With Ramadan soon approaching, it is time for those who fast to adapt their lifestyle, diet and exercise regimes to accommodate the impact this month-long lifestyle change brings with it.
Despite the benefits of fasting including healthy weight loss, fat breakdown and overcoming addition, the Holy Month also affects the mind, body and soul.
Dr. Adrian Heini, Resident Doctor (Specialist in Internal & Preventative Medicine) and medical expert at world-renowned, Clinique La Prairie in Switzerland shares his essential tips for staying fit and well during Ramadan:
The lack of fluid intake during fasting hours can result in mild dehydration, fatigue or headaches so try to remain hydrated following Iftar until Suhoor – consider smoothies, fresh fruity drinks which are full of vitamins or even soups made with fresh vegetables which supply water to nourish your body and eliminate toxins.
Clinique La Prairie recommends drinking a herbal green tea after your heavy meal and before your suhoor meal every morning, to keep your body purified in a healthy and natural way while awakening your metabolism. This can also reduce the feeling of hunger through the day.
Eat a balanced meal
Avoid breaking your fast with a feast. Instead, opt for dates which are an excellent way to break your fast because of its rich content of natural sugars, as well as being a good source of fiber.
Your Iftar meals should ideally consist of only one carbohydrate, with protein-rich foods to counteract lean muscle loss. Eating a combination of whole-grain carbohydrates with lean protein for suhoor will delay hunger pangs and provide longer sustenance.
Working out is one of the best ways to remain healthy in the Holy Month as it allows your body to stay in shape and keeps you rejuvenated. But during Ramadan it is best to postpone working out until after the fasting hours to avoid dehydration. Try to avoid participating in very strenuous activities, but rather opt for aqua gym, swimming, pilates and yoga which work on the elasticity of your body as well as have a calming effect on your mind.
Avoid spices and excessive salt
Try to avoid food high in salt and spices such as canned food, ready-made sauces and ready-to-eat meals. As spicy food weakens digestive strength, rather opt for mint, infusions of fennel, basil, chamomile and cardamom which are easier to digest or plant-based proteins like legumes which keep you full for longer.
Regulate your sleep cycle
Napping for longer than 20 minutes a day, along with the lack of exercise and eating heavy meals just before bedtime is a recipe of disaster, especially for your sleep cycle. If you do end up consuming a heavy meal later in the evening, then best to wait for one to two hours before going to bed.
Also, try to avoid consuming caffeinated beverages before bedtime to avoid unwanted alertness and difficulty in sleeping at night. For a good night’s sleep, use an infusion of verbena, chamomile and hot milk.
Maintenance after Ramadan
Late nights and fasting can have an adverse effect on your skin and energy levels. After the month of fasting ends, Clinique La Prairie recommends its seven-day new Master Detox Program (to be launched in April 2020); renowned as the world’s most premium and bespoke cleansing programme. The first detox treatment to make use of genetics to detect deficiencies in the body, it also includes an extended anti-inflammatory diet and a nutraceutical cure targeting cellular detoxication.
As part of this revolutionary holistic approach, guests can also savour an expertly crafted nutritional plan comprising a liquid fast of homemade juices, and a detox menu of largely vegan dishes to clean the digestive system and rebalance the body. Along with fitness programs which include aerial yoga and personal training sessions, CLP’s New Master Detox Program has the ability to eliminate toxins, decrease fatigue and stress, promote deep cleansing and stimulate metabolism.
Dr. Adrian Heini, Resident Doctor (Specialist in Internal & Preventative Medicine)