A week in already - are you staying healthy this Ramadan? Tips to keep you on track!

Published June 24th, 2015 - 19:35 GMT

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It’s a week into Ramadan, and if you’re like millions of others around the world, you’re probably a little worried about staying healthy for the rest of the month. For someone who sticks to a strict regimen of carefully counted calories and totting up hours in the gym, Ramadan can put a spanner in the works. And even if you’ve never been near a treadmill, the Holy Month can throw you off balance, leaving you weak and tired, or even leading to you putting on a few dreaded pounds. Continue reading below »

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First off you have to deal with the hunger pangs that strike during the day. The best way to do this is to make sure you eat foods that will release energy slowly. You want to be eating complex carbs, so load up on whole grain bread and cereals for Suhoor.
Reduce

Image 1 of 11:  1 / 11First off you have to deal with the hunger pangs that strike during the day. The best way to do this is to make sure you eat foods that will release energy slowly. You want to be eating complex carbs, so load up on whole grain bread and cereals for Suhoor.

Enlarge
Whilst you might not be able to eat during the daytime, if you’ve built up a good store during the night you should be fine. Fiber is great for making you feel full for longer, plus it keeps things moving along, so to speak. Beans, brown rice and crunchy fruit and vegetables are all high in fiber.
Reduce

Image 2 of 11:  2 / 11Whilst you might not be able to eat during the daytime, if you’ve built up a good store during the night you should be fine. Fiber is great for making you feel full for longer, plus it keeps things moving along, so to speak. Beans, brown rice and crunchy fruit and vegetables are all high in fiber.

Enlarge
Bananas are your friend at Suhoor. They have plenty of energy stored up in them which will come in handy when the sun is beating down and you’ve still got a long afternoon ahead of you. Combined with nuts and oatmeal, they make a great, nutritious meal before you start your fast.
Reduce

Image 3 of 11:  3 / 11Bananas are your friend at Suhoor. They have plenty of energy stored up in them which will come in handy when the sun is beating down and you’ve still got a long afternoon ahead of you. Combined with nuts and oatmeal, they make a great, nutritious meal before you start your fast.

Enlarge
Once the sun finally dips below the horizon it’s tempting to guzzle down as much as possible. But it’s best to eat something light to break your fast such as adas (lentil soup), dates and nuts. Since your stomach shrinks when you’re not eating, you’ll make yourself feel sick if you immediately go for the kofteh and mansaf.
Reduce

Image 4 of 11:  4 / 11Once the sun finally dips below the horizon it’s tempting to guzzle down as much as possible. But it’s best to eat something light to break your fast such as adas (lentil soup), dates and nuts. Since your stomach shrinks when you’re not eating, you’ll make yourself feel sick if you immediately go for the kofteh and mansaf.

Enlarge
Just like in the rest of the year, eating lots of fatty or oily meals is not a good idea. Although many an Iftar will be overflowing with grilled meats and fried kanafeh, you should avoid eating excessive amounts. When it’s family Iftar time, reach for the lonely salad bowl every now and then for some veggies.
Reduce

Image 5 of 11:  5 / 11Just like in the rest of the year, eating lots of fatty or oily meals is not a good idea. Although many an Iftar will be overflowing with grilled meats and fried kanafeh, you should avoid eating excessive amounts. When it’s family Iftar time, reach for the lonely salad bowl every now and then for some veggies.

Enlarge
Stay hydrated! You’ll need at least eight glasses of water every 24 hours, and more if you choose to exercise. Drink at least two glasses at Suhoor and avoid overly salty or spicy food to reduce thirst throughout the day. After sunset, space out glasses of water between meals, even though it’ll be tempting to gulp down a gallon all at once.
Reduce

Image 6 of 11:  6 / 11Stay hydrated! You’ll need at least eight glasses of water every 24 hours, and more if you choose to exercise. Drink at least two glasses at Suhoor and avoid overly salty or spicy food to reduce thirst throughout the day. After sunset, space out glasses of water between meals, even though it’ll be tempting to gulp down a gallon all at once.

Enlarge
Yes, we know it’s Ramadan, but if you want to stay as hydrated as possible it’s a good idea to skimp out on overly sugary juices or caffeinated drinks - we’re looking at you, Turkish coffee!
Reduce

Image 7 of 11:  7 / 11Yes, we know it’s Ramadan, but if you want to stay as hydrated as possible it’s a good idea to skimp out on overly sugary juices or caffeinated drinks - we’re looking at you, Turkish coffee!

Enlarge
Speaking of the Arab world’s favorite beverage, it’s a good idea to hold off on drinking cup after cup of coffee at night. Not only will it get you super jittery, but it’ll make it harder to take on water, reducing your supply for the next day. Instead, limit yourself to one or two cups and opt for water when the coffee tray makes its rounds.
Reduce

Image 8 of 11:  8 / 11Speaking of the Arab world’s favorite beverage, it’s a good idea to hold off on drinking cup after cup of coffee at night. Not only will it get you super jittery, but it’ll make it harder to take on water, reducing your supply for the next day. Instead, limit yourself to one or two cups and opt for water when the coffee tray makes its rounds.

Enlarge
If you’re a smoker and you’ve been on the edge about quitting, Ramadan is a great time to finally nip your habit.  After all, if you’re able to avoid smoking during the daytime fast, there’s no reason not to continue the challenge after sunset.
Reduce

Image 9 of 11:  9 / 11If you’re a smoker and you’ve been on the edge about quitting, Ramadan is a great time to finally nip your habit. After all, if you’re able to avoid smoking during the daytime fast, there’s no reason not to continue the challenge after sunset.

Enlarge
If you’re brave enough to keep up your fitness regimen this month, you’ll need to plan carefully around your fasting schedule. Go for a light jog in the early morning, when it’s not too hot and you have some food in your belly.
Reduce

Image 10 of 11:  10 / 11If you’re brave enough to keep up your fitness regimen this month, you’ll need to plan carefully around your fasting schedule. Go for a light jog in the early morning, when it’s not too hot and you have some food in your belly.

Enlarge
For all of you non-morning people, it’s simple to fit in workouts after sundown.  Hit up your local 24-hour gym a couple hours after Iftar for some light training two to three days per week.  This should be enough to retain muscle while still having time to focus on the the more important spiritual parts of Ramadan.
Reduce

Image 11 of 11:  11 / 11For all of you non-morning people, it’s simple to fit in workouts after sundown. Hit up your local 24-hour gym a couple hours after Iftar for some light training two to three days per week. This should be enough to retain muscle while still having time to focus on the the more important spiritual parts of Ramadan.

Enlarge

1

First off you have to deal with the hunger pangs that strike during the day. The best way to do this is to make sure you eat foods that will release energy slowly. You want to be eating complex carbs, so load up on whole grain bread and cereals for Suhoor.

Image 1 of 11First off you have to deal with the hunger pangs that strike during the day. The best way to do this is to make sure you eat foods that will release energy slowly. You want to be eating complex carbs, so load up on whole grain bread and cereals for Suhoor.

2

Whilst you might not be able to eat during the daytime, if you’ve built up a good store during the night you should be fine. Fiber is great for making you feel full for longer, plus it keeps things moving along, so to speak. Beans, brown rice and crunchy fruit and vegetables are all high in fiber.

Image 2 of 11Whilst you might not be able to eat during the daytime, if you’ve built up a good store during the night you should be fine. Fiber is great for making you feel full for longer, plus it keeps things moving along, so to speak. Beans, brown rice and crunchy fruit and vegetables are all high in fiber.

3

Bananas are your friend at Suhoor. They have plenty of energy stored up in them which will come in handy when the sun is beating down and you’ve still got a long afternoon ahead of you. Combined with nuts and oatmeal, they make a great, nutritious meal before you start your fast.

Image 3 of 11Bananas are your friend at Suhoor. They have plenty of energy stored up in them which will come in handy when the sun is beating down and you’ve still got a long afternoon ahead of you. Combined with nuts and oatmeal, they make a great, nutritious meal before you start your fast.

4

Once the sun finally dips below the horizon it’s tempting to guzzle down as much as possible. But it’s best to eat something light to break your fast such as adas (lentil soup), dates and nuts. Since your stomach shrinks when you’re not eating, you’ll make yourself feel sick if you immediately go for the kofteh and mansaf.

Image 4 of 11Once the sun finally dips below the horizon it’s tempting to guzzle down as much as possible. But it’s best to eat something light to break your fast such as adas (lentil soup), dates and nuts. Since your stomach shrinks when you’re not eating, you’ll make yourself feel sick if you immediately go for the kofteh and mansaf.

5

Just like in the rest of the year, eating lots of fatty or oily meals is not a good idea. Although many an Iftar will be overflowing with grilled meats and fried kanafeh, you should avoid eating excessive amounts. When it’s family Iftar time, reach for the lonely salad bowl every now and then for some veggies.

Image 5 of 11Just like in the rest of the year, eating lots of fatty or oily meals is not a good idea. Although many an Iftar will be overflowing with grilled meats and fried kanafeh, you should avoid eating excessive amounts. When it’s family Iftar time, reach for the lonely salad bowl every now and then for some veggies.

6

Stay hydrated! You’ll need at least eight glasses of water every 24 hours, and more if you choose to exercise. Drink at least two glasses at Suhoor and avoid overly salty or spicy food to reduce thirst throughout the day. After sunset, space out glasses of water between meals, even though it’ll be tempting to gulp down a gallon all at once.

Image 6 of 11Stay hydrated! You’ll need at least eight glasses of water every 24 hours, and more if you choose to exercise. Drink at least two glasses at Suhoor and avoid overly salty or spicy food to reduce thirst throughout the day. After sunset, space out glasses of water between meals, even though it’ll be tempting to gulp down a gallon all at once.

7

Yes, we know it’s Ramadan, but if you want to stay as hydrated as possible it’s a good idea to skimp out on overly sugary juices or caffeinated drinks - we’re looking at you, Turkish coffee!

Image 7 of 11Yes, we know it’s Ramadan, but if you want to stay as hydrated as possible it’s a good idea to skimp out on overly sugary juices or caffeinated drinks - we’re looking at you, Turkish coffee!

8

Speaking of the Arab world’s favorite beverage, it’s a good idea to hold off on drinking cup after cup of coffee at night. Not only will it get you super jittery, but it’ll make it harder to take on water, reducing your supply for the next day. Instead, limit yourself to one or two cups and opt for water when the coffee tray makes its rounds.

Image 8 of 11Speaking of the Arab world’s favorite beverage, it’s a good idea to hold off on drinking cup after cup of coffee at night. Not only will it get you super jittery, but it’ll make it harder to take on water, reducing your supply for the next day. Instead, limit yourself to one or two cups and opt for water when the coffee tray makes its rounds.

9

If you’re a smoker and you’ve been on the edge about quitting, Ramadan is a great time to finally nip your habit.  After all, if you’re able to avoid smoking during the daytime fast, there’s no reason not to continue the challenge after sunset.

Image 9 of 11If you’re a smoker and you’ve been on the edge about quitting, Ramadan is a great time to finally nip your habit. After all, if you’re able to avoid smoking during the daytime fast, there’s no reason not to continue the challenge after sunset.

10

If you’re brave enough to keep up your fitness regimen this month, you’ll need to plan carefully around your fasting schedule. Go for a light jog in the early morning, when it’s not too hot and you have some food in your belly.

Image 10 of 11If you’re brave enough to keep up your fitness regimen this month, you’ll need to plan carefully around your fasting schedule. Go for a light jog in the early morning, when it’s not too hot and you have some food in your belly.

11

For all of you non-morning people, it’s simple to fit in workouts after sundown.  Hit up your local 24-hour gym a couple hours after Iftar for some light training two to three days per week.  This should be enough to retain muscle while still having time to focus on the the more important spiritual parts of Ramadan.

Image 11 of 11For all of you non-morning people, it’s simple to fit in workouts after sundown. Hit up your local 24-hour gym a couple hours after Iftar for some light training two to three days per week. This should be enough to retain muscle while still having time to focus on the the more important spiritual parts of Ramadan.

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But it’s actually not too hard to adapt to the demands of Ramadan, and by following a few simple tips you can keep a healthy fast this month. You don’t have to give up on exercise or throw diets out the window, and if you make sure you don’t push yourself beyond your limits, Ramadan can actually be very beneficial for your health.

We’ve brought together the best advice for making the most of your month, so you can worry less about your health and focus more on the more important spiritual aspects of Ramadan.

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