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Healthy Fasting Tips: 5 Dos and Don’ts

The Holy Month is right around the corner...

With Ramadan quickly approaching, it is time for people who fast to make tweaks to their routines, fine-tune what they eat and adjust their exercise habits to accommodate the impact the month-long lifestyle change brings with it.

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Dr Adrian Heini from Clinique La Prairie

Dr Adrian Heini, a Specialist in Internal & Preventative Medicine and Resident Medical Expert at Switzerland’s world-renowned Clinique La Prairie, shares some important tips for staying fit and well during Ramadan.

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Don’t forget to drink

Fasting for hours can result in mild dehydration, fatigue or headaches, so try to remain hydrated between Iftar and Suhoor to nourish your body and eliminate toxins. Some of the best things to drink include smoothies, fresh fruity drinks jam-packed with vitamins or soups made with fresh vegetables.

The pros at Clinique La Prairie recommend drinking a herbal green tea after Iftar and before your Suhoor meal every morning to keep your body purified in a healthy and natural way, while boosting your metabolism. By doing this, you will also feel less hungry during the day.

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Do eat a balanced meal

Instead of breaking your fast with a feast. munch on some dates, an excellent way to start your fast as the sweet fruit is rich in natural sugars and is a good source of fibre.

Your Iftar meals should ideally consist of only one carbohydrate, with protein-rich foods to counteract lean muscle loss. And if you eat a combination of whole-grain carbohydrates with lean protein for Suhoor, you can delay those hunger pangs and provide longer sustenance.

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Do try these exercises

Working out is one of the best ways to remain healthy during the Holy Month as it helps you stay in shape and keeps you revitalised. However, during Ramadan it is best to postpone working out until after the fasting hours to avoid dehydration. Try to avoid very strenuous activities and take a shot at exercises like aqua gym, swimming, pilates and yoga, which work on the elasticity of your body and have a calming effect on your mind.

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Don’t overload on spicy food and salt

Attempt not to reach for foods that are piquant or high in salt, like canned goods, ready-made sauces and ready-to-eat meals. Since spicy food weakens digestive strength, opt for mint, infusions of fennel, basil, chamomile and cardamom instead. These are easier to digest. Plant-based proteins like legumes also keep you sated for longer.

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Do control your sleep cycle

Taking long naps, not exercising and eating heavy meals just before bedtime can be pretty disastrous, especially for your sleep cycle. If you do end up consuming a substantial meal later in the evening, then it’s better for you to wait one or two hours before going to bed. Additionally, stay away from caffeinated beverages before bedtime as they can keep you alert, making it difficult to sleep. An infusion of verbena, chamomile and hot milk is what you should be sipping on for a good night’s sleep.

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