During the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, worshippers are encouraged to abstain from food during the most active hours of the day, from dawn to dusk. The exercise is as much a mental one as it is physical.

By experiencing want and hunger, worshippers relate more closely to the sufferings of the needy and, from this place of understanding and charity, are better disposed to answer their requests.These few tips will help you maintain a healthy fast during Ramadan:

1 Do not overeat during Iftar:

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The Muslim fast allows you to eat only during Suhur, early in the morning, and Iftar, late at night. The normal response to this infrequent diet is to double or triple your normal ratio. Overeating just before bedtime encourages weight gain, and this kind of fat is usually hard to lose. It may also cause difficulty sleeping and gastrointestinal reflux disease.

2. Sleep early:

Most Muslims wake up earlier than usual during Ramadan to have Suhur. As a result, mental stress builds up during the day. This stress is worsened by heightened cortisol levels. Remember that Ramadan calls us to be compassionate and merciful. A good night’s sleep determines how pleasant or unpleasant the day’s interactions are.

3. Drink enough water:

You need about 3-4 litres of water daily to maintain optimal organ function and blood circulation. This amounts to about 16 glasses of water daily. During Ramadan, attempt five glasses of water with each meal, increasing the number as your fast endures. An ideal approach to drinking this much water before 6 am is to drink two cups immediately you wake up, then have at least two with your meal.

4. Eat healthy meals:

Drinking soups can also help you stay hydrated. Vegetables, fruits and juices should replace salty foods, processed foods, fried foods and snacks. Your plate should contain a decent amount of proteins, fibres and, of course, enough carbohydrates to keep you going all day.

5. Eat slowly and chew your food properly:

It may not be so easy to eat slowly when you feel like you could faint from hunger. However, swallowing all that food could cause you a stomach ache. Your body needs about 20 minutes to release its satiety hormones, so the chances are that you won’t notice you’re getting full until it’s too late. Chewing properly aids digestion. When you swallow food without chewing, a huge chunk of it wastes because it cannot be absorbed as it passes through your bowel

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