All over the world Muslims fast during the month of Ramazan but who said fasting is just for Muslims. The health benefits attached to fasting make it equally essential for non-Muslims too. We all are human beings after all, our anatomies function alike regardless of religion.
Fasting is an excellent way to test your threshold for patience, moderate your behavior, cut down on gluttony and monitor your attitude about eating. It also cleanses your body and detoxifies it. It could actually help prevent diseases such as cancer heart disease and diabetes.
Keeping away from food and water throughout the day can be challenging but it is fruitful. The thought of surviving through a day-long fast crosses everyone’s mind. Not just that but many other things go in our heads which make us think twice about the idea of fasting. Here are the challenges that a rookie might face and we have tried to provide feasible solutions to help you through your fast successfully.
1. Withdrawals: Cutting your vices is the trick. Getting out of bed will be a mountain challenge because you won’t be having your morning cup of coffee or smokers won’t get to puff on their cigarettes. Try to minimize consumption of caffeine and nicotine before fasting begins to avoid the shakes, headaches, and other symptoms.
2. Dehydration: When you abstain from eating and drinking anything during the day and go about your regular chores, your body starts to dehydrate. The ultimate solution is eating at sehri which is your pre-fasting meal. Set your alarm to wake up before the sun rises to have a proper nutritive meal and drink a few glasses of water so you don’t feel drained by mid-day.
3. Fatigue: You will feel your energy level constantly dropping as no food is going in your system. For the initial few days you will feel lethargic but do not give up. Just get through the first week and your body will adjust to the new routine.
4. Bad breath: Be prepared for a foul tasting mouth and morning breath caused by acids in the stomach and an empty bladder. Do not worry about it. It is not going to stay forever. In fact in Islam, God refers to bad breath during Ramazan better than the smell of musk.
5. Cooks' tears or tempers: Brace yourself for the temper tantrums. Every futile detail will start to exasperate you and you’ll be surprised at the rate your temperament will go raging. It would be a harder challenge if you are in charge of the kitchen. You’d turn murderous and snap at anyone near you. So it is better to prepare the iftar dinner a night before and instead of standing in the kitchen and losing your mind, all you’ll need to do is microwave the food.
6. Accidentally breaking your fast: Sometimes it slips our minds that we are observing a fast and accidentally eat something. It happens a lot with people who have the habit of tasting food while preparing to determine the balance of flavours. But if during the fast you unintentionally eat something, don’t sweat it. Just spit the food out for it doesn’t nullify your fast. Remember your intentions count more than your actions.
7. Weight change: Weight fluctuation in either direction is normal during your first month-long fast but it is closely related to what you eat for iftar. Going all out on sweets and fried food items won’t help. That’s not healthy nor is a calorie deficient diet. Just make sure to eat balanced and healthy and try not drink gallons of water or you will end up feeling bloated and nauseous.
8. Support from locals: Local Muslims will likely be impressed by your attempt at fasting and will encourage you for your endeavors. Use this as motivation to keep it up all month long. Seek advice and support from your neighbors; you may even get an iftar invitation.
Lastly, do not let anyone hold you back from fasting. You might feel fatigued but fasting is meant to be a sacrifice to reform your body which is why it is hard work.