Ramadan - Fasting/ Training/ Eating Safe (Part 1/3)
Common Problems & Strategies to Prevent Them
Ramadan is the month where Muslims around the world abstain from consuming food and water for 30 days, from sunrise to sunset. This is a time of reflection, calm and to remember how people around the world may live this lifestyle for almost every day of the year. Therefore, requires mental and physical discipline in order to continue daily tasks and work routine.
In this series of articles I will highlight ways to eat and train smart, as well as provide information on what is happening inside the body and ways you can use this month to your advantage in order to lose weight and drop body fat safely.
First let’s address some of the common problems of fasting, and also strategies to deal with these problems. Common issues include heartburn, belching, dehydration, headaches and stress.
When we eat the stomach produces digestive acid to break down food and kill bacteria. During fasting, just the smell and thought of food can trigger the release of acid, which in the absence of food actually
being in the stomach causes heartburn. Simple methods, such as eating in moderation rather than consuming large portions, when opening the fast is key, as well as avoiding oily deep-fried food.
Dehydration is common while fasting as water and salts exit the body through breathing, sweat and urine. Doubling up your intake throughout the night will ensure you stay hydrated during the day. It is important to use a good quality salt on your food to keep your mineral salts up (French sea salt or Himalayan salts are the best) and/or add a pinch to your water in the morning which can also help your body retain more water.
You may experience excessive belching and gas soon after you’ve just eaten, try not to eat so quick as it’s not a race to fill your plate. Try switching tea and coffee for chamomile or mint herbal tea (caffeine free) which will alleviate any built up gas.
While dehydration is usually the main source of headaches, they can also be down to a lack ofnutrients and/or a drop in blood sugar that the brain needs for energy. While the muscles canuse fats for energy the brain runs off sugar. During fasting the supply of sugar (which comesfrom any carbohydrate food) slows down and this can be associated with headaches as the brain adapts to a change in its fuel supply. To combat this, try and include the following in your pre-fast meal.
Slower releasing carbohydrates such as fruit or oats rather than sugary cereals, breads and pastries.
Good fats for sustained energy, including butter, nuts, seeds, eggs, olives, coconut and avocado.
Lots of nutrient dense fruits and vegetables with a spectrum of different colours to provide your body with an array of nutrients it will need throughout the day.
Stress is probably the most common cause of weight gain, now that you’re faced with fasting for over 10 hours in the day with added changes to your routine and sleep. Although fasting and irregular sleep patterns are stressful to the body, your perception and in particular your perceived control over the situation can determine how detrimental this stress is to you. In order to reduce stress to a manageable level you need take control of what’s ahead of you, which means careful preparation and planning. I will be expanding more on this in upcoming articles.
Hopefully this article has shared some of the common problems associated with fasting and given you some tips in how to alleviate them. If you have any questions or would like more information please comment below, or send us a message on the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jdarpt
Look out for the next part (2/3) of the article on the benefits of fasting as we look a little deeper into the body.