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Is there something wrong with your fasting?

Posted by Dr.Ari on 11th July and posted in opini for public

It has been nearly two thirds of our journey in Ramadan fasting, hasn’t it? Do you feel healthy or get sicker? Do we get the wisdom of health after fasting? Do you want to know how to recognize it? It’s simple. Just step on your bathroom scale and measure your weight. If you are losing your weight, it means that you have performed the appropriate fasting; if your weight is constant or even heavier, it means that we have incorrect understanding about fasting. We did not perform the appropriate self-awareness in controlling food and fluid intake despite we already had a chance to regulate our diet. Moreover, if we still have this extreme and unnecessary intake during the rest of this fasting month, the condition will be more severe as we will have excessive increase of weight and it will be even more awful than the condition before Ramadan fasting. Alhamdulilah! (Praise God), I have lost 3 kilograms of weight and hopefully, I can reach 4 kg of losing weight at the end of fasting to achieve the 5% reduced weight during Ramadan fasting month.

If we still cannot control ourselves, the “taqwa” or act of piety, which become the ultimate goal after having Ramadan, has become far from our expectation. Actually, after the Ramadan, we should become a better person in all aspects, including in controlling our intake. There is still hope to improve ourselves, there is another one thirds of journey during Ramadan fasting. We should evaluate whether there is something wrong in our daily intake menu, both during the sahur (meal before dawn) or iftar (dinner for breaking fasting during Ramadan). Fasting is holding our appetite to eat and drink. It also brings a deep meaning of self-control. The impact of holding our appetite to eat and controlling daily intake is losing weight. Remember, Islam suggests us to have commitment of no excess.


During fasting, we must be able to control our appetite. Therefore, the easy reasoning says that if we do really perform the appropriate fasting, our body weight will decrease. Low intake of food during fasting will result in low-calorie intake, which may lead to weight loss. Therefore, when people are fasting, yet they do not have weight loss or even have heavier body weight, it can be said that they actually do not hold the best practice of fasting. Since they have steady weight or even heavier weight, it means that they cannot control themselves, especially in terms of eating. The impact when we reduce our food intake is we are having lesser free-radicals, which have ‘toxic’ characteristics. In contrast, we have increased level of anti-oxidant (anti-toxin) in our body.


There is still time to improve our health and holding ourselves from excessive consumption of eating and drinking. Please take a serious concern for not taking too much amount of various ‘takjil’ (sweet dishes for breaking fasting). Three pieces of date (sweet and delicious date palm fruit) and a small bowl of kolak (an Indonesian dessert based on palm sugar, coconut milk and pandan leaf) and warm plain water should be enough. The big feast for iftar (dinner for breaking fasting during Ramadan) should be restricted to a single dish only. Avoid food and drinks containing a lot of refined (white) sugar, which can develop high-calorie intake. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. There is still time and hopefully, we can achieve the essential wisdom of health during fasting.


Be healthy!


Dr. Ari Fahrial Syam

The Jakarta Post-Readers Forum | Wed, July 08 2015

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