1 - Preparing for Ramadan
To give more meaning to the purpose of Ramadan, it is essential to be mentally prepared in advance. As a misconception, most people overeat in an attempt to make reservations of moving on to the next diet regimen. This, nevertheless, is unnecessary and instead increases body fatigue. So it is always better to have a balanced diet and not eat excessively prior to the month of fasting.
2 – Seek Medical Advice before Observing Fast
There are certain medical contraindications of fasting, which may make it inadvisable for some people to observe the fast. Children before puberty, pregnant and lactating women, and people with conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, kidney or heart failure, and acute or chronic diseases should seek medical advice before intending to fast during the holy month. Similarly, if a person is ill at the time of Ramadan, it is better to consult a doctor, and if necessary, make up for any missed fasts later on.
3 - Adapting to the Fast Pace of Life
Accumulated fatigue due to fasting and short sleep routines often require separate rest periods during the day. For example, at noon, instead of a lunch break, have a rest for about 20 to 30 minutes, or if at work, sit comfortably in an office chair.
In addition, make sure to avoid as much stress as possible in order for a more enjoyable Ramadan experience. Relaxation therapy and breathing exercises are also some very good techniques to put into practice.
4 – Maintain a Moderate but Regular Physical Activity to Preserve Vitality
If strong activities are not recommended during Ramadan (as they may cause hypoglycemia), regular and moderate physical activities such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc. can provide some beneficial alternatives for maintaining vitality and fitness. It is better to carry out these routines early in the morning or late afternoon before sunset to avoid high temperatures and risk of dehydration.
5 - Avoid Dehydration and Rehydrate in Small Sips during Sunset
During the day, it is necessary to minimize the loss of water from the body by taking some simple precautions. Maximum protection from the sun and heat to limit perspiration, preventing sources of stress and excitement that increase heart rate and breathing, and avoiding talking too much because it dries the mouth are some key safety measures of preventing dehydration.
At sunset, it is best to rehydrate in sips rather than swallowing several glasses of water all at once. Try to maintain an intake of approximately 1.5 liters of liquid divided into at least six glasses of water or other beverages (little or no sweet) between sunset and sunrise.
6 - Eat Sohour before Sunrise
Sohour is essential to establish reserves of water and nutrients that will help you face the day and carry on until the evening. It must, therefore, be complete and contain all types of food:
• Beverage to rehydrate the body.
• Starch (bread, rice, pasta, couscous, potatoes, etc.) to build energy.
• Fruits and / or vegetables for fiber, vitamins and minerals.
• Animal protein (meat, fish or eggs) and dairy products to maintain muscle mass.
7 - Have a Complete but Lightweight Meal at Sunset
As the sun will be setting late during Ramadan this year, it is best to cut directly to dinner while breaking the fast (after rehydrating in small sips). This dinner should be light. Avoid binge eating at night, otherwise you will end up with stomach pain, bloating, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite and of course, weight gain!
8 - Have a Snack Later in the Evening
For reasons stated above, it is best to have a fairly light meal to break the fast and then have another light snack before bedtime, if necessary (Ex: milk + one or three dates or tea (no sugar) + 4-5 almonds).
9 - Ramadan and Weight Gain
Many people tend to gain weight during or after Ramadan. This is due to overindulging while breaking the fast, and overeating later during the month. In addition, the subsequent festival of Eid El Fitr often provides an opportunity to get together with family and friends, and share an abundance of rich, traditional dishes and pastries that can be quite fattening and have high levels of sugar. For this reason, it is important to keep in mind that the body will convert only some of this food to energy, while the remaining will be stored as fat, which then translates to weight gain.
10 - Finding Your Fitness Quickly After Ramadan
The recovery rate from a regular meal and longer night’s sleep can quickly make you feel less tired and fit. But to accelerate the body’s return to its optimum vitality, it is recommended to get into the habit of regular physical activity that is at least equivalent to 30 minutes of brisk walking per day, and practice a regular sport.