I’m fasting at the moment and it’s long 18 and a half hour days, so it’s even more important for me to be healthy during this month. In the old days we would eat loads of fried foods and sweet things as it ‘can’t count’ if you’ve been fasting all day! That’s old school mentality and nowadays it’s more important to eat well and eat right, especially on hot days during 18 hour fasts.
Many people fast for other reasons, such as cellular regeneration, mental strength and anti-ageing purposes. There’s good evidence that fasting for 16 hours helps with weight loss, reduces insulin resistance and helps lipid metabolism.
My favourite Chris Martin fasts once a week too…
Here’s my top tips for fasting in a healthy way:
#1 Drink plenty of water after breaking fast, I’d recommend 1.5-2 litres to stay hydrated and avoid headaches and lethargy.
#2 Make sure you have plenty of protein to stop muscle break down.
#3 Eat a some good carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes or rice, your body needs some after not eating for so long.
#4 It’s natural to want something sweet. Most Muslims break fasting with dates, which are rich in natural sugars, fibre, magnesium and potassium. Full disclosure – I sometimes have chocolate cake! But it isn’t ideal as it can cause blood sugar spikes effecting energy. Plus I felt pretty bloated after the cake. A Pulsin bar full of natural sugars and raw cacao and is also gluten and dairy free is a better option.
#5 I like to have a soup made with bone broth when breaking fasting – it’s good for your immune system, digestive system and rich in nutrients.
#6 It’s very important I get my nutrients even when fasting so I have a shake every morning (2.30am!) made with Nutri Advanced Superfoods Plus powder, rich in antioxidants and far more than my ‘5 a day’. I also have some protein like eggs or some gluten free bread with peanut butter to get me ready for my fast and the day ahead. I don’t want to overload my body with supplements but I do have my probiotics in the morning.
#7 Sleep is so important, I try and get 7-8 hours, even if it is broken. When you’re tired your hunger hormones like leptin kick in to make you feel it more.
#8 Ramadan isn’t just about food, it’s about being spiritually connected. I try and use my free time to strengthen this connection. This makes the whole process much easier!