7 Things to Avoid if you’re Fasting During Ramzan


August 10, 2023

Ramzan, or Ramadan, is one of the most important festivals in the world with over 2 billion people celebrating the pious occasion. But, as you fast through the day and commit to the spiritual journey, it is also important to follow healthy measures during the post-fasting period. Most people have the misconception that fasting through the day can compensate for the heavy feast during the night. This is however not the case as you’ll see in this post. Here, we tell you, what are the things you should be avoiding to stay healthy during the month of Ramzan:

#1 Eating large amounts of processed food

Processed foods are convenient but most of them are usually unhealthy as they contain high-fructose corn syrup, sodium, oils, and MSG. Such foods are devoid of nutrients and will do nothing for you. So, stocking up on fruits, vegetables, and nuts, would be the best way to go as it not only focuses on getting you all the nutrients required by your body during this time but also keeps you prepared for the coming days.

#2 Drinking Roohafza on a daily basis

Roohafza or other rose-flavored drinks may seem to provide your parched palate with some respite during Iftaar but they exact a heavy price on your body. As these drinks are high in sugar, additives, and colorants, this sharbat doesn’t provide your body with the nutrients it requires when you are fasting. However, if you feel incomplete without having this drink during the festive time, we recommend you limit consumption to twice a week.

#3 Guzzling large amounts of water at Iftaar time

Coming after an entire day of fasting, too much water too soon may completely fill up the stomach and be more strenuous than simple food can be. We recommend having a few sips of water at Iftaar and then ensuring you have a glass every two hours.

#4 Chewing and swallowing food too fast

It’s natural to want to eat as fast as you can when you’re very hungry, but slowing down can help. Research has shown that eating slowly and mindfully helps you eat less, aids the digestion process, and enhances the pleasure of the food. It can also help you maintain your weight.

#5 Consuming foods high in sodium

They may seem to be flavourful but foods rich in sodium – salty snacks, salted nuts and seeds, chips, pickles and papads – trigger thirst through the fasting hours of the day. Instead, eat foods that are high in potassium as they retain water and help suppress your thirst. Try bananas, milk, pistachios, pumpkin, peas, and dark chocolate.

#6 Exercising directly after Iftaar

Most people who are keen to pursue their fitness even during the month of fasting often schedule their exercise sessions immediately after their evening meal. However, this should be avoided as the body’s blood flow is concentrated around the stomach at that time, and exercising may affect the digestive process. Instead, exercise two hours after your meal.

#7 Having dessert directly after Iftaar

Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramzan fast at sunset. Most people end their meal with a sweet treat, be it kheer, phirni, or halwa. However, ending a heavy meal with a heavy dessert can make you drowsy. Save the dessert for later and enjoy it two hours after Iftaar to stay fresh and awake for Ishaa and Taraweeh prayers.

Keep in mind that maintaining your usual daily activity level during Ramzan is recommended, but do avoid the sun and heat.

About the Author

Nahida is a registered dietician with 9 years of experience, working extensively with individuals dealing with obesity, diabetes, thyroid and PCOD. In addition, she has worked with NGOs supporting cancer patients by providing them with nutritional counseling. After completing her post-graduation in Dietetics & Applied Nutrition from Mumbai University, she went on to finish her MBA in Healthcare Services. Nahida is also a certified diabetes educator from International Diabetes Center. Currently a Sr. Nutritionist with HealthifyMe, Nahida is looking forward to let people take their weight off their mind and body by enjoying the journey.

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