What is the Sattvic diet?
Yogic diet builds on the principles of purity, bringing inner peace to the body and mind. Food is being classified into 3 categories – Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic (refer to illustration below). The aim of my 4 days experiment was to explore if diet can really affect my energy and mood.
What did I eat?
Admittedly I’m not very creative with my food choices so my diet largely consisted of the similar few ingredients. (also did my grocery shopping in bulk)
Changes – and my attempt at some scientific explanations
During this week, I just ate as much Sattvic food as I liked without counting my calories. However, based on the food that I’m eating, it’s highly likely that I’m in a caloric deficit, which brings me to my first change observed.
(Note: all other physical activities remained largely similar as per previous weeks)
- This wasn’t part of the aim that I set out for this experiment but it was obvious enough to talk about. I did receive some comments on the noticeable change in my appearance by my siblings. That said, as with other conventional diets, typically the first few days of weight loss would be the loss of water mass. Unfortunately I did not measure my body fat % hence unable to drill into the details of whether the weight loss was from fats or water or muscles. In terms of hunger level, I did not let myself starve at any point of these 4 days as I would just snack on some fruits or nuts if I were feeling a bit hungry. For people who are set out to lose weight, this diet would help as you can remain full throughout the diet. However, one downside would be the food choices and flavor options. My meals were very lightly seasoned and my sweet palate was satisfied but not my savory palate. (Random note: I realized there are a lot of naturally sweet fruits/vegetables but not naturally savory ones, potato was the closest that I could find to being savory – please do let me know if you have recommendations.)
- On a typical day with my normal diet, my battery would be drained towards mid-day, especially after lunch. However, I did observe my energy remaining relatively constant throughout the day. This is likely due to the nature of Sattvic food being natural which doesn’t spike our blood sugar level after meals as compared to highly processed food.  https://www.levelshealth.com/blog/can-controlling-my-glucose-levels-give-me-more-energy
- It’s not my first trying out different diets, but given my experience with highly restrictive diets, my mood was not very good. After all the old saying goes: “A hungry man is an angry man.” Hence I was very skeptical stepping into this diet given that Sattvic food was supposed to keep the mind pure and calm. I did feel pretty calm throughout these 4 days and my mind wasn’t always filled with what to eat next (since it’s pretty much the same few things). I struggle to find a scientific explanation for this so you can try it out on your own and share with me your thoughts.
- This also wasn’t part of the aim I set out for but on the last day of the diet I tried to do some pull-ups and I could do 5 consecutively. Was a shock as the last I tried was only 2 (but it was quite some time ago). So after resuming my normal diet (at point of writing this), I went again to try doing some pull-ups and I can now do about 3-4. I’m attributing this to the diet, but also note that the performance could fluctuate based on a lot of other factors. Again, it’s for you to try and find out.
Before I started this diet, I entered with a “I’ll do this for 4 days and never again” mindset. I also shared this plan with my family and comments I got were: “it’s not sustainable”, “it’s too restrictive”, etc. However, after completing the 4 days, I actually would want to continue with this diet given the changes that I’ve seen above, but I would not go 100% Sattvic as it’s really too restrictive and not very socially friendly. In addition, my sister is also now convinced to try out the diet (which speaks volume from my 4 days experiment). Branching from this, I would also like to experience more into diets fit for my dosha and feel the difference.
For all of you who has read this article, I urge you to try this diet and if possible, share with me your experience! 🙂