9 Tips For Fasting During Ramadan
9 Tips For Fasting During Ramadan

9 Tips For Fasting During Ramadan

Fasting for Ramadan can be quite the challenge – especially if you’re not focused on still getting the right nutrition. Not eating the right foods or failing to moving properly while fasting for long periods can often lead to lethargy, dehydration, bloating and in some cases, weight gain – which is why we asked dietician Sally ElZein and holistic nutritionist, Danya Khadige for their expert tips on how to navigate fasting in the healthiest way possible.
By Amrita Singh

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Hydrate The Right Way

“When fasting, hydration is crucial. Aim to consume two to three litres of water during the non-fasting window and consider adding an electrolyte sachet – my personal favourite is Cymbioitika’s Pure Hydration Electrolytes. It’s best not to drink water or other liquids while eating to ensure proper digestion – mixing water with food will prevent the food from breaking down properly. Wait at least 30 minutes after finishing a meal before consuming liquids. Also, avoid fruit juice where possible as they lack the fibre and nutrients found in whole fruits. Most of what remains in the juice is sugar which is why it’s best to opt for water, celery juice, or herbal teas.” Danya Khadige, holistic nutritionist

“Another way to maintain hydration is to break your fast with two cups of water, then have one cup of water every hour between iftar and suhoor. Make sure you set a reminder every hour to drink.” Sally ElZein, dietician


Add Protein To Every Meal

“After breaking your fast, focus on getting enough fibre and eating protein like chicken, meat or fish with a nutritious salad or grilled vegetables. Fibre will help avoid constipation, which is a common problem people face during fasting. Protein helps preserve our muscle mass and maintain our metabolism and along with fibre, it will keep us full for longer. Add a portion of whole grain carbohydrates, too, like pasta, quinoa, potato for a balanced meal.” – Sally


Stabilise Your Blood Sugar

“When you break your fast, start with a date, side salad or vegetable soup, followed by an adequate amount of protein, followed by whole grains or starches last. This eating sequence helps regulate blood sugar levels. If you are consuming something sweet, pair it with protein and healthy fats directly after your main meal or wait 15-20 minutes to maintain the right blood sugar levels. Spiking blood sugar levels can lead to crashes, which can leave you feeling lethargic.” – Danya


Replace Sugar Cravings

“You can reduce your sugar intake by satisfying sweet cravings with fruits, dates, or homemade desserts made with natural sugars, such as organic raw honey. Almond or coconut flours are also better options instead of refined white flour. Quality of ingredients matter for optimal health and to stabilise blood sugar levels across the board.” – Danya


Never Skip Suhoor

“Suhoor comes after Iftar, and it is an essential part of your non-fasting window. Opt for nutritious high protein suhoor options such as sourdough toast with avocado and eggs, chia pudding mixed with a collagen protein or lean meats with cooked vegetables. Avoid raw salads at suhoor as they can be harder to digest, which could lead to bloating when you wake up.” – Danya

“For Suhoor, a combination of healthy carbs, proteins and fats will make you feel good during the day and will keep hunger and thirst at bay. I’d recommend foods such as Greek yoghurt with sugar-free granola and berries, since the Greek yoghurt is a great source of protein.” – Sally


Avoid Processed Foods

“Steer clear of processed foods, fried foods, and high-sodium meals like sushi or Chinese food, as they can lead to inflammation and dehydration.” – Danya

“High salt, sugary and processed foods such as pastries, fried foods and fizzy beverages should really be avoided as these might cause an upset stomach and indigestion, weight gain and make you feel very thirsty and hungry while fasting.” – Sally


Keep Moving

“Consider working out after iftar when you are properly fuelled. Strength training or Pilates are excellent options when you’re fasting for Ramadan as the movements are slower yet still effective. If a full workout isn’t possible, aim for a 30- to 50-minute walk. If you prefer to exercise during the fasting window, try to do it immediately before iftar so you can hydrate afterwards. It’s also important to adjust your intensity, take longer breaks, reduce repetitions and limit the duration of exercise to 45 minutes to prevent overexertion.” – Danya

“We tend to lose our muscle mass during Ramadan since we tend to eat less protein. We can, however, resistance train two hours after iftar to preserve and maintain our muscle mass. I’d also advise low intensity exercises before iftar while fasting, since our energy levels are lower. Consider things like yoga, walking, or Pilates.” – Sally


Practise Mindful Eating

“When breaking your fast, slow down, chew your food thoroughly and savour each bite to aid digestion. Digestion begins in the mouth and eating too quickly can contribute to bloating and discomfort.” – Danya


Sleep Well

“It’s a good idea to reduce your caffeine intake to maintain a healthy sleep cycle during Ramadan – particularly as evenings carry on later during the festive period. Opt for herbal teas instead. A soothing herbal tea blend like fresh mint with grated ginger and lemon can aid digestion and promote relaxation.” – Danya

“If you are someone who drinks coffee daily, it’s worth switching to decaf a week or ten days before Ramadan to avoid headaches, insomnia or other caffeine withdrawal symptoms.” – Sally

Follow @DanyaHolisticHealth & @SallyTheDietician for more tips


DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme

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