The normal diet after Ramadan: How do I transition to it in a proper way?

Thursday, April 20, 2023

During the first days of Eid, immediately after a full month of fasting, many people have difficulty getting their digestive system accustomed to the normal diet. So what is the proper way to return to the normal diet after Ramadan?



Fasting for 30 days trains our bodies to eat and sleep over shorter periods of time, from iftar to suhoor, and adapts the body to the long hours of Ramadan fasting. After Ramadan, it may be difficult for the body to return to “normal”.

When we fast, a variety of important changes occur in our bodies:

  • The hormone insulin is regulated and used for 16 hours or more of fasting.
  • Our intestines are adapted to the shorter food intake period.
  • Two very important hormonal changes occur to help us adjust to the fasting days. The first is the antidiuretic hormone ADH, which is produced in our pituitary gland and controls excess water loss through the kidneys as well as regulates our blood pressure.

The other is aldosterone, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland that regulates fluid balance in the body. When we fast, the body adjusts to the low water content and low electrolyte balance and the kidneys retain fluid. Once you come out of the fast, it is critical to gradually restore this delicate electrolyte balance by slowly increasing your fluid intake.

After fasting Ramadan, it is important that we gradually increase our food intake. We should choose 5 small meals, allowing our bodies to adjust to a new digestion pattern. This will ensure that our digestive system is not stressed and keeps us active during the day.

In order to transition from the Ramadan diet to the regular diet, follow these directions:

1. Repeat in the morning what you used to do in Ramadan iftar!

After a month of not eating breakfast, your body will be asked to get used to eating it again, in the morning. To get your body used to eating iftar, start by repeating what you used to do during Ramadan iftar. Eat dates with milk, and start your day with fresh fruits. It is better to have a banana, an apple or a lemon as the fruits will not only make you feel full but will also refresh your body by providing enough energy to start your day.

2. Avoid fried foods and fast food

Lots of people prepare oily or fried foods, which is a bad idea. Make sure you do not include fried foods or carbohydrates in your diet, especially at breakfast, as you may suffer from a lot of digestive ailments.

Do not consume fast food, fatty or very spicy foods. Ideally, this should be followed throughout the year, but it’s especially important after a fast, as your body is more prone to bloating, heartburn, and indigestion.

3. Drink plenty of fluids

Make sure you get enough fluids, whether by drinking lemon juice, water, sugarcane juice or fruit juices, they are all good for consumption.

4. Eat milk or curd

Don’t forget to include milk or curd in your meal. A bowl of curd is not only easy to digest but also prevents acidity and aids digestion. It also provides you with a wide range of nutrients and probiotics that can help you deal with stomach complications caused by prolonged fasting.

5. Don’t eat food with its skin

Keep your food light and avoid spicy and greasy foods. The solution to prevent stomach problems like indigestion and heartburn is to keep your stomach half full.

6. Eat salad

Eat vegetables first, as they contain fiber and nutrients that can keep you full and prevent you from indulging in high-calorie meals. Starting your meal with a bowl of salad can be a good idea.

7. Eat mint for digestion

Instead of a cup of cold brew, drink a cup of yogurt with mint to aid digestion.

8. Do not drink water in the middle of a meal

You may feel very thirsty after eating, but it is best to avoid drinking water while eating or immediately after a meal. Because this behavior dilutes digestive enzymes and prolongs the digestion process, which leads to indigestion. Drink water about an hour before or after meals to ensure proper digestion.

Finally, fasting for a month doesn’t give you a free license to overeat this Eid. Listen to your body! If you want to keep your digestive system in good shape, you cannot overeat even if you are eating healthy foods.

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