Fasting This Navratri? Healthy Tips to Keep in Mind

If you choose to fast during festivities do it the healthy way.

Health News
3 min read
If it’s absolutely necessary to fast then do it the healthy way.

(Navratri is a nine-day long festival celebrating Goddess Durga and her nine avatars. As Day 1 of Navratri begins, FIT is reposting this guide on fasting during the festival.)

It’s that time of the year when you just want to let loose and have a lot of fun. Not everyone fasts for a religious reason, many people see this as an opportunity to lose weight.

If done the right way, fasting detoxifies the body, satvik food keeps the mind and soul pure. Keep in mind that if you starve through these nine days for weight loss, the moment you go back to your old diet, the fat will come back with a drastically decreased metabolism.

I’m not suggesting that we should not fast, following traditions and rituals are important. Our religious customs are based on pure science, precisely why avoiding alcohol and meat during this time of the year, serves to detoxify and rejuvenate the body.


Make Your Fasts Healthier

Eat small meals, never starve. The key is to create balance.
Eat small meals, never starve. The key is to create balance.
(Photo: iStock/ Altered by FIT)

Skip the sabudana khichdi. It has no nutrition and is loaded with carbs. It has no fiber and is cooked with peanuts and ghee, so it becomes too heavy to digest easily. Go for fruits instead.

Avoid fried namkeens because oily food after long gaps between meals could build acidity and kill your metabolism.

Avoid long gaps between meals. Store roasted makhanas or dry fruits for your mid-meal snacks or make yourself a delicious fruit salad.

Paneer is a versatile favourite - toss it with some peanuts and seendha namak. Being high in protein, it will curb cravings for long and give your fill of calcium too.

Tips to Keep in Mind

Post lunch drink a cup of hot green tea to get your metabolism hyper-active.
Post lunch drink a cup of hot green tea to get your metabolism hyper-active.
(Photo: iStock/ Altered by FIT)

Have lots of water. It will help you in flushing toxins from the body and keep the body hydrated.

Go for low-fat cow milk and curd which keep your body cool and provide good bacteria to keep your gut healthy.

Have rajgirah (or ramdana) rotis. I’ve got so many clients hooked on to this superfood. It is gluten free, has double the amount of calcium than milk and is full of antioxidants, vitamin C, E, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and protein. It is not expensive and available at all kirana stores.

Make kuttu ki roti and not pooris.

Substitute sugar with jaggery.

Include boiled sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are very rich source of beta-carotene and other carotenoids, the precursor to vitamin A in the body.

Instead of processed salt use rock salt or sendha namak. This is a pure form of salt that is not chemically processed, is rich in potassium and aids digestion.

(Kanchan Patwardhan is a famous nutritionist practicing in Mumbai with over 20 years of experience. She can be reached at

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