The holy month of Ramadan is fast approaching! For lots of people, it’s time when all our healthy habits go out the window.
Maintaining healthy habits are always challenging. But Ramadan, with fasting and social gatherings, can be the toughest time of the year to indulge with moderation.
No one is telling you to follow a strict diet during Ramadan. It is okay to indulge once in a while, but that doesn’t mean to break all the rules.
Here are some essential tips to keep you on track during Ramadan:
Have a balanced Iftar
Having a balanced Iftar is important to boost and recharge your energy levels which were lost through a long day of fasting. Make sure to include protein-rich foods such as poultry, meat, nuts and legumes and complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and sweet potatoes at your Iftar table. Stay away from refined carbohydrates and junk food as they lack essential nutrients and will make you feel sluggish and tired later.
Go easy on the desserts while watching Ramadan endless “mosalsalat”! You may eat a piece of your favorite Konafa, but certainly not the whole tray.
Don’t miss Suhour
Suhoor is just like breakfast in normal days. It’s the meal which will provide you with the vitality and strength you need throughout the day. Go for nutrient-rich foods such as eggs, light cheeses and fava beans and easily digestible foods so that it won’t upset your stomach.
With long hours of fasting and the scorching heat of the summer, you are at particular risk of dehydration. Make sure to replenish your thirst by drinking plenty of water. Try not to drink large quantities of water all at once, instead drink small quantities throughout Ramadan night. Drinking too much of Ramadan drinks is not favorable as it’s loaded with sugar and may upset your stomach and delay the digestion process. Stay away from caffeinated drinks and start reducing your intake gradually before Ramadan to avoid caffeine withdrawal headaches. Also, avoid salty and spicy foods as they will make you feel thirstier and dehydrated in the morning.
Many people are stuck in the dilemma of whether to exercise before or after Iftar. Although it’s advisable to have a moderate exercise before Suhoor or 60 minutes before Iftar, it’s important to find out what works best for you and refrain from strenuous exercises whenever you feel tired or dizzy. If you’re going to train directly after Iftar, opt for a light meal and resume after training.
Between socializing and waking up for Suhoor, establishing regular sleeping patterns can be harder than ever! Sleep deprivation causes fatigue and increases your appetite, making fasting even harder. Try to have a regular bed and wake time whenever possible and take 15-30 minutes nap whenever you feel tired.
Finally, Ramadan is the best time of the year for spiritual reflection, enjoying family gatherings, and cleansing your body and soul. Take advantage of all these opportunities.
Have a productive and blessed Ramadan!