Ramadan is a month in the Islamic calendar, where Muslims all over the world, fast from dawn to dusk. Fasting during this month is not just abstaining from food for the period between dawn to dusk, but having control over one’s thoughts, actions and words. It teaches us not only the obvious, which is the value of food and water, but also tolerance and patience, making us sensitive to the issues of hunger, unavailability of clean water etc, things we take for granted and waste because of excess.
Fasting for a period of 17 hours, 30 days in a row however, is no child’s play, add going to school, colleges or work makes it even more challenging, not because fasting wears you out, no certainly not that, instead the body now has to follow a renewed time-table which the body isn’t used to and it affects all your day’s activities. In my quest to adjusting in another country, along with making sure I do not fail in my duties as a Muslim or as a student, I juggled through many schedules, trying to make one that fit best and eventually I found one. As a college student then, I found that it worked for me incredibly well, and I was able to use my available time to its maximum capacity. Life after all, is all about balance, isn’t it? And that was exactly why I started this series, where I shall try to dish out tips that will help maximize our time to do all that Ramadan seeks from us in addition to doing the chores that well, must be done.
1. PREPARE YOUR BODY
From eating 3 main meals and 2 smaller ones in a day to 2 meals and they too considerably small in portion, is a transition that our body needs time adjusting to. Which is why some people get comfortable with fasting only halfway through the month, and that makes it increasingly necessary to train our bodies so as to ease it into the transition. I find the best time to begin is atleast 20 days before Ramadan starts. Reducing the portion size is a very effective method to achieve this. Reducing portion size is a much durable way to train the body instead of just cutting down an entire meal as the body recognizes meal timings more efficiently as opposed to size. As the days go by, the body starts to use the available quantity of food for maximum energy release.
2. CHANGE THE INGREDIENTS
Opt for lighter ingredients in your meals that won’t cause Gastric issues like heartburn, acidity or reflux conditions. Decreasing the amount of spices used is a very effective way of making meals lighter. Add plenty of vegetables and fruits to your diet and choose high fibre whole cereals wherever possible. Decrease the sugar content in your meals, as this is the most easy source of energy, and during abstinence of food, the body’s demand for an easy and quick energy source may cause lack of concentration and will leave you craving sugar the entire day.
3. DON’T FORGET THE WATER
Or any other fluid for that matter. Staying hydrated is the key. Make sure you get in a minimum of 8 glasses of water in you through out the day. Your body needs that water to clean itself of the toxic metabolites and to keep functioning efficiently. Also the heat is going nowhere and will only increase as the days pass, increasing the body’s demand for water as it looses it in the form of sweat.
4. KEEP THE WORKOUT ON
Lastly, there is no need for you to stop you fitness routine, definitely not during the preparatory stage. If you eat well and drink plenty water, your body will be able to carry out its regular functions with ease.
Readers with any medical condition, that need constant medication are to refer to their doctors before making any changes in their diets and routines. Please DO NOT on any account stop medications on your own accord. Introduction of any new ingredient must be done keeping in mind allergic and clinical conditions, if any.
With that said, I shall also add that this practice worked pretty well for me personally, and as a nutritionist I shall recommend it for healthy individuals, who find it difficult to change their routines, you are however free to mix and match and create your own way that you may find useful, these are afterall just guidelines. Remember, if you have a control over your diet, you have a control over your life, and it becomes much easier than to concentrate on praying, study, work or any other job that you do.
I hope this helps, and hope you come back to check the part 2. Till then Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!!