General Tips for Better Fasting
By Nutritionist: Dalal al-Nekheelan
There are numerous benefits of fasting. Fasting is generally considered as hard effort; though, this practice energizes the body, helps eliminate wastes and toxics, and stimulates and regenerates cells; which in turn assists the body to be strong and healthy.
However, there are some wrong practices that we unconsciously perform during fasting that might affect these benefits.
Here are some important tips for a better and healthy fasting:
- Divide the breakfast into two parts; let the first part be light options which won’t affect the digestive system after a long fasting day. The last thing we want to do is send our digestive system into a shock.
Break your fast with Dates and a glass of milk, salad or roasted vegetables without oil. Soup is also a good choice! These simple foods will give the digestive system enough time (10-15 min) to send signals to the brain stating that the body is no longer in a fasting phase and gradually reduce the hunger feeling.
- Drink sufficient amount of water and do not substitute water with drinks with high sugar intake such as processed juices or sodas.
Drink the water gradually in intervals; do not drink large amount of water immediately when breaking fast or you will feel bloated.
- Try to avoid eating lots of sweets and desserts during the month of Ramadan in order to maintain the blood sugar levels. We assume that after fasting a whole day, we get to eat whatever we want and whenever we want. Reducing the sweets intake, allows you to maintain your weight and avoid gaining some extra pounds in undesired places.
- Eat fruits for your daily intake of vitamins and minerals; try your best to substitute sweets saturated with fat and high in sugar with fruits.
Second: Al Suhoor (Pre-Dawn Meals)
- Avoid eating salty, spicy, fried food or highly saturated dishes to avoid being thirsty throughout the day.
- Make sure your meal consists of dishes rich in fiber and complex Carbohydrates such as oatmeal, lentil, grits and mash; in order to feel full all through the day. In addition this type of food will provide the body with energy and strength.
- Choose an organic dairy product free of additives for your meal such as yoghurt, Labneh or Milk to minimize the thirst during fasting.
Third: Sports in Ramadan
- Make sure that you exercise during the month of Ramadan. Aerobic sports such as walking, jogging or cycling before breaking fast help burn fat. However, if you suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, elevated blood pressure or heart disease; it’s preferably that you consult your doctor beforehand. On the other hand, the best time for Extensive exercise is two hours after breaking fast.
- It is essential to be mobile during the month of Ramadan; thus increase your daily steps during and after fasting hours. In the long run, continuous simple workout helps improve fitness and health.
Dalal al-Nekheelan / Nutistionist
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