We have entered the New Year and I hope most of you have taken up the basic resolution of a healthy lifestyle this year. But along with new resolutions, it’s important to analyse what worked best for you in 2022 and keep following those habits regularly. We need to understand that everyone is different and unique and identify the right foods, the right kind of exercise, the right tools to control stress, etc that suits us, we need to identify the right food that makes us feel energetic, that boosts our immune system, helps us maintain a healthy weight or lose weight in case one is overweight. What is the right amount and quality of sleep that we need that allows us to wake up fresh and feel completely rested with no dependency on too much caffeine, sugar, and carbs throughout the year? Ask yourself: what is the right amount of exercise that suits me, not what the whole world is doing? Is it walking, yoga, weight training, or dancing — find what suits you without causing injury and keep following what you enjoy doing.
As mentioned, it’s not just food or exercise; we also need to identify what stress impacts our health, is your anxiety prolonged, do your stress levels go up and down? Look at releasing excess emotional baggage and what can we let go of with or without assistance, and try to seek help and counselling wherever needed. We need to determine what’s best for us when it comes to our choices and lifestyle. We shouldn’t be copying others and feel empty or disheartened or upset if those things are not working for us. We need to define our lifestyle with the end product being our happiness.
Last year, intermittent fasting and circadian rhythm fasting worked really well for most of us, and that one lifestyle change can be followed by everyone who can do at least 14 hours of fasting — to give rest to the digestive system — and improve the overall healing of the body. In 2022, everyone was busy with festivities and celebrations; this meant constantly snacking and eating too much; yes too many cakes, sweets, savouries, non-veg, fried, junk, etc. All of this overeating has led to digestion issues, particularly acidity and bloating and that’s why fasting is essential for us because that way we give rest to our digestive
system, which enhances healing and controls acidity. When you plan to fast, try to start with fixed timings, and follow your biological clock. Eat an early dinner and maintain your sleep-wake cycle, your eat and digest cycle properly. Have meals before sunset or as early as possible because our pancreas is not designed to break down food after sunset. Late-night meals make you feel heavy and wake up with acidity, indigestion, puffy eyes, bloating, constipation, IBS, etc. People eating early in the evening got rid of all these problems by testing the digestive tract as well as getting a better quality of sleep.
Our body works based on its natural clock and if your body isn’t able to follow the clock, there will be chaos at the cellular level — interrupting and disrupting digestion, weight, hormones, cell communication, motions, detoxification — and everything else. We need to align on the basis of the circadian rhythm and for that — have your dinner with the sunset preferably at 6 or 7 pm, and gradually shift the late dinner time as it will take time to break year-long habits. Have a well-balanced dinner and after that, fast for 12 14 hours with only plain water (your sleep time as well will be counted in fast). Upon waking, keep sipping on plain water and break your fast with lemon water only when you feel hungry in the morning. Follow this up with fruits and nuts to add a more alkaline dose and digestive enzymes to the body. Set eating times and sleep-wake cycles for 5-6 days a week and enjoy yourself mindfully over the weekend.
Listen to your body, and break the fast when the body is ready. Let’s start 2023 in a healthy way with fasting and making simple but effective changes to our lifestyles.