What is my take about dieting, and Fasting?
Where I come from ‘Fasting’ translates to Upavaas. In Sanskrit Upavaas translates to ‘Sitting Close’ – Sitting Close to a Guru imbibing knowledge in bliss whence you forget to eat and drink. Now-a-days Upavaas means fasting, with awareness this might change back to what it really means.
Now I understand I eat too much food to satisfy my cravings. With fasting at different levels now I understand that the cravings are because my body needs minerals. The empty foods that I eat are not fulfilling this need so I tend to eat more.
Here is how I arrive at the above take:
As a young person, I observed many people, including my mum, fast regularly on special days/occasions; as penance in the name of their deity.
At eighteen, out of peer pressure (room-mate) in university, I fasted (?) 1 day/week with one evening meal with no salt or spices for one year. I put a question mark on this, because the whole day I dribbled thinking about what I would eat in the next meal. What I gained from this experience is the food is really tasty.
At thirty seven, I fasted (dieted) for three months eating any form of sugar on only one day a week. I.e. no sugar in any form for six days, along with two walks daily. I gained a fit and healthy body losing ten kilograms in the process.
Two years later I learned a very special breathing technique called Sudarshan Kriya yoga (which I practice every day to this day). With this I have found that I am naturally ‘aware’ all the time. Out of wonder, to cleanse my system of ‘anything else’, I fasted two days/month for three months – I chose a weekend to do this – I would eat nothing but would drink any amount of water; and I countered any anger that would arise with particular yogic breathing practice – kapala bhati a type of pranayama. With this I am now aware of my body needs with respect to food – I eat a bit slower, eat more fresh food – fruits and vegetables in season; I sit to eat.
P.S. Question and answer from Yahoo answers site
Disclaimer: All diets/ fasts must be done under medical supervision with due respect to individual medical conditions.