7 Steps To Following A Healthy Ramadan Path
Ramadan is a month dedicated to the body and soul, making it an opportunity to reevaluate things and jumpstart a healthier lifestyle.
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As Muslims all around the world abstain from eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset it’s an extremely important time to care for one’s health. The foods one chooses to eat have a real impact on health, energy and mood, as does lifestyle.
Here are some top tips from nutritionist Dr Raneem Abdulmajeed.
Listen to your body
According to Abdulmajeed, it is important to listen to your body and keep a close eye to the signals it is sending out to you while it is adjusting to a new eating routine. She says there will be very strong cravings for different kinds of foods, from sweets to fry ups, which are signs of the body’s nutritious needs. “It is up to you to respond to these cravings, you can either feed the monster or fight it. Meaning you can choose the healthier choice or eat what you desire and regret it later,” she adds.
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Create your own Ramadan routine
Abdulmajeed says Ramadan is the perfect time for you to have a plan B. “Forget about morning coffee to wake you up and provide you with the energy you need to proceed with your day. Try power walks or any kind of sports that can help you get the energy you need,” Abdulmajeed says. She also advises trying to enjoy this special time and avoiding decisions or actions made out of hunger or frustration. “Create a routine that fits perfectly with your lifestyle, keeping healthier choices in mind,” she says.
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Quit bad habits
You have always wondered about the best time to quit smoking or junk food, well this is it! “Don’t wait, just do it, you are already fasting the whole day so that leaves only 10 hours for you to practise your bad habit,” Abdulmajeed says. Looking at it from a different perspective helps, according to her. The nutritionist says if you can stop your unhealthy habit for a month, you can probably live without it for the rest of your life. “It’s never too late to make the right decision,” she adds.
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Just because you are fasting, it doesn’t mean you should forget about fitness. Abdulmajeed recommends killing some time while waiting for sunset by hitting the gym for some fat burning. “Spending the whole day sleeping, watching TV or working can affect your lifestyle. Make sure you work out to help your body gain energy and get the blood circulating,” she adds.
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Your body might dehydrate during the day so ensure making water your main drink during Ramadan, as that is what your body desires most. “Water is important for your bowels and kidneys to function properly,” Abdulmajeed says. Not drinking enough will cause darker urine and harder stool, she explains. Even eight glasses of the essential liquid may not be enough while fasting. Drinking some healthy juice to benefit from the vitamins and natural sugar is another good idea.
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Coffee and soda can cause insomnia, causing more health problems. Abdulmajeed says the unhealthy habit of staying up all night and sleeping in the whole morning is one of the Holy Month’s most excessive and common drawbacks. “Try your best to sleep early and this by itself will provide you with the energy you need for the next day. Staying up will make you want to eat more and they will most probably be bad foods,” she says.
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Avoid headaches when fasting
Morning headaches are very common when people are fasting; it’s one way your body is telling you it needs certain nutrition. “Headaches could be due to dehydration, hunger or a poor diet, as well as inadequate hours of rest or the absence of addictive substances such as caffeine or nicotine,” Abdulmajeed says. Drinking enough water can help prevent that dreaded, painful pounding.
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