We are a particularly religious society, so more often than not there would be some kind of ongoing individual or group fasting programme, as we currently have with the Muslims in their Ramadan season. However, most people don’t know important things to do before a fasting to make the process healthier for their bodies and a tad easier for them. Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares 5 important things to do before a fast.
Fasting is of different types. There are some types of fasting that allow drinking of water throughout, but there are some (like the Islamic fast) that prohibit drinking of water and eating of food for long stretches of time. In this case, it is important to prepare your body for such a period by ‘super-hydrating’ before the fast. Be sure to drink plenty of water in the days leading up to the fast and avoid dehydrating foods with high salt and sugar content.
Watch Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is a mood-altering substance that can be addictive; as a result if you are one who takes caffeine regularly and suddenly stops during a fast, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms that will make the process much harder for you. Energy drinks, coffee, soda and some kinds of tea are examples of some drinks that contain caffeine. Common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal include headaches, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, depression and lack of concentration. To avoid this, it is best to work to wean yourself off caffeine products in the weeks leading up to the fast.
Eat More of Carbohydrate Rich Foods
Carbohydrates bond with water and are vital for helping your body to stay hydrated for a longer period of time. This characteristic of carbohydrate is especially important for you when you’re about to fast. Be sure to eat lots of carbohydrate-rich foods in the weeks and days leading up to the fast, to help your body hold onto its water. Examples of such foods include: pastas, cereals, starchy vegetables, vegetables like lettuce, carrots etc., and fruits like tomatoes, apples, berries, oranges, grapes and bananas).
Practice Portion Control
Avoid stuffing yourself with foods in the days before the fast. You would think it would prevent you from getting hungry when the eventual fast starts, but it doesn’t. Regularly stuffing yourself with food before your fast will cause your body to adjust to large meals, and this will make you feel even hungrier when you eventually begin your fast. It will be more profitable to your body to control portion sizes in the days before your fast and if possible vary your meal times, so your body can get a bit comfortable not eating within specific periods of the day and eventually reduce its anticipation of food at specific times of the day.
Eat a Relatively Large Protein Filled Meal before the Fast
The key word here is ‘relatively’ because you should ensure you don’t overeat. Nevertheless, eating a large protein filled meal for your last meal before a fast, after days of eating carbohydrate-rich meals, can help you feel more satisfied for a longer period of time and better ease you into the fast.
Note: All the above tips do not entirely eliminate some inconveniences that come with fasting, but they make it easier for your body to deal with.