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25 October 2014 Last updated
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Healthy body

5 tips for a healthy Ramadan

Kcal’s head nutritionist, Laura Smith, offers some tips to keep you hydrated and in shape this Ramadan

Aquarius
8 Jul 2013 | 04:24 pm
  • Kcal Extra Success

    Meals and snacks for one day on the Kcal Extra Success plan.

    Source:Grace Paras/GNM

1. WORK IT OUT
“Don’t use Ramadan as an excuse not to exercise. Try and maintain a light-to-moderate routine - you may not manage as much as you usually do, but even a brisk 20-minute walk twice a day will certainly maintain your fitness levels. Early morning after your first meal or after Iftar is ideal, as your energy levels will be replenished. Exercise after consuming protein, carbs and essential fats.

2. TIME IS A HEALER
“Fasting can be a metabolic mindfield and it takes a few days at the beginning of Ramadan to settle in a routine. While the first few days of fasting can lead to a spike in your metabolic rate, it soon lowers to help you cope with the lack of food throughout the day. Limit exercise and take mid afternoon naps for the first few days.”
 
3. BALANCING ACT
“Focus Iftar on fibre (brown rice and vegetables), healthy essential fats, Omega 3 and Omega 9, and protein. Never skip pre-fast meal Suhoor, even if is just nuts and fruits. Try if possible to consume complex carbohydrates and protein to balance blood sugar and maintain energy levels. Oats with fruit and nuts, plus eggs with wholemeal toast are perfect options.”
 
4. WATER WORKS
“More important than food is water. Hydration is key to a healthy Ramadan, therefore rehydrate by both sipping water and consuming as much liquid from food as possible. Light soups are perfect, all forms of salads and fruits. Don’t drink excessive amounts of water too quickly – your body can only process a small amount of water at a time otherwise the water will pass straight through without being effective.”

5. WRITE ON
“A happy Ramadan is an organised one – so make shopping lists and avoid buying tempting treats that may hinder your fast. Remember caffeine is a diuretic, so strike coffee, tea and cola off your list. If possible make a meal plan so you know exactly what you will be eating, so temptation doesn’t arise. Ensure you stay away from fast foods that are high in salt and sugar”

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