Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year in Islam. It is a time for spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and sacrifice. As Muslims abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk, proper nourishment is very important between Iftar and Suhoor. This prepares the body for the next day of fasting.
Weight gain is also common among those who partake in fasting, which is why we’ve put together a few tips for maintaining healthy habits to keep your fitness in check in the upcoming holy month of Ramadan…
Drink plenty of water and eat hydrating foods during Iftar and Suhoor
Staying hydrated between Iftar and Suhoor ensures you maintain energy during fasting
It’s important to drink plenty of water and eat hydrating foods during Iftar and Suhoor to avoid dehydration and maintain healthy energy while fasting. Experts say the recommended daily water intake is at least 2.2 litres for women and 2.8 litres for men. This includes fluids from juices, milk, soup and other beverages but water will and always remain the best choice.
You can also hack this by loading up on fruits and veggies that are high in water content such as cucumbers, spinach, tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon or apples!
Stay off fried foods, salty or high-sugar foods
After a day of fasting, you might find yourself craving for rewarding foods that are rich, greasy, fried or sugary when it’s time for Iftar. While these foods may feel gratifying in the short-run, they can actually make your fast the next day even harder.
Fatty and sugary foods can cause you to feel sluggish and fatigued. Caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee and soda are also diuretics, meaning it increases your trips to the bathroom, leaving you more dehydrated. At the same time, salty foods can also cause you to lose more water and increase your thirst.
Don’t skip Suhoor or overeat during Iftar
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and during Ramadan it is even more so. Skipping Suhoor will only make your fasting period longer than necessary, so make sure you’re getting all the nutrients and energy from a healthy and balanced breakfast consisting of whole grains, fresh fruits, protein and healthy fat sources like nuts and olive.
Just as important, overeating during Iftar can also be harmful to your body. After hours of fasting, your first meal should be well-balanced and nutritious. Excessive eating of unhealthy foods are the number one cause of weight gain during the month of Ramadan. One good tip is to eat your veggies first so you get all the healthy foods before feeling full.
It also takes the body around 20 minutes before it can register that it’s had enough to eat. So slow down, take your time to savor your meal and listen mindfully for when your hunger is actually satisfied to avoid overeating.
While fasting can be physically challenging, try your best not to be completely sedentary. Strenuous exercises are not recommended because it can quickly dehydrate your body, especially during the day. However, light physical activities such as brisk walking or stretching will keep your energy up during the day.
Make sure you’re logging in your daily steps to STEPPI by breaking sedentary times as much as possible, getting up to walk for chores, or going out for a light walk for no more than 30 minutes each day.
Many consider Ramadan as a time to practice self-discipline, and that applies not only to fasting, but also in taking care of yourself, so it’s important to observe this holy month the healthy way. We hope these tips have been helpful and we wish everyone a Ramadan Kareem!