Over the past few years, intermittent fasting found a new fanbase in fitness enthusiasts. This type of fasting involves the individual drawing up an eating cycle that restricts consuming food for certain hours. Several people have used intermittent fasting to lose weight and it has worked fabulously for many. Fasting isn't a new concept for Indians as various religious festivals and days see people fasting for an entire day.
But, there are times when intermittent or even regular fasting can backfire. I have seen cases where people lose around seven to 10 kg in the first few days and then gain weight because of the resumption of old dietary habits. The reason is a change in metabolism. When you start fasting, the body lowers metabolism to maintain normal internal functions. And, when you stop fasting, it becomes difficult for the body to adjust to the sudden change. Certain diets demand a long-term commitment.
The body slows metabolism because:
The body does not know for how many days fasting will go on
For how many days the body will starve
When the body will get the next dose of energy
When the nutrition level will balance
Our body does not have answers to these uncertainties. And to survive, it needs to maintain normal functioning.
What is safe fasting
Fasting should be easy and comfortable
You should be energetic during fasting days
You should not get dehydrated
You should not feel constipated
The body should get enough vitamins and minerals
You should not feel fatigued
Those who are on medications, fast with care
Pregnant women and those breastfeeding should not fast
If you want to make your fast easy and comfortable, Sujok therapy will help you. Apply dried peas seeds (on the highlighted area, see photo) on the palm.
(Rajshree Vora is an obesity consultant, dietitian and nutritionist, Sujok therapist, counsellor, and yoga therapist. You can write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org)