Are you ready to fast? Six ways to prepare your body for Ramadan

Racha Adib
Racha Adib - Special to Al Arabiya English
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The holy month of Ramadan is just round the corner, and Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. If you’re fasting, that means you’ll need to do without your morning cup of coffee and your favorite afternoon snack. BUT planning and preparing your body ahead of the month will make the transition a lot smoother.


In the lead up to Ramadan, the typical mindset of “eat all you want as you’re going to be fasting soon” is really not your best friend. In fact, that behavior will only increase your appetite and make it a lot more difficult to fast. Why not begin to reduce your meal portions from now, to get your body used to less food and calories when you fast. It’s not enough to reduce quantities, you’ll also have to focus on quality. Avoid heavy food, salt AND sugar that trigger unwanted reactions in the body, and can make those cravings harder to fight.

From today, get used to having three main meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner –and avoid snacking in between. During Ramadan, you’ll only be able to have two main meals, Suhoor and Iftar. That way, you’ll just have to cut out one meal from you diet and that won’t be so bad.

Caffeine withdrawal, it’s a thing. If you are a coffee-lover and want to avoid getting that pounding headache in the first few days of Ramadan, begin to reduce your caffeine intake.
A systematic approach would involve switching to decaff, one coffee at a time, until you’re ONLY drinking decaffeinated coffee.

Quitting is recommended any day of the year, but more so in Ramadan.
That’s because smokers who enter the month unprepared may experience various withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anger, restlessness, impatience, and difficulty concentrating during fasting hours. To avoid all of those, cut down on the number of cigarettes you have during the day.
Why not view Ramadan as an opportunity to quit bad habits altogether, such as smoking?

And as you know in Ramadan, your lifestyle changes and so do your sleep patterns so plan a sleeping pattern for Ramadan that fits in with your schedule and one that you can stick to as best as possible.
For example, you may choose to go to bed earlier than normal, and wake up for suhoor and begin your day and then have an afternoon nap right before iftar. Whatever sleeping pattern you choose to follow, begin to mimic it from today.

And finally,

If you have concerns over your ability to fast for whatever reason, be it diabetes, high blood pressure or a simple gastric reflux, now is the time to check-in with your doctor. Find out if it’s safe for you to fast AND if you’ll need to make any changes in the timing and the dosage of the medications you’re on.

Follow these tips for a smooth transition so you can get the best out of Ramadan this year.

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