Each year Hindus all over the world religiously fast for nine days twice in a year. This fasting period is recognized as Navratri Vrat by North Indians. The perception that substituting roti (carbohydrate) with endless servings of vrat ka khana, characterized by fried potatoes, sabudana papads, crispies, sweets, fruits etc will help in losing weight is a myth. Apart from eating wrong stuff, another common crime is 'not eating at all'. In the greed of knocking down a few kilos, people usually go for just one big meal in the evening, which is an absolute no-no. It is detrimental to metabolism and in the bargain you only get fat, a bloated feeling and constipation. Navratri food is generally starchy and needs a lot of oil to be cooked, which leads to constipation since the body is not used to so much of starch. So, the solution lies in changing the way you cook. For instance, a potato can be taken as a mash rather than in fried form.

In case, you intend to fast this month of Navratra, it is important that you keep certain recommendations in mind: 

  1. Avoid eating fried food. 
  2. Limit your sugar intake. Avoid sweets. 
  3. Eat one cooked meal and the rest fruits and dairy. 
  4. Drink plenty of water. Remain hydrated with water in different forms like soups, nariyal pani, butter milk, nimbu pani and fruit shakes. 
  5. Limit portion size.

Follow these simple steps and enjoy the benefits of the nine days of detoxification!

Diet Plan For Navratra

Day 1

Potato Plan you may eat 4-6 boiled potatoes throughout the day in form of raita, tikkis (not deep fried) or subji. Have two meals of potatoes and curd, two of fruits and one snack of low-fat milk. Substitute fried potatoes and chips with grilled potato cutlets, potato mash, and aloo chaat. One can add veggies like cucumber, tomato, mint and coriander to add taste and volume. Sweet potato can be roasted and eaten as chaat. 

Day 2

Paneer Plan On this protein plan you may eat paneer in a light preparation as two meals, papaya, oranges, pineapple, cucumber salad in one meal and a glass of low-fat milk as a snack. 

Day 3

Sago/Sabudana Plan Sago or sabudana is relished as khichdi and kheer during Navratari fast. This is a high glycemic food and calorie dense so have one meal of sago/sabudana and rest of the meals as fruits and dairy. 

Day 4

Repeat Paneer Plan

Soups can be prepared out of vegetables allowed during the fasts and taken as a small mid-meal. Soups are considered to be natural diuretics so they'll help you ward off constipation

Day 5

Kuttu Atta (Buckwheat Flour) As Navratra fasting is not complete without a kuttu relish, have one favorite meal prepared with kuttu atta. Rest of the day keep your day light with fruits and dairy products. Rather than having it in the form of those oil dripping puris, make vegetable chillas (pancakes) out of the same. This will require a far lesser amount of oil. 

Day 6

Repeat Paneer Plan 

Day 7

Samakia Chawal you may enjoy one meal of the starchy preparation but again to ensure calorie balance have fruits and milk rest of the meals. If made in desi ghee tastes yummy but is a big source of calories. Instead, try eating them cold with curd and they can be an oil free treat for the season. One can also powder them to make pancakes.

Depending on whether you keep Ashthami or Navmi you can repeat anyone of these favorite plans again. Remember not to feast after fasting as all that you lose will bounce back...