Ramazan is observed by Muslims around the world as a holy month of fasting. Here are some amazing tips to help you avoid gaining weight, eat right and keep well during Ramadan.
Ramadan fasting tips |Photo Credit: Thinkstock
New Delhi: Wondering if observing fast during the holy month of Ramadan will hamper your weight loss efforts? Eating the right amount of calories is all you need to stay healthy and control weight gain. Ramadan, also known as Ramazan, is observed by Muslims around the world as a month of fasting, commemorating the ‘best of times’. According to Islamic belief, the annual observance celebrates the first revelation of the Muslim holy book Koran to Prophet Muhammad. The month lasts 29-30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon. This year, the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan falls on Thursday corresponding to May 17, 2018. During Ramadan, fasting is mandatory for adult Muslims, except those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, menstruating, travelling, suffering from severe illness.
The fast (sawm) is from dawn to sunset, which means people can eat a pre-dawn meal known as ‘suhoor’ and a post-sunset meal called ‘iftar’. Besides abstaining from eating and drinking, Muslims also refrain from sexual relations and sinful behaviour that may negate the reward of fasting. They are encouraged to recite the entire Koran throughout the month and focus on doing good deeds and charity. Muslims cannot swallow any water during daylight hours. Fasting for the whole day can be a more exhausting experience for some people. Perhaps, there are chances of binge eating for some after breaking the fast, which can cause weight gain. If you’re fasting this Ramadan, here we have listed some amazing tips to help you avoid gaining weight, eat right and keep well:
- It is recommended that you should drink lots of water during the non-fasting hours and night-time hours to stave off the thirst during the day and help you stay hydrated. Experts say you should try to drink at least 2 litres of water during night-time hours.
- Include soup and salads. They are low in calories and will keep you feeling full for a longer time.
- Nutritionists recommend including lots of protein in your meals, especially the pre-dawn meal to provide the body with enough energy during the course of fasting. Opt for lean protein such as eggs, chicken, fish, turkey, low-fat milk and milk products. This will help in muscle repair and prevent muscle loss. As you observe fast, you should focus on slow-digesting foods that are high in protein and fibre rather than fast-digesting foods. Barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, unpolished rice are some great sources of slow-digesting foods (complex carbohydrates).
- Include all kinds of fruits and vegetables to get all nutrients your body needs. Limit potatoes, yams and beetroot in your diet as they high on sugar. Opt for green leafy veggies like spinach, fenugreek, lady finger, cabbage and low-glycemic fruits to increase your metabolism and aid in digestion.
- In addition to having fresh fruits, you can also have fresh juices without added sugar, instead of the readymade ones, which contain high amounts of sugar.
- Take time to chew your food to avoid overeating. Have a light sunset balanced meal (iftar) that includes a variety of foods that will be satisfying and nutritious.
- When preparing your Ramadan meals, replace bad fats with healthier cooking oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, etc. Avoid deep frying and use other methods while cooking like roasting, grilling or steaming to reduce the amount of fat in your meals.
- Remember, fasting and fitness go hand in hand. So, make sure that you stick to your fitness routine every day. Walking for at least half an hour on a daily basis is a great way to burn calories. Even light physical activities can help keep your blood flowing and the system in tip-top shape.
Wishing you a Happy Ramadan!