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Ramadan Nutrition: 20 Mistakes to Avoid for a Healthy Fast

Updated: Jun 6

We at Dr. Sumaiya's NutriCare Clinic have compiled Ramadan Nutrition Tips for Healthy Fasting

Let's look at these pitfalls and the best ways to avoid them!

Common Mistake 1: Overconsumption of "Rooh Afza"

  • Why: This concentrated drink is high in harmful sugar, additives, and colorants.

  • Solution: Enjoy it in moderation, maximum twice a week for non obese non diabetics.

Common Mistake 2: Chugging Water at Iftar

  • Why: Overloading your stomach with water at once is tough on your body.

  • Solution: Take small sips at iftar (breaking the fast), then a glass every two hours.

Common Mistake 3: Immediate Exercise After Iftar

  • Why: Your body is focused on digestion right after eating.

  • Solution: Wait at least one hour after iftar for exercise.

Common Mistake 4: Fast Chewing

  • Why: Chewing slowly aids digestion and helps manage your weight.

  • Solution: Take your time with each bite!

Common Mistake 5: Dessert Right After Iftar

  • Why: Sugary desserts can make you drowsy.

  • Solution:  Avoid high sugar foods.

Common Mistake 6: High-Sodium foods like bakery and ready to eat foods

  • Why: Sodium makes you thirsty during fasting hours.

  • Solution: Focus on potassium-rich foods to retain water and suppress thirst.

Common Mistake 7: Skipping Suhoor

  • Why: Suhoor fuels your fast. Skipping it leads to low energy, headaches, and intense cravings.

  • Solution:  Prioritize a nutritious suhoor, even if it's light. Choose slow-digesting foods for sustained energy. Delay the suhoor as much as possible.

Common Mistake 8: Relying on Caffeinated Drinks

  • Why: Caffeine is a diuretic, leading to dehydration during your fast.

  • Solution:  Gradually reduce caffeine intake before Ramadan. Switch to alternatives and focus on hydrating with plain water. If it's unavoidable, take it after iftaar.

Common Mistake 9: Overindulging at Iftar

  • Why:  Overeating after a long fast can cause bloating, indigestion, and weight gain.

  • Solution: Break your fast with dates and water, then have a balanced iftar. Practice portion control and mindful eating.

Common Mistake 10: Neglecting Sleep

  • Why: Disrupted sleep patterns negatively impact your energy and metabolism during Ramadan.

  • Solution: Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep. Establish a calming bedtime routine and minimize screen time.

Bonus Tip: Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to your body's signals, and adjust your diet and routine accordingly for optimal health throughout Ramadan.

Common Mistake 11: Lack of Variety in Meals

  • Why: Eating the same things repeatedly can lead to nutrient deficiencies and make it harder to get excited about meals.

  • Solution: Incorporate a wide range of whole foods, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your suhoor and iftar meals. Experiment with new recipes from different cultures!

Common Mistake 12: Overemphasizing Fried Foods

  • Why:  Fried foods are high in unhealthy fats and calories, contributing to sluggishness and weight gain. They also increase thirst.

  • Solution: Replace frying with healthier cooking methods like baking, grilling, or air-frying. Explore delicious and nutritious alternatives.

Common Mistake 13: Neglecting Fiber

  • Why: Fiber keeps you feeling full, promotes healthy digestion, and regulates blood sugar.

  • Solution: Include plenty of fiber-rich foods at suhoor and iftar, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and lentils.

Common Mistake 14: Not Staying Active

  • Why: Ramadan is not an excuse to become sedentary. Light to moderate exercise can help maintain energy levels and promote well-being.

  • Solution: Schedule short walks after iftar or light workouts before suhoor. Consult your doctor for an exercise plan that aligns with your fast.

Common Mistake 15: Getting Angry or Frustrated Easily

  • Why: Hunger and changes in routine can make irritability more likely. However, Ramadan emphasizes patience and self-control.

  • Solution: Practice mindfulness and deep breathing techniques. If you feel anger rising, excuse yourself from the situation and find a calm space to refocus.

Common Mistake 16: Engaging in Gossip or Backbiting

  • Why: Ramadan is a time for purifying speech and actions. Engaging in gossip goes against the spirit of this holy month.

  • Solution: Fill your conversations with positive discussions, remembrance of Allah, and acts of kindness.

Common Mistake 17: Neglecting Sunnah Practices

  • Why: The Sunnah (traditions of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ) offers specific guidance on healthy habits during Ramadan to maximize benefits.

  • Solution: Learn about the Sunnah of eating, praying, and behavior during Ramadan. Incorporate these practices into your schedule.

Common Mistake 18: Not Planning Ahead

  • Why: Lack of planning can lead to unhealthy choices and missed opportunities for worship.

  • Solution: Plan your suhoor and iftar meals in advance. Prepare healthy ingredients beforehand to save time and avoid unhealthy temptations.

Common Mistake 19: Neglecting Hydration between Iftar and Suhoor

  • Why: Staying properly hydrated is crucial for a successful fast.

  • Solution: Focus on drinking plenty of water and hydrating fluids throughout the night between iftar and suhoor.

Common Mistake 20: Losing Sight of the Spiritual Goals

  • Why: It's easy to become consumed by food and physical aspects of Ramadan. Neglecting spiritual growth misses its true purpose.

  • Solution: Prioritize reciting the Quran, attending prayers, making dua (supplication), and giving charity. Balance physical nourishment with spiritual nourishment.

Let me know if you would like even more tips for a healthy and wholesome Ramadan!

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