A Guide to Staying Healthy and Beautiful During Ramadan
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As a bride-to-be, keeping your health in check while fasting becomes extra important, especially if you've been sticking to a strict diet or trying to
eat healthier in the past few months. Taking the wrong steps, like skipping meals or trying to do too many things in one day, can end up harming your body. Remember, maintaining your health should be the most important thing when planning your wedding. To make sure that you'll breeze through this month in a healthy way, read our basic dos and don'ts below.
The dos and don'ts of fasting
1. Don't skip suhoor
We know it's hard to get up so early when you need a good night's sleep to go to work on the next day. However, just like breakfast, this pre-dawn meal is the first and most important meal of the day. It should not be skipped, ever, no matter how sleepy and cranky you are in the morning. After all, suhoor is the only meal that will keep you energized and hydrated for the whole day.
Do:Opt for wholesome dishes and complement them with vitamin-filled fluids like fruit juices or isotonic drinks, aside from water, of course. Some nutritious dishes that are good for suhoor are eggs on toast, oatmeal, cereals, and baked potatoes, or beans. To add extra nutrition for the day, you can complete your suhoor with a glass of milk or a bunch of trusty multivitamins.
Don't:What you need to remember is to limit your high-fat and sugary food consumption, as eating these types of food will drain your energy during the day.
2. Do limit your daily activities
Just because you're fasting, it doesn't mean that any activity should be off limits during the day. But especially if you work full time, in can be hard to follow your usual busy agenda without feeling especially exhausted.
Do:Always know and acknowledge your limits. Whenever possible, try to limit outdoor activities, especially if the weather is too hot. If possible, try to take a quick nap after suhoor or before iftar to recharge your energy if you're feeling especially lethargic. That doesn't mean you shouldn't exercise for the whole month, though, as light exercises like taking a leisurely walk or cycling will be good for your blood circulation.
Don't:Try to push your limit by doing too much physical work or high-intensity workouts that will drain your energy and leave you dehydrated.
3. Do break your fast with sweets
We're sure that you've experienced unwanted weight gain after Ramadan because you couldn't hold back your appetite when dinnertime finally came. You need to remember that eating too much after fasting all day will only make your body feel overwhelmed and bloated, which we're sure is not something you want to experience.
Do:Sugar is converted faster into energy, making it a great way to quickly replenish the energy you spent during the day. However, as with any other processed food, processed sugar will end up doing more harm than good in the long run. During iftar, break your fast with light and natural sweets instead, such as dates, fruit juices, or simply water. Dates are an especially handy food to have during Ramadan because it's such a good source of natural sugar.
Don't: Eat too much processed sweets. Ramadan always brings to mind traditional sweets that are filled with sugar, fat, and not much nutrition. Sure, you can indulge in these seasonal sweets every once in a while, but always remind yourself to keep them in moderation. In fact, it's better to eat sweets at least two hours after iftar to keep you from feeling bloated or craving even more sugary food.
4. Do choose healthy options
We know how tempting a bowl of pasta, potatoes, or rice can be during suhoor or iftar. Sure, carbohydrates can fill you up quickly, but unless they're paired with plenty of proteins in a balanced meal, they will eventually exhaust your body during the day.
Do: Choose your carbs wisely, such as brown rice or whole grain toast for suhoor. For iftar, you can consume complex carbohydrate meals like rice with home-cooked chicken stew. Don't forget to drink at least five glasses of water before bedtime to keep your body hydrated.
Don't: Minimize your consumption of white carbohydrates like white rice and white bread. Also try to avoid oily and spicy food that will easily cause indigestion and bloating.
What to eat during suhoor and iftar
Suhoor (pre-dawn meal)
If you want to stay healthy during Ramadan, your suhoor must be filled with a moderate meal that is filling and provides enough energy for hours to come. One way is to include food that will be digested slowly by your body, such as complex carbohydrates. Finish your meal with plenty of water to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
The must-have meal for breaking the day's fast would be dates. Dates contain so many vitamins that will make you feel refreshed and also give a boost of some much-needed energy. Fresh fruit juices, not bottled ones, can also give you that instant revitalizing effect and plenty of nutrition.
Check out the infographic below for some suhoor and iftar meal ideas.
Since you'll be consuming less food and drinks during the fasting season, it's no wonder that your skin will be less hydrated than it was in the previous months. After all, you won't be drinking any water for the whole day. That's why it's important to maintain your fluid intake and make sure you have a healthy-looking skin throughout the month. Try these eight simple step that will help you nourish your skin during Ramadan.
1. Aside from drinking a minimum of two liters of water per day, consume fruits and vegetables that contain more water like watermelon, coconut water, or vegetable soup.
2. Avoid salty, spicy, and processed food that will only dehydrate you faster and leave you feeling thirsty throughout the day.
3. Limit your caffeine intake from soda, coffee, and tea to at least half of your daily consumption because the more you drink caffeine, the more it absorbs the minerals in your body and leaves your skin dry.
4. Make sure that you aren't consuming too much sugar as it will stimulate pimples on your skin.
5. The less greasy your food is, the better it will be for your skin. Substitute your fried dishes with grilled ones and don't forget to add salads too. This way, you'll get not only a glowing complexion, but also acne-free skin.
6. Don't forget to apply sunscreen before you step out from your house, every single day.
7. Eat more nuts like almonds and cashews, and bring them in small packages wherever you go. Consuming these healthy nuts will rejuvenate your skin as they are rich in fibers and fatty acids.
8. Don't skip your face and body lotions. They will keep your skin moisturized after taking a bath or washing your face. If possible, use a facial mask once a week as well.
Staying fit after the Ramadan holidays
The Ramadan holidays are filled with family gatherings and delightful feasts. Faced with so many choices of delicious food, it will be even harder for brides-to-be to resist the temptation to indulge. However, we don't think you should be so hard on yourself, especially after fasting for a whole month. It's okay to reward yourself and enjoy your grandmother's home-cooked meals, in moderation, of course. But you should remember to get back on track after the festivities have ended. Read these simple tips to maintain a healthy figure, which you've been working so hard on for your upcoming wedding day.
1. Return to your regular exercises
This is the right time for you to get back to your workout schedule. Now that you're not required to fast every day, you don't have any reasons to skip exercising. The basic step to having a healthy life is no secret, it's simply having regular exercise.
2. Skip processed sugars
We know that desserts and sweet beverages are always tempting. After having an unbalanced diet during the fasting season, our body will naturally crave sweets. Unfortunately, the fact is that the more you eat sugar, the more your body will crave it. But don't worry, you can satisfy your sweet tooth every once in a while by eating naturally sweet food and beverages, like fruit juices, dates, honey, or molasses. By consuming this kind of natural sugar, you will satisfy your body and give it a better source of nourishment.
3. Choose healthier menus
In order to avoid digestive problems, you should avoid meals with high fat or sugar content as these kinds of food will need more time to digest. These kinds of food also contribute the most to weight gain. When you're on your way of getting back to your usual eating habits, you should start with lighter meals first then gradually adapt to heavier meals.
4. Pay attention to what you eat
You are what you eat, so you should pay close attention to what you put in your body. Having a really heavy meal in one sitting is a bad idea for your body. Instead, you should stimulate your body metabolism by eating small portions frequently. The suggested gap is around three to four hours between every meal. By doing this, you will have a healthier metabolism that will lead you to a more proportional figure.
5. Consume less salt
Remember to ask for less salt whenever you eat out. If you're more of the cooking-at-home type, you can substitute salt with healthy and flavorful herbs such as parsley, rosemary, chili powder, or lemon juice. These kinds of organic ingredients and condiments will benefit your body as they are rich in not only flavors, but also antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins