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Protein, fiber, naps and more fasting tips to avoid getting hangry during Ramadan

Ada Tseng, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Religious News

"Since the day we were born, our [gastrointestinal] tract has been constantly working for us," she said. "So when we give it a break, we're allowing for the body to stop, clear out some dead cells and have some time to do some housekeeping or house cleaning."

Other benefits of fasting can include better blood sugar control, decrease in stress and inflammatory processes in your body, and improving heart health and brain function, said Sumiya Khan, a registered dietitian and co-founder of Sanctuary Kitchen.

But if you're going most of the day without eating, what you do put in your body is going to have a larger effect on how you feel throughout the day.

"The whole point of Ramadan and fasting is to practice mindfulness, discipline and control," Khan said. "So practicing moderation, focusing on the company [of family and friends] and why we are fasting, as well as being very mindful of what you're eating while you're eating — that's really part of the whole package."

Pace yourself

"A lot of times after fasting, you're so hungry that you just start stuffing your face," Kubba said. "But then afterward you can't even move."

 

So slow down when you eat, said Abrar Naely, a registered dietitian who goes by Naelynutrition on Instagram. Take the time to chew. It takes the brain about 20 minutes to receive the signal from your stomach that you're full.

Ramadan is not the best time to start restrictive diets such as Keto or Atkins. "Really, no time is the best time," said Naely, "but especially during Ramadan, when you're fasting for 12-plus hours, you don't want to deplete your body of nutrients."

Shamila Malik, a registered dietitian at Fresenius Medical Care North America, says some people might sleep in and not eat suhoor, the meal before the fast begins. But that's a bad idea. You'll be starving by the end of the day, she said, and eating the majority of your calories at night before you go to sleep is bad for your metabolism and will make you gain weight.

It's better to break up your calories: some at suhoor and some at iftar, the meal when breaking the fast, she said.

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