There are many reasons to fast: for one’s religion, one’s health or one’s well-being… To fast, means literally to deprive yourself of food and possibly of water. It is easy to understand that such a “regime” cannot be applied in the long term. Fasting, when practiced in a safe manner, over a short period, can relieve the body, especially after one or more hearty meals.
Fasting is not without benefits for our body. The juice of fresh vegetables the day after an excess, will, for example, allow the body to find its benchmarks by stopping it to spending energy on a complicated digestion while providing water and vitamins absolutely necessary to its proper functioning. For this purpose, we can associate detox herbal teas that will relieve the liver, as a tonic that spares no effort when it comes to treating issues associated with excess food. In any case, there are basic precautions that need to be respected during this period to avoid putting yourself in danger.
Whether it’s the approach of Lent or Ramadan, or to give a break to your body, here is our list of the 5 golden rules of a safe fast.
1. Remember to hydrate yourself
For better hydration, vary the drinks (teas, herbal teas, coffee, water…) taking care not to consume too much caffeine (alternating normal and deca coffees, for example) and sodas.
2. Try to maintain a balanced diet
Paradoxically, some people manage for example to gain weight during Ramadan, by excessive intake of very sweet and very fatty products.
Whatever the pace chosen for our fast, we will opt for fresh fruits, vegetables and starchy foods with low Glycemic Index. The lower the GI of the food, the more the sugar it contains will be absorbed slowly: this avoids the peaks of blood sugar and cravings that succeed them.
3. Split meals if possible
To avoid an excessive intake of quantity (the stomach is quickly disillusioned to receive a normal food intake) that could lead to poor digestion – bloating, feeling of heaviness, pain… – try to split meals into several small portions and drinks, rather than meals so as not to overload the stomach.
4. Get enough sleep
The body is already tested by fasting which causes it to draw on its energy reserves, it is thus necessary to be provided sufficient times of sleep to enable the body to recharge itself.
5. Take a note on the suggested foods
Choose small quantities of dried oleaginous fruits – almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts… – because they have an excellent energy density (many calories for a small volume) but are also nutritional (they are rich in minerals and cardioprotective polyunsaturated fatty acids).