Practical Ramadan Fasting Advice

Ramadan fasting advice will help you stay energized and healthy

Muslims all over the world celebrate Ramadan as a holy month each year. This is a time for Muslims to reflect on themselves, strengthen their ties to their religion, and help their community.

There are various types of Muslims, as well as various traditions within the religion. Fasting is a Ramadan ritual that nearly everyone observes.

During the entire month of Ramadan, one must observe a fast by abstaining from food and liquids between sunrise and sunset.

Ramadan offers the chance for self-improvement and the chance to discover more about our religion and ourselves. These spiritual rewards necessitate hard work and dedication to prayer, charity, and willpower when fasting.

Muslims adhere to a lunar calendar. Every year, Ramadan begins 15 days earlier than the previous year. The length of the days can vary depending on where in the world you are.

The month usually begins with a positive energy, and practitioners may set a number of spiritual goals. However, it is easy to fall short when attempting to maintain your health while fasting and juggling your regular day-to-day responsibilities.

Here are some helpful advice and techniques to help you maintain a secure, fruitful fast during Ramadan.

Don’t skip your breakfast

There are only two times during Ramadan that you can eat: early in the morning before sunrise (Suhoor), and in the evening after sunset (Iftar).

Because it is difficult to have an appetite so early in the morning, it is easy to skip the morning meal.

However, Nazima Qureshi, RD, MPH, and author of The Healthy Ramadan Guide, stresses the importance of not skipping this meal. Your food choices will have an impact on your energy levels throughout the day.

“A lot of times, people will turn to simple carbohydrates for breakfast,” Qureshi says. “However, simple carbohydrates will not supply long-term energy.”

Instead, she suggests eating whole grains with healthy fats, proteins, and fruits and vegetables. These include dishes like:

  • oatmeal with savory flavors
  • pancakes with a lot of power
  • Overnight strawberries and chocolate oats

These recipes can be found at The Healthy Muslim.

Hydration

Water is essential for survival and has numerous health benefits.

A lack of water can lead to a bad mood and increased tiredness. This can have an impact on energy levels and memory.

Maintaining water intake can also aid in the management of chronic health conditions, such as headaches, migraines, kidney stones, and constipation, as well as blood pressure control.

Additionally, there is some evidence that staying hydrated reduces appetite. This is especially useful if you are unable to eat for the entire day!

But how do you stay hydrated when you aren’t allowed to drink water between the hours of sunrise and sunset?

Before and after sunset are ideal times to rehydrate and consume the recommended amount of water. Keep a water bottle nearby and drink whenever possible throughout the night.

Keeping track of the foods you consume can also be beneficial. While sweets can be very tempting during Ramadan, try to choose foods with a high water content instead.

Qureshi suggests including water-rich fruits and vegetables in your evening meal, such as:

  • strawberries
  • watermelon
  • cantaloupe
  • cucumbers
  • zucchini
  • bell pepper
  • tomatoes

If Ramadan falls during a hot season, dress coolly and avoid direct sunlight.

Get fasting advice to help you reach your next goal

Are you ready to take your healthy lifestyle to the next level? Supplement the steps you’re already taking with the most recent news and popular tools from our twice-weekly Wellness Wire newsletter.

Be mindful of portion sizes

Traditional foods are extremely important to Muslims, particularly during Ramadan.

I enjoy the traditional foods served at special religious gatherings such as Eid and Navroz. However, because our cultural foods can be very oily and heavy, my family and I always try to be mindful of portion sizes. Even though it tastes delicious, if I overdo it, I feel exhausted and tired the next day.

Ramadan is a month-long celebration, not a one-day event.

Although it is a celebration to break the fast, it might not be a good idea to eat traditional foods every night. Overeating is common after a day of not eating and feeling hungry. This may result in morning fatigue and weight gain over the course of the month.

Qureshi suggests breaking the fast with a date, some fruit, and some water. She advises stopping now and saying the night prayer before beginning to eat.

“The natural sugars in the fruit will alert your body that you have eaten. “You won’t feel hungry, and you’ll be less likely to overeat,” Qureshi explains.

Qureshi suggests using your plate as a guide for the evening meal. Try to distribute your food in the following manner:

  • Half a plate of vegetables or salad.
  • Carbohydrates: one-quarter plate. If you must consume refined carbohydrates, keep them to a minimum.
  • Protein: one-quarter plate.

Learn about your health

Having a chronic medical condition does not preclude you from fasting. It does, however, imply that it is critical to plan ahead of time and make the necessary adjustments.

The majority of prescription drugs can and ought to be continued while fasting, according to Wasem Alsabbagh, BScPharm, PhD, a licensed clinical pharmacist and assistant professor at the University of Waterloo.

However, the timing should be adjusted to accommodate the fasting schedules of the evening and morning meals.

According to Alsabaggh, patients shouldn’t fast if their medical condition gets worse even after changing their medication schedule.

This includes serious conditions like those that necessitate hospitalization, diabetes, which necessitates a steady supply of food and liquids to regulate blood sugar levels, and some cancers.

When a person’s condition is stable and under control, they can still fast, even if they have a common medical condition like diabetes or hypertension. They will, however, need to closely monitor their blood sugars and blood pressure, stay hydrated, and adjust the timing of their medications.

Above all, Alsabaggh recommends maintaining an open line of communication with your healthcare provider to make sure that fasting is safe for you. You should also talk about adjusting medications.

Don’t worry if fasting interferes with your health during Ramadan. By regaining your fasting days later or by giving to charity, you can still observe Ramadan.

Return the favor

After Ramadan, it can be difficult to return to normal eating habits. It’s possible that your body has grown accustomed to eating more food later in the day and skipping meals entirely during the day.

If you find yourself in this situation, Qureshi suggests experimenting with intermittent fasting and staying hydrated throughout the day.

If you find yourself snacking frequently, consider establishing consistent mealtimes instead.

Conclusion

Ramadan is a time to rejoice and grow spiritually. It’s also a difficult time for Muslims as they embark on the month-long fast. Use these strategies to maintain your energy levels while you fast during the day and eat traditional foods at night.