Does diet play a role in the fasting season? 

By Kamara Daniel

Most people, especially Christians are honouring the 40 days of fasting (Lent Period), which started recently, it’s very important to note that fasting is essential on the life of all believers. Well as different people have their beliefs, its key to note that fasting is nutritionally recognised as a reliable way to lose weight, preparing the patients for operations among others.

On these fasting days, it is key to note activities done during the days of fasting, foods taken, maintaining the fasting, how to break fasting, hours intended to fast and challenges that may result from unintended fasting.

It’s very key to know that fasting must be intentional, not by accident or by following a crowd. Preparing or planning too fast makes it intentional, and prepares the body and mind to be set. This makes the body and the physiological processes aware of the transition to take place.

Before you fast do the following, 

  1. Think about it
  2. Prepare adequately where to do it from.
  3. Hours you intend to fast or how many days out of 40.
  4. Your physiological body state, do you live with a chronic disease, are you breastfeeding? Pregnant, or young children or ailments? 
  5. About your family, are they part of fasting or do they need to eat?

As you prepare to make the fasting intentional, think of how to manage the above, balance the activities and the blood sugar reserves and to ensure the body is fully meeting the body requirements and utilising the glucose.

Why should you fast?

  1. It’s spiritually recommended and evidenced in the bible.
  2.  intermittent fasting can be a very effective weight loss tool; there are even indications that it results in less muscle loss than the classical approach to dieting. However, it’s important to remember the main reason for its success is that intermittent fasting helps reduce total calorie intake. Therefore, if you binge during your eating periods, you may not lose weight.
  3. Fasting can also help improve overall health. For example, it initiates important cellular repair processes including autophagy, where old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells are removed, reducing inflammation markers.
  4. Fasting can help slow ageing and the development of some chronic diseases. Human Growth Hormone (HGH) increases when fasting, while insulin and blood sugar decrease. Together, these changes may increase your metabolic rate, help reduce your waist circumference, and protect against type 2 diabetes.
  5.  Cognitive function and neurological health may also improve
  6. Cardiovascular health may also be enhanced.

 Fasting may not be healthy or indicated in the following groups of people.

  1. Breastfeeding mothers
  2. Pregnant Mothers
  3. Living with chronic diseases that require medication daily.
  4. Undergone a recent surgery.
  5. Has suffered an eating disorder before.
  6. Children below 5years 
  7. Geriatrics and other persons.

Typical fasting is usually 8 hours.

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The following foods could help you breakfast easily.
Before breaking fast, you should plan appropriately and have the following foods that couldn’t irritate the gastrointestinal tract.

It is key to note the following foods, like Yellow bananas. It is very important to take all whole foods and whole fruits.

It is very key to avoid, street, fast, junkie, processed, refined and ultra-processed, all carbonated beverages should be refrained from to avoid the related effects of such foods that may irritate the gastrointestinal tract, and lead to bloating, unnecessary fullness, and diarrhoea among others.

Drinking plenty of fluids may be so helpful to the Gastric system and this makes it so healthy 

It is very important to make sure food is fully prepared, using the natural cooking methods, boiling and steaming. 

Frying food and over-spiced meals may also irritate the gut system and make you prone to other related conditions that can result when the gut has been fasting.

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For any related symptoms or gastric pain, dizziness, or excessive sweating, Break the fast immediately, Eat and seek medical attention as soon you can.

Kamara Daniel is a Nutritionist at Bwindi Community Hospital

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