Select Your Day to Fast

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Select Your Day to Fast

You can fast once a week or once in ten days. The day for fasting can be chosen when you are alone and your energy need not be spent on talking, shouting at youngsters and servants. Do not indulge in those chores which may tire you physically but which will refresh your mind. These can be gardening or other similar hobbies or little chores. Start your morning with a glass of plain water. After the ablutions, take an enema. (See chapter 17 Water Cure for Obesity).

You can have only fruit juice or just plain water the whole day. To keep your mind away from the thought of food or eating, go for a walk where you do not come across any food items. You can also engage yourself in some work with the determination to finish it before the end of the day. If your mind gets a constructive diversion, you will hardly notice that you have fasted the whole day.

How to break the fast

Break your fast only with vegetable or fruit juices first and after that with semi-fluids for the next meal. Only then should you start on solid food. Solid food should be either fruits or raw or boiled vegetables.

In almost all people eating can help reduce weight more steadily than fasting. Does it sound queer? It need not because it is true and it has been proven by many weight reducers successfully. But eating does not mean, eating anything and everything one wants but only the recommended diet which can be consumed in a variety and also frequently.

The role of raw diet in reducing weight

In every Indian community, raw food holds a definite place among its cuisine. Chutneys, raitas, salads and kheer have a very important place in traditional meals too. But for the fruit and vegetable juices and salads which people in the cities consume off roadside stalls, everyone will be suffering from many incurable diseases and chronic disorders! If fresh and raw food is consumed compulsorily along with cooked food, a fairly tolerable health can be enjoyed by everyone.

Raw eating was encouraged at least occasionaly during special occasions and festivals. In Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, there are some communities who never light a fire on some particular days of the year. Though it has a religious basis, the actual reason is to encourage raw eating. If we ponder over the so-called religious customs, especially regarding fasting or eat¬ing a raw diet, we will realise its actual relation to good health and a disease-free life.

Artificial foods like highly seasoned fried and processed foods have no place in a reducing diet. Likewise refined carbohydrates and proteins too are not recommended. They must be replaced by natural carbohydrates and proteins which are found in whole natural food. Whole food is the food obtained in its natural state without undergoing any change, like refining and processing or even cooking. But man discovered fire and has paved the way for cooking the food in which process destroying the life of the food. No nutritious value of it has ever increased due to cooking. No doubt it becomes tastier but the diseases caused by it, does not warrant the taste.

Human organs have a store of natural reserve energy. All edible varieties of raw vegetables are full of perfect nutrients and have the same or even better qualities than the cooked version. They fulfill the demands of the various organisms and regulate func¬tions of the organs and restore the health of a sick person, no matter from what disease the patient might be suffering from.

Calories

500 grams of body fat supplies about 3600 calories, which is used as the source of energy. In a reducing diet if 500 grams of calories are cut, the energy for activities is still sufficient. For a few weeks, if fewer calories are consumed, a person will steadily lose at least 5 kg. in a few weeks. But the day-to-day activities differ in nature and it is difficult to count the calories to be taken. Some mistake fewer calories for limiting the food intake. Limiting food quantity is not the answer but limiting the calories intake until it is less than the amount needed for the day to allow the body to use from the storage of fat tissues, is.

The adverse effects of a drastic diet programme

Losing weight is difficult, but keeping to the correct level after slimming is still more difficult. Most exercises contribute very little to weight loss unless a sensible diet is also followed. The answer lies in those factors controlling the body’s metabolism, some of which are unidentified and unalterable. The only way in which weight can be lost, is by selecting a diet suited to one’s own requirements. Medically, crash diets are not recommended because they carry risks and it is an unpleasant fact, that those, losing weight thus, usually, regain the lost weight very quickly, once they go off it.

When a person who is in the habit of taking only cooked food and processed food. suddenly changes over to only raw diet of vegetables or fruits and totally withdraws milk products which he / she used to consume, severe deficiencies of calcium, vitamin B 1’1 and B2 {riboflavin} will occur. The fat content in the milk is not recommended in a weight reducing diet, and the fat can be Conveniently eliminated by taking skimmed milk and its prod¬ucts like curds and buttermilk. By removing fat from milk, only the loss of vitamin A occurs, which can he supplemented by fresh vegetables.

The following items must be added in the diet:
Pulses: Ragi { Finger millet } Kulti { horsegram }, whole Bengal gram.
Vegetables: Leafy vegetables { amaranth – “chowlayee”}, cau¬liflower, drumstick leaves, cummin seeds { Jeera }, asafoetida {hing }, fenugreek, white raddish { Moolee } and coriander leaves.
Dairy products: Buttermilk and cottage cheese (paneer).

Reducing intake of salt

In trying to lose weight, reducing the salt intake and drinking plenty of water itself solves half of the problem. About 60 to 70 percent of our body weight is water. The muscle tissues of our body are rich in water whereas fat tissues contain very little water. If being over weight is due to the excess of fat tissues and not muscle tissues, the loss of weight due to water loss caused by a low carbohydrate diet will pose severe problems. The water loss through urine, sweat etc. can be replaced by correct eating and drinking habits. When carbohydrates, proteins and fats are properly converted to energy, water is produced and retained in the body. Water is absolutely necessary to maintain the metabo¬lism. If carbohydrates and proteins are insufficient in the food, there will be water loss.

We feel thirsty immediately after eating salty food. Tinned, processed and fried foods contain large quantities of salty that triggers the thirst. Water thus consumed neither helps metabo¬lism nor is produced due to the combustion of carbohydrates and proteins. Thus an imbalance of water occurs, resulting in fluid retention, edema of the ankles, puffy bags under the eyes and also high blood pressure. So if salt intake is reduced and water consumption increased, the excess salt taken through natural food is expelled through urine. A glass of lukewarm water one hour before meals is one more effective way to aid digestion and prevent the consumption of an excess of anything that may cause obesity.

How to eat your way out of obesity?

Fresh natural food, even when eaten frequently, enables one to lose weight steadily. Even if one does not count the calorie intake recommended for them, which is extremely difficult, one would be surprised by the steady reduction in weight. This is because, once they start dieting on natural food, they provide the neces¬sary nutrients while being low in calories. Raw vegetables like cucumber, beetroot, tomatoes – both raw and ripe, lady fingers, cabbage, some leafy vegetables, fruits, popcorns occasionally, fresh vegetable and fruit juices etc. are some of the recommended natural foods for reducing weight.

You can It loose weight by talking about it

You can’t lose weight by talking about it, on the contrary, you have to restrain your mouth from talkiJ1g as well as eating most of the time. There need not be a rigid pattern in observing diet, but still, if a diet chart would help one to relax mentally, he can follow the one given below . You can replace some preparations of natural food to avoid monotony of consuming the same variety day after day. These diets can be followed for one week with one group of food and replaced by another the next week.

Morning drink: Cleansing drink

1. Two to three glasses of plain water
or
2. Juice of one lemon and one spoonful honey in a glass of
warm water
or
3. A glass of buttermilk without salt.
or
4. Two spoonfuls of fresh Indian gooseberry juice in a glass of warm water. If fresh berries are not available, dried ones can be soaked overnight and crushed to extract juice the next morning.

Breakfast

Any single fruit like papaya, unpeeled apple, orange, grape, guava, pineapple, plum, etc.
or
Porridge made of ragi, a small plate of soaked and sprouted whole bengal gram [chana] or whole green gram moong, anyone at a time.
or
Juice of any vegetable like tomatoes, spinach, beetroot or all three mixed, or of carrot, ginger, lemon, beetroot and coriander leaves or cucumber or bitter gourd juice.
or
Orange juice, pineapple juice, grape juice, apple juice. [anyone]
or
Wheat bran in either skimmed milk [diluted] or butter milk.

Lunch

One bowl raw vegetables, one bowl boiled vegetables, a little unpolished or boiled rice or one small whole wheat bread.

Evening

Any fruit or vegetable juice, or buttermilk.

Night meals

Same as lunch but in smaller quantity.
or
A plateful of any of the above mentioned fruits.

Drink at bed time should be nothing other than warm water with lemon juice and honey.
One meal a day programme to lose weight

A heavy breakfast or a high calorie morning meal upto 10 a.m. should be adopted by those who wish to eat large meals and by those who are seldom satisfied unless they eat their stomach full. Some are of the opinion that unless they eat large meals their enormous body would become weaker. This is more so with parents who feed their already overweight children.

Our digestive system is more alert and more active in the mornings. Even a food high in calories if taken in the morning, does not do much harm. But as the day advances, the taste buds become more active. Therefore, a heavy dinner or late afternoon meal is not suitable for a single meal a day programme.

In changing one’s eating habits in the programme of reducing, certain things must be taken into consideration. Dieting should never be viewed as a sacrifice for someone else’s sake or to prove that nothing works even though all possible changes have been made. A positive approach for good health and better appearance will do good, whereas a wrong mental attitude if encouraged or maintained would hinder success. The benefits of cultivating a genuine pleasure in eating healthy food, is extremely essential for maintaining stability in weight for ever.

Follow some rules given below:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Reduce salt intake
  • If you cannot stay away from eating for less than two or three hours continuously, stuff your fridge and kitchen shelves with fruits and fresh vegetables to satisfy your need for nibbling.
  • Munch spices like bishop weed [ajwain], cummin seeds or cloves, retaining the juice in the mouth for a long duration while watching TV or playing games.
  • Do not go for shopping before your meals are taken.
  • In order to restrain yourself from eating rich, fatty and sweet foods in an unavoidable party, eat partially at home before going to the party, i.e., never go hungry to a party because hunger does not make you realise what you NEED but only what you like.
  • Don’t get discouraged by others when you go on a diet or fasting.
  • Chew your food thoroughly.

Weight reducing recipes

The nutritive value of foodstuffs must not be sought in the variety of foods consumed, but in the variety of constituents composed of in those foodstuff. Useful reforms in public eating places keeping people’s need in welfare must be made. The meals will then become more pleasant and varied and the health of people fortified considerably. But charity begins at home. So let us first start this useful task at home.

For almost all common or chronic diseases, including obesity, special diets are prescribed for a speedy recovery and quicker results, along with the treatment one undergoes. But many people are subjected to some type of macro-nutritious ?iet which are not very tasty.

Now to help such persons to choose from a large variety of such diet that may suit their health as well as be tasty, some recipes are given below. All the recipes are of raw, uncooked and mildly¬ cooked food only. Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains are the main ingredients in all the receipes.

SALADS AND RAIT AS

Salt is better avoided or be added in negligible quantities. Salt destroys the nutritive value of the food. The method for pre¬paring food in moderate quantities to serve just a small family of 3 to 4 members is given below. Ingredients can be se¬lected and the measure can be altered as per one’s taste.

Beetroot Salad: Wash the beetroot { do not peel} and bake in an oven. Peel, cut in slices and add lemon Juice.

Cucumber Raita: Grate the cucum¬ber {water extracted from the cu¬cumber can be added to any other vegetable juice or taken plainly with a little lemon juice squeezed in it}, add curd made out of skimmed milk and mix thoroughly. Add chopped coriander leaves and one small piece of green chilly, a pinch of salt can be added if taking it saltless seems difficult. But if salt is omitted, it would be better.

Snakegourd {Padval} Raita: Slice the snakegourd into thin slices, add a few drops of cooking oil and stir fry for two to three minutes. Add turmeric powder. Remove from tire and cool. Add curd made of skimmed milk. Season with a little oil in which mustard is spluttered. Add a pinch of hing powder and chopped curry leaves.

Tomato Raita: Cut raw tomatoes and coriander leaves. Add curd made of skimmed milk. Season with mustard and hing powder in a little oil. Green chillies can be added. It is optional.
Beetroot Raita: Peel and cut beetroot into small pieces. Cook in pressure cooker and cool. Heat a quarter teaspoonful of oil and season mustard. Add chopped ginger and green chilly. Add this seasoning to the beetroot. Mix curd made of skimmed milk.

RAW CHUTNEYS

Cucumber Chutney: Chop cucumber, add a very small piece of ginger, chopped coriander leaves, few grains of salt, a tiny piece of green chilly. Grind the mixture in mixer and squeeze lemon juice in it.

Almost all raw green vegetables, like cucumber, carrot, toma¬toes, beetroot, onions, capsicum, cabbage, cellery, raddish, etc., can be mixed with sprouted grains to make a variety of tasty nutritious salads as per one’s taste.

FRUIT DRINKS FOR OBESITY:

Apple Cucumber Shake:

  • 2 sweet apples
  • 4-5 slices of cucumber
  • 1 teaspoonful lemon juice
  • 1/2 glass of water

Cut the apple into pieces, add cucumber slices and water. Mix in a blender together with the lemon juice. Decorate with a few more cucumber slices.

Apple Ginger Drink: (For two glasses)

  • 2 sour apples
  • 1/2 teaspoonful ginger paste
  • 1/2 pinch soda bicarb (cooking soda)
  • I/2glass water.

Extract juice of one apple in the blender, add ginger paste and cooking soda to the water. Stir well. Pour the apple-ginger mixture to the water and stir briskly. Slice the other apple thinly and float them in the juice before serving.

Pineapple Cocktail: (for two glasses)

Two glasses of unsweetened pineapple juice.

  • Two apples
  • One spoonful honey
  • Cherries

Chop the apples into small pieces; add to the pineapple juice and blend until smooth, in a mixer. Add honey and stir well. Decorate with cherries.

Hot Vegetable Juice:

Two glasses vegetable juice of any single or a combination of the following:

  • Tomato, Spinach, Beet.
  • Two pieces of sliced garlic, a little salt and pepper powder.

Pour the vegetable juice in a saucepan, add sliced garlic pieces, boil and simmer it for 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper, stir and serve. Salads made out of finely chopped raw vegetables mixed with sprouted pulses also make whole¬some food for a breakfast or a whole meal.

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  • About The Author

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    Gopakumar Nair belongs to a Hereditary Ayurvedic family of Kerala who were Practising Ayurveda and traditional Medicine for 200 Years . They can be traced back to over six generations. His experience under the guidance of his guru Valiya thampuraan has earned lot of trust and popularity.

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