Get your body Ramadan-ready!
The upcoming holy month of Ramadan can be challenging for some people, as Ramadan requires us to be well-prepared and ready to abstain from food and drink consumption during daytime. The almost 13 hours of fasting every day demand us to be resilient, both physically and mentally. In order to be resilient enough, you must prepare yourself before immersing in all the challenges that come along with fasting during Ramadan.
As a first step, you are advised to reduce portions of your everyday meals approximately 4-6 weeks before Ramadan. This will help prepare your body to consume less food, thus teaching it to deal with a limited daily intake of calories.
The next steps do not only concern reducing the quantity of food intake, as you will also have to be focusing on what you eat, how you eat and how you sleep. These 5 top tips will help you get through Ramadan before you know it:
1. Reduce your salt and sugar intake
First, find out which foods you are regularly eating that contain high levels of salt and sugar. Try to reduce their consumption by 1 tablespoon of salt and sugar every day, that too without your body noticing the decrease because this is the only way you will get used to it. This will also help you to fight cravings for food and drinks that are high in salt and sugar not only during Ramadan but along the course of your life.
2. Stop snacking
Put an end to your snacking habit during meal intervals and get used to having only 3 main meals per day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. This will discipline your stomach to accept food consumption at fixed meal times. As for Ramadan, you can only have your main meals two times a day; during Suhoor (before the dawn) and Iftar (after sunset).
3. Lower your caffeine intake
Caffeine can be very addictive and by lessening your caffeine input before Ramadan you prevent your body from experiencing acute caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be irritability, anger, impatience, restlessness and concentration problems, all of which can affect your daily tasks and wellbeing.
4. Fix your sleeping pattern
Choose your own sleeping pattern that you can adapt to, and consistently keep to it. You are suggested to have around 6 to 8 hours of sleep every single night. By doing so, you are not only fully equipped with enough energy for the day but also can decrease the risk of chronic problems such as heart disease and stroke.
5. Refer to your doctor
Make an appointment and discuss with your doctor whether you are good to go for fasting! Especially if you have health concerns such as diabetes, gastric complications, high-blood pressure, or anything else that requires medication. Follow your doctor’s instructions at all times in these cases.
All the above actions will help to prepare your body for a healthier switch in eating habit. The holy month of Ramadan does not only teach how to cultivate the sense of patience and gratitude, but it is also the perfect time for improvement in your wellbeing and health.