It is never the right thing to start Ramadan fasting without pre-planning. Proper planning and adapting your body to the transition a month in advance, ensures easier fasting for the whole month. It also ensures that you reap the benefits of fasting during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Reduce Your Tea and Coffee Intake
Reduce your consumption of tea and coffee. Going without caffeine for long periods of time during Ramadan can cause withdrawal symptoms such as migraines in the initial few days of fasting. Practice switching to decaffeinated coffee and eventually give up until the end of Ramadan. Excess caffeine is a diuretic and people who consume excessive caffeine from Iftar to Suhour can get severely dehydrated during fasting eventually making them break their fast.
Some people think it is alright to binge eat now as they will anyways be fasting soon. Change that mind-set. By increasing your appetite just before Ramadan, you will have difficulty fasting with unbearable hunger pangs. Instead reduce food quantities and cut down calories. Your body needs to get prepared for a lower calorie intake a month in advance to avoid unbearable hunger pangs during Ramadan.
Wake Up Early
One month before Ramadan, start waking up really early and eat breakfast. This will help form the habit of waking up for Suhour – the predawn meal which is a very important and should never be skipped. This will decide how your body survives the entire day without food and water for up to 16 hours.
Cutting back on smoking is equally important as smokers who enter Ramadan unprepared may experience various withdrawal symptoms
such as irritability, anger, restlessness, impatience, and difficulty concentrating during fasting hours. To avoid this, start with reducing cigarettes to half of the regular consumption and make weekly reduction to a few only during the night.
Exercise Regularly and Practice Yoga
If you are not used to exercising then don’t start during Ramadan thinking you will start your weight loss program then. Start now and continue even during Ramadan. Work out daily for 30 minutes just before Iftar or two hours after the Iftar meal. It is good idea to include
yoga to your routine this month as it is an effective way to keep fit during Ramadan.
Regulate your sleeping patterns. You need adequate sleep, hence sleep early and wake up early. If you are unable to sleep early at night due to situations and circumstances, take a nap in the afternoon. But regulate the sleep and practice the pattern.
Fast for a Day
Once a week during the preparatory month, try fasting the whole day. This will also enable you to gauge how your body reacts to fasting, signs, and symptoms and how you deal with it.
Plan Your Meals
Plan your meals well in advance. Make a healthy menu. Avoid eating junk, sugar and processed food to avoid cravings during the fasting month. Instead, start consuming more fresh fruits, vegetables and grains for easier digestion.
Undergo a complete check-up by your family physician to check for diabetes, hypertension and gastric reflux issues. If there are medical concerns, your physician will be able to guide you with the right treatment and fasting precautions.