The holy Month of Ramadan is the month of self-restraint. During this month of fasting, Muslims around the world refrain from consuming food and drink from dawn to sunset.
In this month, taking heavy meal or overeating at the end of the day is very common, but that may often lead to unusual weight gains. Besides, for many it also means a huge dietary upheaval and metabolic mayhem in contrast to their usual fitness regimes. Well, with proper planning on diet, nutrition and exercise, it is still possible to safely and effectively deal with your extra weight gaining and attain fat-loss goal while fasting during this month. Here are some tips that you can follow in order to lose weight in Ramadan and stay healthy.
Stay hydrated: Although it may seem like ‘mission impossible’ with the long fasting hours this year, hydration is a key to attaining weight loss. Drinking enough fluids will not only keep you from becoming dehydrated while you fast, but it will also control your sugar cravings after you break your fast. How much should you aim for? A good two liters or eight glasses of fluids a day will suffice, and it can be broken down in the following way:
• Two glasses at iftar (the breaking of the fast).
• Four glasses in between iftar and sehri (the meal before the fast) – not more than one glass per hour.
• Two glasses at sehri.
Keep in mind that caffeinated drinks such as coffee or black tea do not count and it would be best to avoid these diuretic drinks all together. Instead, herbal teas can be a great alternative to water and may aid your digestion.
Have a light, balanced iftar: In Ramadan, your metabolism slows down and your energy needs naturally decrease. The iftar meal is not supposed to make up for those hours you spent without food. Forget that you have not eaten all day and eat accordingly. Break your fast with dates as they are a good source of the sugar your body needs after a fast. However, you do not need to have more than one date either, because dates contain plenty of sugar. Then, go for a small portion of soup, such as a vegetable or lentil soup, and avoid cream-based soups. Skip all other appetizers including the carbohydrate rich ones.
When you are done with your appetizers, it is important to take a break. So, don’t overflow your digestive system. Complete your prayers, take a five-minute walk, or hold a conversation. When you are ready to resume your meal, choose only one main dish wisely and avoid fried dishes. Make sure it has a balanced amount of carbs and proteins; and most importantly control your portions.
Do not skip sehri: Never skip your sehri. It is just as important as your iftar meal. Your body needs to generate energy to keep you going during the fasting hours. Therefore, eat food that contains brown carbs and choose a good source of protein at your sehri meal as well. This simple combination will ensure you having a stable level of glucose in your blood so you do not get much hungry during the day. And it should be mentioned here that your food should contain only a limited amount of salt, if you do not want to get thirsty the next day.
Stay active: Fasting is not an excuse for us to sleep all day or be lazy. In Ramadan, you should maintain your usual daily activity level to a certain extent, but do avoid the sun and heat at its peak. Remember that you will be burning more fat than ever on an empty stomach. After breaking your fast, just fix an aim for 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day.
Skip processed sugar: Scientifically, the most significant cause of your weight gain in Ramadan is not usually the food you eat at your iftar it is the sugar you consume from beverages and sweets. Hence take a challenge in this Ramadan to eat only sugar naturally found form fruits, dried fruits, molasses and honey and skip all sources of possessed sugar. This will really be life changing and effective in ensuring a nice surprise the next time you stand on the scale.