Besides being a holy month dedicated to prayer and purification, the Ramadan fasting period is the perfect opportunity for us to learn how to manage our eating habits and to improve our relationship with food. As such, let me today share with you the following simple steps which will help any “healthy adult” lose weight and solve issues such as constipation, indigestion, fatigue and heartburn.
1 – Drink some 1.5 to 2 liters of water; this quantity should be spread over the whole period stretching between “Iftar” and “Suhur” since a proper hydration is necessary to anticipate fatigue or constipation.
2 – Break your fast with a vegetables soup free from fat and cream, then wait for about an hour before taking your “Iftar”.
3 – The “Iftar” table should include the following:
(a) Raw vegetables – fatoush, tabbouleh, salad, etc. with a little bit of oil
(b) Proteins – non-fat meat, skinless chicken, fish, legumes, etc.
(c) Complex slowly assimilated carbohydrates – whole-wheat bread, brown bourghol, brown rice, etc.
4 – Substitute sweets, pastries and all foods that are rich in fat and sugars with fresh fruits. They will provide you the vitamins and energy you will need for your fasting.
5 – Avoid carbonated or sugary drinks as well as fruit juices; these are too caloric and too rich in sugar and they surely won’t satisfy your thirst. You should rather prefer water, otherwise, half a glass of juice would be a good choice.
6 – Never miss the “Suhur” time. This meal is essential indeed. It provides you with all the necessary nutrients and strength for maintaining a good level of energy during the next day. The “Suhur” table should include the following:
(a) Whole bread or cereal bread with labneh or light cream cheese
(b) High fiber cereals or bran-based cereals, with semi-skimmed or skimmed milk
(c) One small piece of fruit
7 – Avoid salt and salty foods (pickles, sauces, crisps, olives, etc.). These can incite your appetite and will increase the risk of dehydration.