Guide to Healthy Fasting

Guide to Healthy Fasting

Ramadan is about to arrive and it is a great opportunity to focus on bringing back a balanced and healthy lifestyle in your life.

Fasting helps you manage your eating habits and expel toxins from your body, improve self-control and discipline.

Those who are observing the fast should have two meals a day, i.e. the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor) and a meal at dusk (Iftar). A balanced diet with adequate quantities of nutrients, salts and water is vital for your body during the fasting days.

Balanced food and fluid intake is important during non-fasting time. Your meals must contain adequate ‘energy food’ such as carbohydrates and some fat.

Balanced Diet

Healthy Fasting

Keep your body healthy and fit by having a simple food intake, which does not change too much from your normal diet.

To stay energetic and active throughout the day, you should contain foods from all the major food groups such as milk and dairy foods, fruits and vegetables, sea food, meat, fat and sugar. Make sure that the intake of these foods are limited and according to your diet.

To slow down the release of energy from the body, it is wise to consume complex carbohydrates which can be found in cereals, whole wheat, grains, wheat, beans, millets, etc.

Fiber-rich foods include cereals, whole wheat, grains and seeds, potatoes with skin, vegetables, fruits, apricot, prunes and fig.

Food to avoid

Ramadan health guide

If you want a good health then there are foods that should be avoided. Some lists are shared below.

Heavily processed and fast-burning foods that contain refined carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour is a big no for you.

Fatty food like cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets are as bad for health as they are tempting.

Everyone gets a sugar craving especially when you are fasting. But avoiding sugary food and drink is beneficial for your body. I am not asking you to quit sugar but just to decrease the amount of sugar in your diet. If you want, you can have milk-based sweets and puddings to satisfy your cravings.

Avoiding the caffeine content in drinks such as coffee and cola is beneficial for your body. You can replace these drinks with fresh juice (avoid adding sugar), coconut water, milk shakes, etc.

Other foods to avoid include salty, spicy and fast foods, pre-packaged foods and smoked meats.

In short avoid deep fried, high sugar and high fat foods. You can opt for baked or grilled alternative for the meal.

Cooking Method

Healthy Ramadan Fasting

Apart from food intake, you should also try and change the cooking method during this period. You should adopt to healthy cooking methods and see the difference yourself.

In place of deep frying, try shallow frying the difference is very little. You can also opt for baking or grilling as this option is healthy and taste is great.

Whenever you are cooking, reduce the amount of oil used.

Exercising

If you are a workout freak and love to exercise then hitting the gym during Ramadan is not bad. I would just say that refrain for 4-5 days to just get with the fasting flow.

Ones you have adopted the routine then exercise can be done gradually. Pick a fixed time and do not work in the morning or in the afternoon. The best time would be after breaking a fast and having light snacks.

This will give your body energy and enough time for you to come back and have a meal.

If you’re used to heavy intensity exercise, then reduce and cut down your exercise by 25-30% as you are fasting, so this is not the right time to experiment or continue with heavy exercise.

Don’t push yourself to overwork. Listen to your body first. If you feel light headed or foggy at all, stop exercising.

Quick Tips

  • Eat nutritious meals at Sahoor and Iftar, don’t over indulge.
  • Avoid foods high in fat, salt and sugar.
  • Include a diet from all food groups like vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, meat, and fish.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, energy drinks or fizzy drinks.
  • Break the fast with a healthy snack like dates, milk.
  • Do not eat oily and greasy food on an empty stomach after breaking the fast.
  • Speak to a health professional before changing medication regimes for Ramadan.
  • Avoid excessive exercise during fasting time.
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