What's up guys! It's that time of year again and Ramadan is officially here!
The month of fasting is upon us and I wanted to write out this blog post and share a few tips on how to stay healthy and fit this ramadan.
This is definitely the month of spiritual growth, prayer, and reflection but we also want to make sure we’re not neglecting our health and all the great progress we’ve made throughout the year.
You guys have also asked me how do I personally stay healthy and fit during Ramadan so I really wanted to share with you my tips and suggestions.
When it comes to nutrition, just off the break I want to remind you guys that fasting will be hard. This is the whole point of this month. The struggle and discomfort is what’s going to make us stronger and teach us many things about ourselves that we didn’t know. So if you go into it with the mindset that its going to be tough and its going to be a struggle, I think you will be more mentally prepared for whats to come. There’s no food or drink thats going to make a 15-18 hr fast easier. We just have to accept that.
That being said, the choices you make after you break your fast will have a huge impact on your energy levels and how hard your fast will actually be. So you can either struggle alot or struggle a little with the food choices you decide to make after you break your fast.
I also want you to be mindful of the fact that your body is being cleansed and your cells are being rejuvenated during your fast. What you put into your body post fast is key if you really want to optimize all the health benefits that come with fasting.
Now I also want you to remember that there is no one size fits all approach to nutrition during Ramadan since were all so different, but there are a few key things you want to keep in mind.
First, and probably the most important tips is you want to try to get in as much water as you can after you break your fast. Try to aim for half your body weight in oz of water daily. I know it might seem like alot of water to drink in such a short eating window; but try your best to stay hydrated. You also want to avoid things that will dehydrate you like caffeinated beverages, sugary juices, energy drinks etc. My personal drink of choice during Ramadan is infused water and maybe some decaf herbal tea before bed.
Next, you want to stick to whole foods and eliminate anything processed from your diet this month. Prioritizing whole foods is going to keep you feeling fuller longer and will also provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals to keep your energy levels up for as long as possible. Whole food sources are usually 1 ingredient items that you find on the outskirts of the grocery store. Try to avoid anything that comes in a box or package, with a long ingredient label. These foods aren’t going to do much for you and are just empty calories that will deplete your bodies energy.
Getting adequate amounts of protein is also key when trying to stay healthy this ramadan. Personally I like to stick to protein sources that are easier for my body to digest and breakdown like fish, chicken, and eggs. A good quality protein powder is also a good idea if you’re struggling to consume whole food sources of protein.
Healthy fats are also something you want to prioritize getting enough of this month. They too will keep you satiated for longer and will help with hormonal balance and energy levels. Things like avocados, olives, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish are great to consume during this month.
Lastly, you want to make sure you’re getting enough fiber. Fiber is going to help you stay regular and avoid constipation. I know this is something alot of people struggle with during ramadan but if you make sure you’re eating lots of fiber from whole food options and drinking your water you shouldn’t have any issues with that.
Now onto the things you want to avoid. I already mentioned a few but just a recap; avoid processed foods which are basically just empty calories that aren’t going to do much for you, caffeine is something you also definitely want to try to avoid since its so dehydrating. Processed sugar is another one that you want to try to reduce as much as possible, and last but not least fried food. I know there are so many desserts and fried appetizers that alot of us like to indulge in during this month which is totally fine here and there but if you really want to make the most out of this month and really get all the benefits from the fast, you want to try to reduce having these things to maybe once or twice a week max.
Lastly, the order of what you put into your body might also help if you struggle with digestive issues post fast. I know in the past I would get really bloated and my stomach would be upset if I ate whatever after breaking my fast. The way I like to do it now is I’ll start by having 1 date and lots of water. I like to stick to warm water when i break my fast to ease my stomach into it. A few minutes later I’ll have some type of soup which is usually bone broth based.
10-20 minutes later I’ll have lots of roasted or steamed veggies with a side salad that includes lots of olive oil, avocado, or olives in it. Then I’ll have a good portion of some type of protein which is usually fish or roasted chicken.
If I’m craving something sweet after my meal, I like to stick to low sugar fruits like berries or cherries. I might also do some nut butter with a seedy cracker or even a good quality dark chocolate. and then continue with my water and maybe some herbal tea before bed.
I also try hard to wake up and eat before the fast starts. This is always a struggle for me but the days I do wake up I make sure I’m eating lots of veggies, healthy fats, protein and getting more water in.
These tips also apply to those of you who practice intermittent fasting as well, I’m sure you will be able to benefit from them.
But yeah guys thats all I have for you today. This is what I like to do and what’s helped me the most throughout the years. I hope you guys found this to be helpful. Send me a DM @shedfatkitchen on instagram if you have any questions and leave a comment down below if you tried any of my tips and found them helpful. Thank you guys so much and I’ll catch you in the next post.