Managing Your Eating Pattern During Fasting

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UNAIR NEWS – Ramadhan is not  a reason for someone to get less nutrition for the body. You can stay fit during fasting by paying attention to balance nutrition.

Everyone has to manage their eating pattern according to their nutritional needs for the body. In a normal body, the amount of vegetables and fruit is needed more than the carbohydrate, fat and protein. Average Indonesians consume about 2,000 kkal in a day.

According to Triska Susila Nindya, MPH, a lecturer of Nutrition department, Faculty of Public Health Universitas Airlangga, a body needs similar quality of nutrition either during fasting or when they are not fasting.

Triska said that the right way to manage eating pattern is to do it proportionally, at sahur (800 kkal), iftar (800 kkal), and light meal after tarawih (400 kkal).


For fasting, the body needs food containing carbohydrate, vitamin, mineral, fat and protein. Each of them has their important roles in the body. Carbohydrate is needed as the energy source. Protein is needed to form and regenerate cells. So do vegetables and fruit.

“By consuming food with complete nutrients, we do not need to worry about nutrition deficiency during fasting,” said Triska.

Vegetables and fruit portion should be prioritized during sahur. Beside containing vitamin and minerals, fruit and vegetables also contain complex carbohydrate so you will feel full longer.

But, if someone consumes more fat and sweet drink, then the body will be faster to feel thirst. Drinking coffee during sahur should also be avoided as it is diuretic which causes more excretion when the body actually needs more liquid.

After sahur, generally people will sleep for a while before starting their routines but sleeping actually slow the body metabolism. “The food and nutrients’ processing will not run perfectly. Therefore, carbohydrate which should be processed to be energy will stay and become fat. The same thing also happens to other nutrients. Give the body enough time, at least two hours to process the food perfectly,” said Triska.

You wouldn’t want to be weak during fasting, right?


After sahur, the body will not get any nutrition. For the period, it will not produce any enzymes. During iftar, someone should have light sweet snack, such as dates, other fruit or sweet tea. In principle, it should improve glucose level instantly and also stimulate the digestive enzymes.

“Like a newly activated photocopier but used to copy 500 pages. The body works the same, it will burden the digestion because the enzyme is produced gradually,” said Triska.

During iftar, the body needs food with complete nutrients such as rice (carbohydrate), tofu, tempe and fish (protein), and vegetables (vitamin). And the portion of vegetables should also more than the carbohydrate.

Water consumption

Generally, a body needs 1.5 – 2 liters of water in a day.  Water consumption should also be managed. “Our bodies tend to be dehydrated during fasting because we cannot drink. Liquid needs should be met, especially when we work in the heat and sweat a lot,” said Triska.

What about students who live in boarding houses? They usually only have rice, instant noodles, an egg and fatty food. In response to the matter, Triska said that they should manage their diet. If it is carried on, the body will be lack of micronutrients, especially vitamin and minerals.

“Better to choose food with less fries. The more fries consumed, the more fat kept in the body,” added Triska.

Author: Defrina Sukma S.
Editor: Nuri Hermawan

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