Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle After Ramadan
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world usually fast for daylight hours. This means we do not have any food, drinks, or supplements of any kind until the sun goes down. However, the practice of fasting is now gaining support from the non-islamic community with a focus more on health and well-being than spiritual commitment.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
In a recent interview, Nazima Qureshi talked about Ramadan and intermittent fasting. She is a Canada based registered dietitian and a well respected hijabi woman in the Muslim community. She strives to help Muslim women live healthier and happier lives. She spoke of the similarities and differences between Ramadan fasting and the type that other people are using to lose weight and gain health benefits. One of the biggest differences is that secular fasting does allow you to drink water, take supplements, and occasionally enjoy clear fluids like broth or juice.
Scientific research has shown that fasting for part of the day encourages weight loss due to hormonal changes that affect how hungry you are over the hours. Also, the difference in focus between health-based fasting and fasting in Islam depends on the way people approach what and how they eat when they are allowed to. Someone interested in losing weight or gaining health specifically will not overindulge during non-fasting periods. However, at the end of a long day of fasting for Ramadan, many families come together to eat too much for their nighttime meal.
When these two ideas are combined together, the possibility of maintaining a healthy lifestyle after Ramadan becomes much more obvious. Instead of seeing the break in your fast as a time to celebrate and use food as a social construct in the family, with friends, or within a religious group, focus on the spiritual aspects and re-feeding options wisely.
Intermittent Fasting Grows In Popularity
Celebrities such as Vanessa Hudgens have fuelled the popularity of this type of lifestyle choice throughout Canada and the United States. As she expounds on the benefits that she experiences in her own life and her admittedly healthy lifestyle, other people want to learn more about how fasting can help them.
Of course, anyone who fills up on pizza, junk food, ice cream, and other desserts during their non-fasting hours will gain weight, feel sluggish and ill, and will not notice any of the benefits that fasting could bring. Instead, anyone who wants to engage in this new practice of intermittent fasting must pay attention to what they do eat.
Nazima Qureshi suggests drinking a lot of fresh water and only non-caloric beverages. A healthy eating plan consists of a mixture of protein, low amount of carbs, and primarily vegetables with a variety of fruits. The most important factor is to maintain an appropriate caloric level of food intake according to your body size.
During Ramadan, daytime fasting can sometimes translate into a nighttime of over eating and focus on the wrong choices of foods. To maintain your health instead, consider incorporating smart food choices and the increasingly popular intermittent fasting habit into your lifestyle!