Fasting has gained popularity among people for its health benefits, while others have been doing it for religious reasons.
Intermittent fasting is one of the most followed methods for weight loss. It involves not eating for some time, between eight to sixteen hours.
However, regular fasting requires more commitment than intermittent. You have to fast for prolonged hours and several days. And while some can fast without any problem, fasting for some people can take a toll on their health.
Therefore, a proper food plan can keep us healthy and help us earn the benefits of fasting.
Today in this blog post, we are going to explore those tips. Don’t forget to bookmark this page because we will pen down our most helpful suggestion for a healthy fast.
Fasting Tips for Good Health
Ensure a safe and beneficial fasting experience by understanding the proper techniques and considerations.
We will share a holistic approach to fasting; that can avoid any adverse effects.
- Consultation:Before embarking on this spiritual and healthy fasting journey, we must consult a healthcare professional. They have your medical history and can adjust your medication accordingly.
Some medications, such as those of heart patients: are taken regularly. And skipping those can have an adverse effect.
Many doctors believe that some of the negative effects of fasting are due to skipping necessary medications. Therefore, confer with your doctor so they can plan your prescription; ahead of time.
- Light Exercise: While you’re not going to replenish your nutrients throughout the day, it is essential that you cut down on the consumption of energy. While exercise is good for your health and body, it might not be a good idea during fasting.
Consider light exercise, mild yoga, or stretching during fasting hours. It will be calming but not too strenuous for your body.
Besides, working out or doing any other activity, such as; reading, painting, or housework: can distract you from hunger.
Therefore, it is a good idea to invest your time in such engagements and save up your energy for daily activities.
- Take it Slow and Gradual: Stuffing on a three full course meal with a midnight snack and one day deciding to cut it all; can unquestionably have a damaging effect. You can start by gradually decreasing your food intake as you head toward the fasting days.
Sudden and drastic changes to your eating routine can lead to discomfort in your health.
Begin with shorter periods of 8 hours, then increase the hours gradually, so your body can adjust to the routine.
- Breaking Fast: Another thing to remember is not to break your fast with overeating. It will disrupt your caloric quota and the benefits of fasting altogether. It is better to eat the amount of your regular meals and continue with your day.
In a Muslim household, they break their fast with a ritual recitation of dua for fasting, then break their fast with dates. It is a high-carbohydrate food item that can give you a boost of energy.
Later, a regular meal follows. This practice saves you from indigestion and from feeling bloated and tired.
- Hydration: Dehydration is a significant concern during fasting and can lead to headaches, fainting, dizziness, cramps, and fatigue. It could affect your overall fast and make your body weak.
You should keep your body hydrated. Follow the 8×8 rule of water. Meanwhile, some religions prohibit the intake of food and water.
So, you can make up for this required amount of water during the non-fasting hours. Maintaining hydration can also prevent overeating.
According to a study, drinking water before meals can help reduce hunger.
- Nutrient-Rich Food: If you’re fasting to lose weight, take care of your nutrient intake. Fasting for a whole day and then eating food not rich in protein can lead to muscle loss in addition to fats. It will make your body weak instead of giving you a refreshing boost.
Focus on food rich in nutrients: vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients, to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, or other chronic illness.
You can keep your diet healthy by choosing vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole foods. Avoid sugary foods as they can lead to a sudden spike in blood glucose levels, leading to ketoacidosis.
- Prioritize Sleep Management: Getting an adequate amount of sleep can seem impossible during the fasting season. And if you’re a Muslim, praying Fajr early morning and tarawih late into the night means lesser hours left for rest.
Lack of sleep can disrupt your fasting routine and mood (adding more to your stress). Thus, consider working on your sleep routine and stress management. Not to mention some of us have to go to work, so there’s no time to sleep left.
Try getting at least eight hours of sleep. An adequate amount of sleep can help regulate your hormone (less ghrelin and more leptin), which controls your hunger and prevent overeating.
Inadequate sleep can also affect your productivity. Hence, prioritize your sleep and include stress-relieving activities, such as; meditation or breathing exercises, to get the most out of your fasting experience.
- Listen to Your Body: Fasting is good for health, but that might not be the case for some people. Try paying attention to your body and how it responds when you fast. Feeling tired or slightly weak during a fast is normal, but if your weakness is getting in the way of your daily task, it means something is wrong.
Fasting should not make you feel unwell. When you feel like your body is responding negatively or experiencing discomfort, break your fast.
Some people suffering from chronic disease are advised not to observe fasting. These people could be;
- Suffering or having chances of eating developing an eating disorder
- Chronic kidney problem
- Diabetes type 2 or experiencing issues in regulating blood sugar level
- Heart condition
- Pregnant or nursing women
- Has low blood pressure
- Underweight or
- have prescribed medications
Such individuals have to take their medicines on time or face adverse effects. For example, people with type-2 diabetes who have to take glucose-lowering drugs will suffer from a drop in blood sugar level, which could be life-threatening.
Nonetheless, some individuals still insist on fasting. Therefore, in case of experiencing any signs of discomfort, you know it’s time to eat something helpful.
If you suffer from a chronic disease, we advise you to consult your doctor before getting into the fasting practice.
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Fasting is a valuable practice if done with precautions and mindfulness. Following these eight tips, you can ensure that your wholesome fasting experience doesn’t take a tragic turn.
Be mindful of your eating habits, Take care of your sleep and stress. Fasting isn’t all about cutting off your food and water intake. But, it’s a practice of being mindful of your lifestyle and routine.
By incorporating these safe tips: you can minimize potential health risks and reap the potential benefits of your fasts.