As Ramadan draws to a close, Muslims around the world prepare to bid farewell to the days of fasting from dawn till dusk. While Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, self-discipline and increased devotion, transitioning back to regular eating habits requires careful consideration to ensure health and wellbeing. Kerry-Dene Ihlenfeldt, the Clinical Director at IVBOOST UK has expertise in supporting patients’ transition from Ramadan fasting safely and effectively. Below she shares her five tips:

1. Gradually Increase Food Intake:

One of the most important aspects of transitioning out of fasting is gradually reintroducing food into your diet. Instead of indulging in large meals immediately after sunset, start with light and nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This gradual approach allows your digestive system to adjust and prevents issues such as bloating or indigestion. Slowly increase portion sizes and complexity of meals over a few days to allow your body to adapt to regular eating patterns again.

2. Consume Slow-Digesting Foods:

Including slow-digesting foods such as whole grains, legumes and fibrous vegetables into your meals will help regulate your blood sugar levels, keeping you feeling fuller for longer. Because slow-digesting foods take longer to break down and convert into glucose, they provide a more sustained release of energy over time. This can be particularly beneficial for maintaining energy levels throughout the day, supporting physical activity and enhancing mental focus and productivity.

3. Stay Hydrated:

During Ramadan, fasting includes abstaining from both food and drink from dawn till dusk, which can lead to dehydration if not managed properly. As you ease out of fasting, ensure adequate hydration by drinking plenty of water. Consume water-rich foods like cucumbers, watermelon and oranges in the diet to supplement your fluid intake. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeinated or sugary drinks, as they can dehydrate the body further.

4. Maintain a Balanced Diet:

After a month of fasting, it’s tempting to indulge in rich and heavy foods to celebrate the end of Ramadan. However, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet to support your overall health and wellbeing. Incorporate a variety of food groups into your meals including lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Aim for moderation and portion control and prioritise nutrient-dense foods that provide sustained energy throughout the day.

5. Listen to Your Body:

As you transition out of fasting, pay close attention to cues of hunger and fullness. It’s natural to experience fluctuations in appetite and digestion during this time, so respond to your body’s signals and eat when you’re hungry. Avoid overeating or feeling pressured to finish everything on your plate. Likewise, be mindful of any discomfort or digestive issues that may arise and adjust your diet accordingly. Trusting your body is key to maintaining a healthy relationship with food post-Ramadan.

By gradually increasing food intake, staying hydrated, maintaining a balanced diet and listening to your body, you can ease out of fasting safely and effectively while honouring the sacred traditions of Ramadan.