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Hacking Fasting – Stay fuller for longer | HaloodieFoodie

Hacking Fasting – Stay fuller for longer

The blessed month of Ramadhan is upon us again. My first recollection of Ramadhan was during the summer of 1986, alongside Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ during the Mexico World Cup. I vividly recall the excruciatingly long days and intimidatingly short nights……Now that Ramadhan is during the longest part of the year, I’ve been requested to blog about what to eat in Ramadhan. Asian diets are notoriously poor all year around! We tend to eat foods with high fat, salt and sugar! With little or no fresh fruit or fibre. In Ramadhan our diets somehow become worse!!! Ask yourself… Is Ramadhan an excuse to binge on fried delicacies and sugary drinks? Aren’t we defeating the object of fasting? Aren’t we aiming to draw closer to the Lord by refraining from food, drink and our passions for the duration of the day? As I was writing this post, I received the following picture which sums up our predicament.

My top tips for a healthy Ramadhan

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Rehydrate, Rehydrate, Rehydrate…………. Two thirds of your body is water. During the course of the day, you’ll steadily lose water. It is essential that water loss is topped up between Iftaar and Sahoor. I usually break my fast with a few madinah dates and a 500ml bottle of water. Between Magrib and Isha/Taraweeh I will have some fruit and some green/black tea. Don’t hydrate too much during taraweeh!!!! Visits to the water cooler between prayers may lead to awkward conversations about the state of the national football team and/or benefit caps from the taraweeh shirkers!
You can always purchase a special taraweeh water bottle from here!
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Avoid fatty and fried food at Iftaar

So you’ve fasted for the whole day and its time to eat. You need to refuel your body with good quality nutrients. However, our families spend months preparing tantalizing samosas, pastries and all manner of intricate delicacies. Samosas and other fried food are high in fat and have very little fibre/other key nutrients and thus become difficult to digest. Not ideal for people who need nutrients quickly. Thus for iftaar I usually eat simple carbohydrates from fruits. I tend to eat those fruits which have a high water content such as water melon, oranges and pineapple.

Keep a light stomach for Taraweeh Prayer The summer nights are very short and taraweeh prayer is only an hour after iftaar. In order to concentrate for the taraweeh prayer one must keep a light stomach. How many of us would attempt eating to a state of repletion and then going for a run!
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I found this notice in a Musjid in Dundee, Scotland.

An anecdotal incident. When we were younger we were forced to play the ‘guess what uncle has eaten for iftaar’ game at taraweeh. The constant belching and associated odours was so nauseating. Surely this is not in the spirit of Ramadhan??

Eat complex carbs for Sahoor PictureAfter taraweeh is the time to eat. Try to eat complex carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, brown rice, oats, beans, lentils, cereals etc. Another great example particularly is porridge. These super foods are high in fibre and have a low GI rating, which basically mean that they will fill you up and release their energy slowly, which will help you during the long days. My father is an insulin dependant diabetic, he has brown rice when fasting and reported back that his hunger was managed well for the duration of the fast!

Healthy sahoor ideas

  1. Poached eggs with olive oil, pan fried cherry tomatoes and mushrooms served with wholemeal bread
  2. Porridge, be adventurous by trying different flavour combinations such as date and walnut, cranberry and almond, apricot and banana.
  3. Wholemeal/Wholegrain Cereals such as muesli, shredded wheat, fruit and fibre, weetabix etc

If you’re ‘old school’ and need a more traditional sahoor meal

  1. Wholemeal Chicken pasta
  2. Lentils and brown rice
  3. Chicken or meat curry with brown rice or wholemeal pitta/chappati

For the body builders who aim to Maintain muscle mass and become lean in Ramadhan. Intermittent fasting is the new trendy way to build muscle mass and become lean. Ramadhan is a perfect opportunity for us to reach our fitness goals, as long as you eat correctly and use your time effectively after taraweeh salaah. I’ve described my eating habits at iftaar. After taraweeh prayer, I have a very short but intense HIIT (High intensity interval training) workout which lasts for around 20mins. Just before the end time of sahoor, I have a casein protein shake with avocado and ground oats. Casein protein is slow release protein, which supplies the body with the protein needed for growth, repair and maintenance of your muscle mass. Avocados are loaded with healthy fats needed to build and maintain your muscle and lower cholesterol. Oats provide the complex, slow burn carbohydrates that will be the principal energy store. I also drink around a litre of water before Sahoor ends.

I hope you found the post informative, I hope you have a enjoyable and spiritual Ramadhan. Make dua me and for all of humanity, especially at the time of iftaar, don’t get too distracted by those dainty little triangular treats!!


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18 Responses to Hacking Fasting – Stay fuller for longer

  1. Idris March 6, 2016 at 11:53 am #

    So what you’re saying is not eating curries at iftar but at sehri time

    • Haloodie Foodie March 6, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

      Absolutely. Keep your stomach light!! Dont entertain the kids with the infamous game!

      • Idris February 7, 2014 at 12:21 am #

        I had mint/green tea, water melon, dates and yoghurt, all before taraweeh. The curry after salah, and What a massive difference in terms of alertness in salah. The biggest battle is taking plates of fried food from neighbours and resisting eating till after taraweeh.

  2. Riaz March 6, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

    Enjoying the blog. Keep posting. You forgot to mention the indoor football between taraweeh and suhoor!

    • Haloodie Foodie March 6, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

      I remember those days too!!! Mid 90’s!!! Nearly 20 years ago!!!

  3. AZA aka Aza May 6, 2016 at 3:17 am #

    Salams v good post but v similar to food posts from people who just seem to think everyone has a sudden urge for food at those times. Someone like me ( dismiss me as a 1 off if you like – it will be easier for you) is v hungry at Iftar but after a few Madinah dates ( with almonds instead of seeds) and a bottle of water I am hardly in the mood to eat anything – fruit is possible but then when to eat proper food intake??? The time before taraweeh is the time for me to eat – after taraweeh – it’s literally gone to bed. So please advice required for Iftar eating for those who have v little appetite at those times- in sehri I have my usual ice cold glass of water , 1 banana and 1 glass of milk. Bespoke advice required

  4. Haloodie Foodie May 6, 2016 at 3:49 am #

    Dear AZA aka Aza Thank you for comments. Its very difficult to get your intake of calories in such a short time between Iftaar and Sahoor. You are like me, in that you find it very difficult to eat at sahoor. Last year I started making fruit smoothies using some of the ingredients that you have mentioned with ground oats for the complex carbs source. The smoothie filled me up for the extremely long fasts (I was visiting Scotland at the time) without feeling bloated. I will post a recipe after Zohar Salaah, Inshallah.

  5. Musa Jabbar June 6, 2016 at 4:14 am #

    AAWW . enjoying the blog and tips very much :-) …since Ramdhan 2012 I’ve tried to have a more healthier suhoor (similar to above) as since the past 20 odd years before that its was very …well desified. Used to always get a few headaches before during Ramdhan ….probably due to the unhealthy iftars and suhoors. Alhumdulillah problem solved since 2012 …headaches all gone!

    • Haloodie Foodie June 6, 2016 at 4:46 am #

      I’ve been eating like this at Iftaar and Sahoor and my quality of life and ibaadah (especially concentrations during taraweeh) has improved markedly. May Allah improve all our amaal’s.

  6. I.B January 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    Salaams. Jazakallah for the advice.

  7. Abu Ahmad February 7, 2014 at 4:30 am #

    Assalamu ‘Alaykum Warah Matullahi Wabarakatuhu We tend to have light iftaar with Smoothie (yoghurt, dates, mango, ice cream, oats) cut up fruit – water melons, mango, nectarines etc, and pastiries, samosas, bhajias after the above.

    • Haloodie Foodie February 7, 2014 at 11:53 am #

      Its a good start. However, I feel you need some real food. Do you expect to get all your nutrients from samosas and pastries?

  8. Tazzy June 28, 2015 at 12:22 am #

    Great article on Ramadan eating, I normally can’t resist the samosa’s – but during Sahur I have my porridge, 1 spoon of spirilina powder and 1 spoon of chai seeds.

    • haloodiefoodie June 28, 2015 at 12:29 am #

      Thanks Tazzy.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the blog article.
      Samosas! To date I’ve had less than you can count on your hand!

  9. Shifa Peeran June 18, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

    Great post!

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