Guide to a healthy Ramadan weight loss
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Published: April 23, 2019
The 30-day fasting period during the Holy Month of Ramadan means refraining from consuming food and drink in the long hours from dawn until sunset. This can lead to big dietary and metabolic changes and challenges, contradicting the usual weight loss exercise regimes of many Muslims around the world. Meal planning and the right workout routine will help you go through fasting safely. We have a guide to Ramadan weight loss for you with added workout tips and healthy dieting guidelines. By the end of fasting, you will feel healthier and cleaner than when you began.
Strength training is a must during Ramadan weight loss process
If your goal is to burn fat, lose weight or build muscle, you must incorporate strength training into your process of getting a better body. Training during Ramadan is important. You need to maintain your progress. Also, if you want to get fitter and leaner than you were before, this is the right time. Don’t use Ramadan as an excuse to give up on exercise! Putting your exercise routine on hold for a full month will set you back and you’ll have a difficult time working out after the break. Ramadan is a time to train smart.
Fasting such long hours puts a large amount of stress on your body so we’ll show you how to eat and add exercise in a measured and thoughtful way. Ramadan weight loss goals should be exercised under the motto – ‘Stimulate not annihilate’. Your personal coach Dubai will guide you through it. You shouldn’t be trying to start a new high-intensity weight training regime during the fast. We advise you to use the fast as a period to maintain your fitness levels rather than hitting your personal best records.
Try weight training three times a week
This will be a great way to deal with the stress of fasting while maintaining strength and muscle. Train early in the morning after your first meal of the day. Or try hitting the gym after your first main meal upon Iftar so your body is well fuelled to hit a hard workout with intensity. Do 45 minutes of solid work rather than a long session during Ramadan.
Keep up with your cardio routines
- Firstly, we advise clients to optimize their diet for fat loss. You should also keep doing 3-4 strength training sessions a week. And yes, while weight training is the strong base of a good Ramadan weight loss plan for both men and women, cardio will also play an important role.
- If you cannot separate the two sessions, simply add cardio training at the end of your weights session. That will get your heart rate up and expend some more calories.
- There are two key types of cardio that you can consider during Ramadan which will help you burn fat optimally – high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and low-intensity steady state (LISS). HIIT consists of 10-30 second bursts followed by 40-120 seconds of rest. You can perform this type of training on a treadmill, watt bike, rower, sleds, prowlers, or just by sprinting or running outside. After HIIT, your body continues to use calories hours after you’ve finished. HIIT is also very tiring on the body and tough on your recovery. You have to consider this during Ramadan when your body is already under stress from fasting.
Don’t start a new programme of HIIT during Ramadan
Do it just if you are already strong in your routine, to maintain it. LISS, on the other hand, is low intensity and could be a great fat loss routine if you are not in that good of a condition. LISS is as simple as going for a walk, swim or bike ride at a gentle pace that will only slightly raise your heart rate. The main benefit of LISS is that it’s very easy to recover from and it improves your recovery from strength training.
Monitoring your daily calorie intake is half the Ramadan weight loss process.
Since it’s very easy to constantly eat high-calorie foods during Iftar, you need to stay disciplined throughout the Ramadan month. Especially when you’ve gone all day with no food or water.
The bottom line for many people struggling to lose weight is they’re often simply consuming too many calories to lose weight or shed body fat (even if those excess calories are coming from healthy sources). To hit your Ramadan weight loss goal, you need to be in a calorie deficit. Not just day to day, but over the week. So, tracking your food, and therefore your calorie intake, needs to become a daily habit.
Use an app to help yourself monitor your diet. Ensuring that you have all your weekly meals planned and prepared in advance means you’re far more likely to stick to your diet plan. If you leave your meals to chance and just grab something when you’re hungry, you’re more likely to make bad food choices. If you become a meal prep master, you will hit those Ramadan weight loss goals like it’s nothing!
Never forget to hydrate and get enough sleep
During Ramadan is it critical that you rehydrate. Especially if you live in hot climates, have a physical job or do high-intensity exercise. Dehydration is responsible for the failure of every cellular process in the body. Without enough water, the liver is not able to metabolize enough fat. That happens because it has to take over some of the kidneys’ functions. It is not uncommon to become dehydrated during Ramadan with those long days of fasting adding up. Discipline yourself to drink 2-3litres between Iftar and Suhur. Avoid sugary drinks or foods high in salt which will just make you more thirsty.
But sleep is vital for staying healthy, ensuring steady recovery and strong performance throughout your Ramadan weight loss process. With fasting during the holy month, sleep becomes super important to balance the stress it puts on your body. Getting enough quality sleep is important for a healthy hormone balance. It helps reduce stress hormone cortisol. You need between 7-8 hours of good quality sleep. However, in the middle of all Ramadan obligations and opportunities, splitting this into two phases can also work.