Nutrition during Ramadan
Updated on 03 May 2017

Ramadan is a time of self-reflection and turning one’s focus to others. The act of fasting is to remind yourself of how others live and to humble yourself. Ramadan can also be a time when people’s training is most likely to suffer and all the gains you’ve made this year will be lost. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Fitness First have some great trainers and nutritionists to help you stay in shape during Ramadan.

Besides the spiritual benefits, if done well, fasting can have many positive effects on one’s health. According to Banin Shahine, Nutrition Fitness Manager at Fitness First, by following simple guidelines, fasting can help decrease blood pressure and cholesterol and even lose weight. Alternatively, over-indulging at Iftar and Suhoor and the lack of physical activity can cause weight gain and health problems "The holy month of Ramadan is a time for spiritual and physical detoxifying through self-control, discipline and empathy for those less fortunate. Keeping a healthy diet and a good fitness routine during Ramadan is more difficult but not impossible. Eating smart and training smart is the key to detox," says Banin Shahine.

Health tips while fasting:

  • Break the fast with a few dates - dates are rich in fibre, magnesium and potassium and are an important source of sugar that can replenish the energy lost throughout the long hours of fasting.
  • Don’t overeat for Iftar - start with dates, water, followed by soup and a salad. If you feel full after the salad, you can take a break and continue your meal later. Overeating can cause stomach pain and bloating which is a very common problem during Ramadan.
  • Drink plenty of water - after breaking the fast, have a glass of water once every two hours to keep hydrated.
  • Avoid food that increases thirst - avoid salty or spicy food, instead consume more fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose food wisely - Iftar should include all food groups from grains, proteins, vegetables and fruits to healthy oils. Go for low fat meat, fish and whole grain and stay away from foot high in fat and fried food.
    Suhoor should include foods that digest slowly and provide enough energy for rest of the day. It’s better to choose a meal that is rich in carbohydrates, fibre and potassium over the food that burns fast.
  • Exercise - exercising during Ramadan is very beneficial. It can help maintain a healthy weight and healthy lifestyle. For regular athletes, a vigorous exercise session just before breaking the fast can be a good choice. While for those less fit, light and moderate exercise such as slow jogging, yoga or light machine exercises, two hours after breaking the fast are recommended.
  • Pay attention to your health - people with any health issues, including diabetics, heart problems or renal insufficiency should consult their physician before doing any physical activity while fasting. If ever feeling dizzy or nauseous, terminate any physical activity immediately.
  • Use MYZONE, a heart rate monitoring tool, to keep a track of your workout to avoid overexertion.

Fitness First offer the health advice and fitness to book a visit, simply go to the website uae.fitnessfirstme.com or speak to a member of staff.

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Fitness First is a global brand that originated in the UK. Backed by over 17 years experience, the fitness chain has grown into a network of over 380 clubs, with over 1 million members in more than 15 countries worldwide.
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