ULTIMATE GUIDE: HOW TO FAST HEALTHILY DURING RAMADAN
So, we’ve all been there before. When Iftar comes, you speedily tuck into all the delicious food on offer. Calories don't come into it when you’ve eaten nothing for so many hours. But if you are serious about staying healthy during Ramadan, then you need to be more mindful of what you're consuming.
We do understand, it’s not going to be easy, but just as with fasting, both you and your body will adapt to this change much quicker than you probably think.
PICKING YOUR FOOD CAREFULLY THROUGHOUT RAMADAN CAN MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE
The thing is, bingeing away on high-carb, high-sugar and high-saturated-fat foods, although they may taste amazing, will not help you at all. These types of foods actually make it much harder to get through your fast as they give you only an instant boost, that your body will then want to be replenished again soon. Say hello to hunger pangs and most likely, a stomach ache as well. AVOIDING foods that contain large amounts of sugar, carbs and saturated or trans fats is a good rule of thumb. Instead, fill up on:
Not only do they taste pretty good, they’re great for your digestive system and will slowly release their natural sugars and properties into the body. Slow release is ideal for Ramadan as it will not leave your body confused and longing for more food; having fewer hunger pangs throughout your fast actually help you to get through the day quickly, and without your mind wondering too much about food.
WHAT YOU DRINK MATTERS TOO!
Just as with food, anything with that immediate boost you are going to regret later as your body suffers for it. So avoid avoid avoid sugary carbonated drinks like coke etc, avoid coffee, tea milkshakes and hot chocolate. Fruit juices do have sugar too but as long as you're having the fresh unsweetened variety your body breaks it down in a different way.
Make sure you’re getting a minimum of 2 litres of water per day. Splitting this between your early morning suhoor and late evening iftar is ideal. To avoid the bloated feeling of excess water and help your body break down fats drink plenty of :
- Carrot Juice
- Dandelion Tea
- Cranberry Juice
- Stinging Nettle Tea
All of these types of drinks will help you to get rid of water weight and bloating. This makes them ideal for drinking after Iftar. There are also excess water-weight busting diuretic foods, these are for example:
Try to get as many of these in outside of the fast to help your body break down fats and get rid of the excess water that could be getting stored. This is a sure-fire way to help you lose weight healthily during Ramadan, and it has been reported that in the first week alone people have lost between 7-14 pounds!
Things even out after this and it is not a continuous way to lose weight. Keeping Diuretics in your diet will help prevent any build-up of excess water and stop you piling on the pounds again after Ramadan.
Make some moves
During Ramadan, it’s important not to over-exert yourself, but that doesn't mean you should avoid exercise altogether. Any light physical activity or exercise is beneficial but limit your sessions to no more than an hour. Cardio Vascular exercises should be limited to just 2-3 times per week as well while you’re fasting.
- Without a doubt, before the pre-dawn meal, before Suhoor is the best time to get your exercise completed.
- Another time that is recognised as a good time to exercise during Ramadan is following the Taraweeh prayers. This is because you are able to include both a before and after workout meal into the plan.
- The other option, if the above don’t fit in with your schedule would be to take your exercise before Taraweeh and after Iftar. But keep this session very light.
There is a number of high-intensity workout activity that should really be avoided during Ramadan. Swimming and running are ok, as long as you do this at a medium to low intensity and do not exceed 60 minutes. Heavyweight training is unfortunately not advised either as this intense exertion can cause dizziness and in some cases, causes fainting or blackouts.
Lighter exercises such as:
- Gentle swimming
- Riding a bike
These are all considered to be good forms of exercise during Ramadan.
If you want to share any comments, thoughts or ideas on how to lose weight healthily, please leave a comment below or please share the article with friends or family who might appreciate!