Waking up to a healthier way of fasting

Ramadan is taking a toll on Murad Ahmed, what with starving during daylight and bingeing at night. It’s time to call in a nutritionist


I love fasting. Every year during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, now about halfway through, Muslims fast between dawn and dusk, which means that not a drop of water or a morsel of food passes the lips during day- light hours.
The month provides a kind of spiritual detox, providing a reason to control the excesses of your life and helping you to understand, and so not to forget, the suffering of the poor. But, in all honesty, I love it most because of the piles of food that you get to eat at night.



I should tell you that it is distinctly unIslamic to stuff your face during the hours when eating is allowed because Ramadan is all about showing self-restraint. Not eating during the day is suprisingly easy because you make a conscious effort to take things easy. As the month goes on, your body grows accustomed to working on lower reserves of energy. Rejecting the offer of a crisp is the worst of it.

However, like millions of Muslims, I find fasting during the day is a good excuse to overindulge after the sun sets, currently at about 6.10pm. So, perversely, though Ramadan may seem the ideal opportunity to lose weight, I have ended up loosening my belt buckle by a notch.

There are other side-effects to fasting of this kind. Not drinking throughout the day leaves you dehydrated, with gradual loss of energy, resulting in poor concentration. This was fine when I was at university and could nod off during afternoon lectures, but since getting my first job on The Times recently, I have been eager to impress my boss and would rather not have him find me face down, drooling on my keyboard.

Opting out of Ramadan is out of the question for me, so to reconcile it with a nine-to-five office routine I took expert advice from the nutritionist Amanda Ursell about how best to cope. And it turned out that the best way to counteract the effects of not eating by day was to go on a diet by night.



Source - Times

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