all of us. The trouble with this kind of snacking is the extra calories it comes with. Usually, these snacks add to our excess calorie intake on a daily routine resulting in accumulated calories in our body. The next time you feel craved between your meals and find yourself drifting towards a bar of chocolate or a bag of chips, STOP RIGHT THERE! and remember the line 'a moment on the lips, forever on the hips!'.Don't worry, wipe those worry lines off your forehead because we have the perfect solution to your mid meal hunger pangs. All we need to know, is not how to fight that hunger but how to satiate it with a healthy decision. The right food choices will not only make you lose those unnecessary calories but also make your body fitter.So, check out the list of the easy to carry yummy snacks for weight loss which will keep your calorie count in check and ward that hunger right off.1. AlmondsAlmonds make a perfect snacking option as they’re packed with protein and healthy fat to ward off hunger.Studies have shown that eating almonds may help prevent diabetes, heart disease and more.5-6 almonds can be eaten as a quick snack to overcome cravings between the meals.Also, there is very little caloric difference between roasted- salted, plain or soaked almonds but the healthiest way to have them is soaked with skin as it retains all of its nutrients which roasting might take away.1 Almond= 7 calories. Read health benefits of nuts and seeds.2. Roasted ChickpeasRoasted chickpeas also make a great evening snack when you are craving for something salty.They are a good combination of proteins, fibre, calcium and magnesium.A handful of roasted chickpeas is packed with essential nutrients can keep you full for a longer period, which help in keeping you active throughout the day.1 bowl of chickpeas= 246 kcal (1 bowl/katori= 150 gms). Read about the additional health benefits of chickpeas.3. Fruit SaladFruits are almost synonymous with healthy and when you chomp on a fruit you instantly feel healthy and give yourself a mental pat on the back for choosing a fruit over a fattening option.Snacking on only one type of fruit can become boring over time. So, just to jazz your snack up mix a variety of fruits to your snack bowl and munch on.Fruits are not only high in vitamin and mineral content but also act as an energy booster. So feel light and lively instead of bloated and lazy just by making the right snacking choice.4. Trail MixTrail mix is a great snack because it packs a caloric punch, but doesn’t take up a lot of space.It is a complete package of major and minor nutrients. Trail mix can give you the energy you need when your resources run low.It is the combination of nuts, seeds and cereals, wherein, a small portion of either of the mixtures provides energy and helps control mid meal cravings.5. Yogurt and FruitsFresh fruits provide carbohydrates for quick energy.Pineapple, orange, apple, pear and kiwi fruit are packed with vitamin C, a powerful nutrient for joints and connective tissue that also boasts antioxidant properties which boost immunity.Yogurt and almonds add protein and healthy fat to make this fruit salad super satisfying.Enjoy for a mid-day snack a few hours before your afternoon workout.You can go for packaged one but choose plain yogurt instead of flavoured yogurt as it comes with added sugar and flavouring substances which are not healthy.6. Green TeaWe don't know if a better beverage exists out there! The chinese have been using green tea in their traditional medicine to cure everything from headaches to depression.Green tea is believed to help with not only weight loss but it even decreases your chances of getting a heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.Moreover green tea helps fight cholesterol build up in the body.Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, but like coffee, it helps boost dopamine in the brain.  So, we can't think of one reason why you should not convert from coffeeism to green-teaism.7. SaladsSalads can be both nutritious and versatile, because they’re endlessly customizable by adding fruits and vegetables of your choice.They are fiber and antioxidant rich and can be carried easily in air tight container.As a note of caution, not all salad are healthy. Avoid heavy dressing to keep salads lighter and healthier.8. SoupsNow when we talk about about soups, we don't mean the store bought packaged preserved powder which contains heavy quantities of sodium.Soup in all it's glory is prepared at home where we know what is going into our food.The magic of soup is such that it can be made by using almost any vegetable and it is full of nutrients.Since, soups are mostly made out of water, they will quickly fill you up without adding much to your calorie intake.9. Puffed Rice Chaat (a.k.a Bhel Puri)This Indian wonder is probably the most healthy Indian evening snack out there.It has nothing fried in it and when mixed with the right sauces it will keep your calorie count in check while fulfilling that chaat craving.Just add chopped tomatoes, cucumber and onion with a dash of mint chutney and a few drops of lemon juice.You can make a variety of it by simply adding or replacing some of the ingredients like roasted chana, almonds, and walnuts to make it more nutrition packed and tastier.1 bowl of puffed rice chaat give approximately 100 kcal which is very less if compared to your packet of chips. Read about easy snacking options at work.10. Air-Popped CornOne cup of air-popped popcorn is really healthy snack, has only 31 calories, and almost no fat.Once popped, sprinkle any of your favourite low-calorie toppings like a dash of chilli pepper flakes or dried spices, they add lots of flavor without extra calories.It is quite simple to make as well. All you need is a microwave, a paper bag and plain corn kernels.Just pour 3 to 4 tablespoons of plain kernels into the paper bag, fold over the top twice to seal the mouth properly and microwave for two minutes or until the popping slows down to a few seconds in between pops.All that is left to be said now is BEST OF LUCK on YOUR way to a healthy body.

Detox Diets for Weight Loss - Side Effects

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Detox diets for weight loss are very popular, but they can have serious side effects. A British woman suffered permanent brain damage after a week of a prescribed detox diet. That's not the standard, but you must be aware of the health effects these weight loss detox diets.First, there is no scientifically proven reason to put yourself on a detox diet. Detox diets are nutritionally imbalanced. Some of them keep you on a liquid diet, depriving your body of basic nutrients. Others suggest herbal laxatives and colonics. Our bodies have natural detoxification methods that work very well, so we do we really need these?Because these detox diets are extremely low calorie diets, people experience common symptoms such as tiredness and lethargy. Long term detox diets can cause headaches, constipation, bad breath, and your metabolic rate will slow down, thus you will burn less fat. Also, since these detox diets are so restrictive on calories, your body goes into a starvation mode- it will store all your consumed calories as fat, and burn muscle.To cleanse your colon, increase fiber in your diet. The diuretics and laxatives suggested in detox diets increase your waste output, and can cause severe dehydration. Also, they can change your electrolyte levels which may result in serious health problems. These diets can weaken your body's immune system to fight infection and inflammation.Read about Atkins diet, GM diet and other diets- along with their fad diet side effects. Many people use these diets to lose weight. They do experience fast weight loss, but due to the nature of the diet, once they return to their normal life, they regain the weight back. The key really is to adopting a healthy diet that is long term. And a healthy diet does not mean boiled veggies and raw fruits. It just needs to be balanced. Also the focus should be on fat loss instead of weight loss and being healthy.