Reestablishing nutritional balance after Ramadan

As the sacred month of Ramadan comes to an end with Eid al-Fitr, the celebration marking the end of the fasting period, many people wonder how to smoothly return to their daily eating habits
Image for representation purpose only
Image for representation purpose onlyPhoto - jcomp on Freepik

From sunrise to sunset, no water or food for long hours. Then, the breaking of the fast at sunset, followed by one to two more meals before dawn. Meals during Ramadan are often larger and richer than usual, eaten at unusual times of the night.

As the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end with Eid al-Fitr, the celebration marking the end of the fasting period, many people are wondering how to smoothly reintegrate their daily eating habits. How can we make this transition smoothly and adopt a behavior that promotes a healthy diet while avoiding post-Ramadan nutritional pitfalls? To guide you in this process, Dr. CISSOKO, Nutritionist at Nestlé gives you some advice for a smooth transition to a balanced diet after Ramadan.

Readjust your digestive system without rushing:

To avoid possible stomach upset, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea, it is recommended to opt for digestible foods. Fish is preferable to meat because it is lighter and easier to digest. Cooked, low-fat vegetables are also gentler on the digestive system than raw vegetables. Whole or semi-whole grains are rich in fiber and promote good bowel movements. Well-ripened fruit is easier to digest than unripe fruit.

Water, on the other hand, is your best ally for a smooth transition before returning to a normal diet. In addition to maintaining your body's water balance, it plays a vital role in digestion by aiding the process and helping to eliminate toxins. Water is still the best drink.

Finally, choose small portions and take the time to chew your food thoroughly, which allows for better digestion and optimal absorption of nutrients.

Opt for gradualness, the key to rebalancing your diet:

For a smooth transition after Ramadan, it is recommended to take a measured and thoughtful approach, whether in the introduction of the different food groups or in the frequency and intensity of physical activities. Take the time to gradually introduce foods in a balanced way, making sure to include all the food groups necessary for a healthy diet. It is important to emphasize that exercise is of paramount importance as part of a balanced diet. A light activity such as walking is especially recommended at the beginning. It stimulates the body without subjecting it to excessive effort. As you go along, you can gradually intensify these sports activities according to your abilities. This gradual approach is the key to returning to a balanced diet after Ramadan.

Avoiding post-Ramadan nutritional pitfalls:

It's important to stay aware of potential nutritional pitfalls that could get in the way of a balanced diet.

  1. Excess sugar: After a period of fasting, it can be tempting to indulge in overindulgence in sweets and desserts. It is essential to limit the consumption of added sugar and to favor natural sources of sugar, such as fruit.

  2. Excessive portions: After fasting, it's common to want to compensate by eating larger portions. However, this can lead to overeating and calorie imbalance. It's important to maintain moderate portions and eat slowly to feel fuller the better.

  3. Ensure good dietary diversity: After Ramadan, it is essential to maintain a balanced diet by making sure to introduce a variety of foods to ensure adequate intake of essential nutrients. Be sure to include a wide range of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and sources of healthy fats in your meals

  4. Make sure you maintain proper hydration: After a period of fasting, it is important to ensure adequate hydration. Be sure to drink enough water throughout the day to maintain proper hydration. It is recommended to consume at least 2 liters of water per day.

  5. Be vigilant about snacking: Prioritizing structured meals over snacking helps maintain a healthy weight and avoid unnecessary calorie intake.

  6. Listen to your body: Relearning to listen to hunger and satiety cues is a valuable skill for adjusting your diet to your true needs.

  7. Planning to avoid slippage: Anticipating and preparing meals is an effective strategy to stick to a balanced diet and avoid impulsive food choices.

The period following Ramadan is an opportune time to establish or reinforce healthy and sustainable eating habits. By taking conscious steps, each individual can take advantage of this transition to nourish their body and mind. "At Nestlé, we encourage and support this by offering a variety of products and advice to help you in your quest for a balanced diet," says Dr. CISSOKO.

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