Guide to Healthy Fasting During Ramadan

Tips and Tricks.

It’s important to find the healthy balance during the holy month of Ramadan between feasting up yourself into a food coma and between extreme dieting and/or exercising while trying to lose weight. One way might lead you to gain more weight while the other could have serious health complications on your well being. Here are some tips to guide you into a healthy fasting during this Ramadan:

  1. A balanced diet consists of all the major food groups but your emphasis should be on complex carbs and fiber rich foods as they release energy slower throughout the fasting hours. Such foods include fruits and vegetables of all kinds, whole wheat products, oats, cereals and seeds. Avoid heavily processed foods and refined carbs and try to avoid fatty filled foods like sweets and chocolates and full fat dairy products.
  1. Healthy cooking methods should be adopted whenever possible. Ramadan is not Ramadan without sambosa and we are not going to argue that, but instead of deep frying it, try to bake it or try new things like veggie sambosa for a change.
  1. Stay hydrated by making sure you drink water throughout the non-fasting hours but here are some more tips on hydration:
  • Juice is not a substitute for water, so while you might enjoy juice, water will always be better.
  • Limit your caffeine and spicy food intake
  • Chugging bottles of water before athan will do you no good.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are full of water so stock up on them for a healthier Ramadan.
  1. Exercise in Ramadan is good for you as long as you have realistic goals. A lot of people want to lose weight in Ramadan and they might take up an aggressive training program which could be really dangerous. These are some tips to help guide you
  • If you’re new to this, its preferable that you don’t exercise during the first ten days till your body gets acclimated to your new feeding schedule.
  • Picking the right time is key. The best time to work out would be right before Maghreb or just after you lightly break your fast.
  • Have your goal from exercise this month be maintenance rather than progression.
  • Don’t overwork yourself, and listen to your body when it’s giving you signs. If you feel light headed or foggy at all, stop exercising.
  • If you’re used to heavy intensity exercise, it’s recommended to cut down your exercise by 25-30%. If you feel like upping the intensity, then proceed with caution.
  1. Don’t push yourself. Pregnant women, nursing mothers and those who are ill are exempt from fasting, according to the Qur’an. That also extends to children, seniors or those who rely on oral medication that they need to take during the day.

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