American Hospital Blog

Stay fit during the fast

Stay fit during the fast

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be

difficult. Dana Al Shaka’a, Clinical

Dietician, American Hospital

Dubai, helps you stay on track


With the changing

timings of

meals during

Ramadan and the presence

of a lot of fried

appetisers and various

sweets on the table,

some find it difficult to

control calories not to

mention the feeling of

bloating and indigestion.

To maintain a healthy

diet and a better feeling

during the holy

month you have to make

healthy choices. Try to

start reducing caffeinated

beverages before the

beginning of the month

so as not to suffer from

headaches in the first

days of Ramadan.

Suhour is a very important

meal as it provides

you with energy

for a longer period and

prevents extreme thirst

at the beginning of the

day if you choose the

right foods. Foods that

contain fibre such as bran

or oatmeal, as well as vegetables

and fruits, give a

feeling of fullness for a longer

period. Oats and some

fruits such as bananas and

dates are also sources of

potassium, which help to

reduce the feeling of thirst

and keep the body hydrated

for longer.

In addition, the meal

should include a source of

protein such as milk, eggs,

beans or cheese that is low

in fat and salt. Avoid tea

and coffee at the time of

suhour because it can make

the body lose a lot of fluids.

Iftar is no less important

than suhour; as it is the

main meal of Ramadan.

One of the most important

tips for iftar is to eat a

balanced meal and avoid

fried/oily foods and drinks

that contain a high amount

of sugar.

Start your meal with water,

a few dates and follow

with a soup or a laban. Continue

the meal with lots of

vegetables, a source of

protein, and a moderate

amount of carbohydrates. It

is also possible to divide the

meal to smaller servings

eaten over intervals to

avoid discomfort.

Drinking enough water

(1.5-2 litres) may be difficult

sometimes for lack of

time, but do not drink a

large amount of water with

food. Drink water gradually

and keep away from juices

when you feel thirsty.

Herbal tea or any drink that

does not contain caffeine

and sugar is a good source

of fluids as well.

Physical activity is

an essential part of a

healthy lifestyle, so we

must continue to exercise

in Ramadan. Do

not stop thinking that

the body does not have

enough energy. Exercise

during fasting stimulates

the body to burn

fat and raise the level

of mental activity. Recommended

sports are

brisk walking, bike riding,

and moderate exercise

at the gym.

Stay away from

high-intensity exercises

that last longer than

an hour before iftar because

it increases the

heart rate and may lead

to fatigue. One of the

best times for exercise is

the hour before iftar,

where the time of the

meal is not far from

the time of the workout.

It’s also ideal to

exercise after Taraweeh

prayers, when the body

has recharged its energy

after iftar.


Suhour is a

very important

meal as it

provides you

with energy

for a longer


Edited by:
Dana Al Shakaa

Dana Al Shakaa

Clinical Dietitian

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