The holy month of Ramadan is a special month of the year for Muslims all around the world. This is a time when Muslims around the world connect more deeply with their religion, reflect on themselves, and give back to their community.
There are different practices in the Islamic religion and as such, there are different traditions within the religion. But fasting during Ramadan is a common practice amongst all.
It can be easy to falter as you try to maintain your health while fasting and balancing your regular day-to-day responsibilities.
Here are some practical tips and tricks to support a safe and successful fast during Ramadan.
Do not skip your morning meal
There are only two opportunities given to eat during Ramadan; in the early morning before sunrise (Suhoor) and after sunset in the evening (Iftar).
It is almost easy to skip the morning meal, either by oversleeping or because it's difficult to have an appetite at such early hours of the day. You mustn’t skip this meal. The food choices you make will affect your energy throughout the day. Eat whole grains paired with healthy fats and proteins as well as fruits and veggies.
These include dishes such as:
- Savoury oatmeal
- power pancakes
- Strawberry-chocolate overnight oats, etc.
Drinking water is vitally important and has many health benefits. Not drinking enough water can result in a poor mood and this can affect your energy level which needs to be high enough to get you through the day.
Consuming a moderate volume of water per day (8-ounce glasses) can also help manage chronic health conditions and plays a role in preventing and treating headaches, migraines, kidney stones and constipation, as well as maintaining blood pressure.
There’s also some evidence that staying hydrated lowers appetite. This is especially useful when you can’t eat for the entire day!
But how do you stay hydrated when you can’t drink water between sunrise and sunset?
Use the time before sunrise and after sunset as an opportunity to rehydrate and meet the recommended water intake. Keep a water bottle close throughout the night and drink whenever possible.
It can also be helpful to pay attention to the foods you’re eating. While junk food during Ramadan can be very tempting, try to include foods with high water content instead.
Be conscious of portions
Traditional foods are very important for Muslims, especially during Ramadan.
Ramadan isn’t a one-day event, it’s a month-long event.
While breaking the fast is a celebration, eating traditional foods every evening may not be the best idea. After a whole day of not eating and feeling hungry, overeating is also common. This may lead to morning tiredness and weight gain over the month. It's recommended you break the fast with some fruit, and drinking some water. These fruits have natural sugar that will allow your body to register that you have had food.
For the evening meal, it's recommended you use your plate as a guide. Try to distribute your food as follows:
Vegetables or salad: Half a plate.
Carbohydrates: Quarter of a plate. If you do choose to eat refined carbohydrates, be mindful to keep it to a minimum.
Protein: Quarter of a plate. For a balanced diet.
Understand your health
If you have a chronic medical condition, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t able to fast. You can make necessary adjustments to be on the safe side.
Medications can and should be continued while fasting. However, you should try to adjust the time to fit the fasting schedule of the evening meal and morning meal. If fasting worsens your medical condition, even after modifying the medications, you should consult with their doctor.
Resume normal eating routine
After Ramadan, it can be difficult to resume regular eating habits because the body may have become accustomed to not eating for long periods during the day and having a heavier meal in the evening.
If you find yourself in this situation, it's recommended you try out intermittent fasting and ensuring that you hydrate throughout the day. If you find yourself leaning towards snacking, consider setting consistent mealtimes instead.
Ramadan is a time for celebration and spiritual growth. It’s also a challenging time as Muslims undertake the trial of fasting for the month.
Use these tips to stay energized while fasting during the day and enjoying cultural foods when the sun goes down. And if you need to meet up with a friend, loved one or colleague to ease your mind without food temptations, The Oriki Spa is always here for you. We have a new location in Lekki Phase 1 and we’re absolutely sure you’d love to know what the experience here is like. So, take the chance to cool off with close ones as you discover our new space. We’ve also extended our closing time at all locations from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. All for your health and wellness.
See photos from the new spa: