Fasting Has Been Prescribed
By far I have always found fasting to be very beneficial. It is an act of worship that also has health benefits. With Ramadan right around the corner -InShaAllah- now is a great time to get your body Ramadan ready. You can start by implementing Sunnah fasting days and/or use this time to make up missed fasting days. I have found it to be much easier for me to make up my missed days right away when my body is already in fasting mode from Ramadan. I then attempt my 6 days of Shawwal fast. Whatever your method, here are a few tips on preparing your body for fasting.
It is important to prepare your body for such a period by ‘super-hydrating’ before the fast. Be sure to drink plenty of water in the days leading up to the fast and avoid dehydrating foods with high salt and sugar content.
Watch Your Caffeine Intake Caffeine is a mood-altering substance that can be addictive; as a result if you are one who takes caffeine regularly and suddenly stops during a fast, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms that will make the process much harder for you. Energy drinks, coffee, soda and some kinds of tea are examples of some drinks that contain caffeine. Common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal include headaches, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, depression and lack of concentration. To avoid this, it is best to work to wean yourself off caffeine products in the weeks leading up to the fast.
Eat foods that help with water retention Eating the proper foods while fasting is vital for helping your body to stay hydrated for a longer period of time. Be sure to eat these foods in the weeks and days leading up to the fast, as well as using these foods when breaking the fast, to help your body hold onto its water. Examples of such foods include: coconut water, vegetables, vegetables like lettuce, carrots etc., and fruits like tomatoes, apples, berries, oranges, grapes and bananas).
Practice Portion Control Avoid stuffing yourself with foods in the days before the fast. You would think it would prevent you from getting hungry when the eventual fast starts, but it doesn’t. Regularly stuffing yourself with food before your fast will cause your body to adjust to large meals, and this will make you feel even hungrier when you eventually begin your fast. It will be more profitable to your body to control portion sizes in the days before your fast and if possible vary your meal times, so your body can get a bit comfortable not eating within specific periods of the day and eventually reduce its anticipation of food at specific times of the day.
Eat a Relatively Large Protein Filled Meal before the Fast
The key word here is ‘relatively’ because you should ensure you don’t overeat. Nevertheless, eating a large protein filled meal for your last meal before a fast, after days of eating carbohydrate-rich meals, can help you feel more satisfied for a longer period of time and better ease you into the fast.