During the fasting period, our diet consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, protein of vegetable origin and starchy products. However, there are not few times when someone, fasting throughout Lent, increases their weight.

This is mainly for 2 reasons. The first is that we turn more towards a food group that contains mainly starch, ie spaghetti, bread, cookies, crackers, breadsticks, pies and many more of the same category. Most of which have a high sugar content.

The second mainly concerns the balance we keep at meals. There isn’t enough variety (or so we think) and this results in us not getting enough. That is, not to satisfy our hunger and our satiety.

The 5 most common mistakes made:

  • You don’t choose correctly what and when to eat!

Many times we think, in an attempt to lose weight, that not eating our breakfast or even our tithe and preferring something “light” for our lunch, will lead us to the desired number on the scale. But this is something that will mathematically lead us to a continuous snacking until the evening, as we have not satisfied our hunger.

  • You choose specific food groups and only these.

It is a very common phenomenon, especially during the fasting period, to constantly prefer certain foods at every meal. Indicatively, some of them are: potatoes, rice, bread, cookies, pretzels and various fasting pies. This is also the myth surrounding the carbohydrate that you have surely heard. “Carbohydrates make you fat.” The truth is that all foods, and everything we consume during our day, have the same gravity to “fat” us, if we do not control their quality and quantity.

So you don’t need to remove carbohydrates from your life, but adapt them to meals and combine them correctly and intelligently. For example, you can cook lentil rice, which is rich in plant-based protein, instead of plain lentils with enough bread to accompany it. Still, it is preferable to eat squid stuffed with rice or with potatoes and various vegetables, instead of plain baked potatoes.

  • You are not consuming enough plant-based protein.

This category mainly includes legumes, seafood, mushrooms and soy products. It is very important to consume plant-based protein at every meal, so that you can satisfy your hunger. Protein is a very important appetite regulator and in combination with starchy foods, it will keep you full for hours, avoiding snacking.

  • Nuts are indeed healthy, but they need moderation.

During fasting we have all caught ourselves snacking on more nuts than usual. This is mainly because they are considered an innocent food with many nutrients. Indeed, they are an excellent source of trace elements and minerals, and are considered “superfoods”. But they need special attention to their quantity. For example, 1 handful of nuts can reach 200 calories or more, depending on the fruit we have chosen.

  • Lenten sweets are not innocent.

Of course sweets are an integral part of our diet. However, they do not need to be over-consumed, whether we are fasting or not. Lenten sweets such as halva, spoon sweets, various sweet pies, may not contain milk, eggs and butter, but to cover these gaps, they contain enough sugar, semolina, tahini, flour and nut spreads rich in sugar. This results in even a small piece of dessert having an increased caloric load.

Remember that a balanced diet should contain from all food groups. In the same way, fasting gives you the possibility to detoxify your body from animal fat and significantly improve some conditions, such as elevated triglyceride and cholesterol values.

Therefore, if you don’t want to gain weight, try focusing more on fruits, vegetables, legumes and seafood, avoiding “fasting temptations” that are often “calorie bombs”.