How to Lose Weight During Ramadan?
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Published: April 8, 2022
If you always found satisfaction in indulging in your favorite food, then Ramadan might be your favorite month. That’s the least you deserve after an entire day of fasting, right? On the contrary, it can also be the perfect opportunity for your new healthy journey your body has been craving. While this Holy month of fasting allows you to focus on prayer and gratitude, for some, it can also be a great chance to lose some weight. If you are one of them and want to lose weight during Ramadan, you are in the right place. Our experts at DubaiPT have prepared some great tips and tricks that will help you transform your body. A month of fasting can seem like a long period of time and your body needs to adapt and adjust. Ramadan fasting has a number of benefits regarding health and body transformation and we are here to present them to you.
Ramadan fast represents one of the five pillars of Islam
A lot of your friends probably asked you tons of questions about Ramadan and fasting. Even here in Dubai, people are getting more and more intrigued by it and want to learn more about this religious month. Regardless of nationality, ethnicity, color, or race, all Muslims around the world participate in fasting for the entire month of Ramadan. What that means is they are not permitted to eat or drink anything from dawn to dusk. This tradition is not about food at all, but about the five pillars of Islam made up by: Salat (faith), Shahada (prayers), Zakat (charity), and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). Fasting is a wonderful opportunity for self-control and cleansing of body and mind. We cannot forget to mention Eid al-Fitr, a festival celebrated at the end of Ramadan, where families and friends gather and enjoy large meals and donate to charity so everyone can celebrate. So why is fasting so good for your body?
Restricting food intake during the day can prevent health problems
Fasting is a practice that goes back centuries and plays a key role in many cultures and religions. Abstinence from all foods or drinks for a certain period of time has been associated with a wide spectrum of health benefits, including weight loss, as well as improved blood sugar, heart health, cancer prevention, and brain function. From water fasting to intermittent fasting and calorie restriction, there are many different ways of fasting that fit nearly every lifestyle. When combined with a nutritious diet and controlled workout, incorporating fasting into your routine could benefit your health and body. During Ramadan, your body naturally detoxifies, giving you a chance to continue a healthier lifestyle beyond the Holy month. On other hand, despite all the health benefits, fasting can be a perfect way to lose some weight you gained during the day. Be careful, because there are some things you will need to avoid from the beginning.
Overeating during Iftar is something you should avoid
After a long day of fasting, you are probably looking forward to Iftar, a meal to break your fast at sunset. It is extremely important to not overeat at this time, as it can disrupt any weight loss you’ve planned or achieved during that day. During Ramadan, your metabolism will slow down and your energy might decrease as well. Iftar is there to make up for the hours you were without food and drinks. However, try with small portions. Break your fast with dates or nuts, as they are a perfect source of sugar your body needs at the moment. After that, go for a small portion of soup, for example: a lentil or vegetable soup. Follow it with a mixed green salad. If you are struggling to decide whether a certain dish is appropriate for your diet, you can always ask our Dubai experts for a wonderful weight loss meal plan. After each course, make sure to take a break. You may go for a short walk, pray or talk to your family. When you’re ready to continue your meal, choose one main dish and make sure it is balanced in protein and carbs, and most importantly be in charge of your portions.
Limit salt and skip processed food and sugar
When preparing your meal to break fasting, try limiting salt intake as much as you can. We all know that eating salty food will make us thirsty the next day which causes complications. This meal should be made of complex carbs such as whole-grain bread and it should contain a good amount of protein such as cheese or eggs. This perfect combination will ensure you have a good level of glucose in your blood so you don’t get too hungry the next day. It is well known that sugar leads to weight gain, and for some people that can be great. A lot of people want to gain weight during Ramadan by consuming sweets and beverages. If you want the opposite effect, challenge yourself to only consume natural sugar that comes from fruits, dried fruits, and honey. This will be effective in ensuring a nice surprise the next time you decide to check your weight.
Make sure to stay hydrated as much as you can
It can be quite difficult to stay hydrated because of fasting hours, but it is key if you want to lose weight during Ramadan. Drinking great amounts of fluids will prevent dehydration while fasting, and also control your sugar craving. But how much is enough water for weight loss? Two liters or eight glasses of any fluid a day is quite enough, and it can be broken down for example like this:
- Two glasses of water at iftar (meal of breaking of the fast);
- Four glasses between Iftar and Suhur;
- Two glasses at Suhur (meal before the fast).
Be careful and make sure you don’t have more than one glass per hour. Keep in mind that drinks with caffeine such as coffee or tea are not recommended, and it would be best to avoid them in general. Instead, try herbal teas that will help with your digestion during fasting.
Portion control is essential during Ramadan
Controlling your portions and calorie intake is the most significant step during Ramadan. Not consuming food between Suhoor and Iftar, and afterward gorging while breaking the fast, isn’t in accordance with what Ramadan educates. Portion control is the most ideal way to guarantee that the numbers on the scale don’t increment toward the month’s end. Eating simple and small meals is the right way to lose weight, and furthermore helps with understanding how much your body actually needs. Our nutritionists in Dubai have prepared a monthly meal plan that you can follow if you are not sure how to divide portions properly. We have nutritionist experts who will aid you in making realistic meal plans in Dubai, saving your time and effort. That doesn’t mean that you need to give up on anything. You’ll just learn how to consume food in moderation as Ramadan dictates.
Avoid food-related activities and minimize stress during fasting
Losing weight is not simply about restricting food. If you spend time around delicious food, you’ll spend the day thinking about it and wanting to eat it. Same with food-related activities such as watching TV, playing games, etc. You will be under a lot of stress if you keep thinking about food, and stress releases hormones like cortisol that can make you even hungrier. For example, avoid going out to breakfast or lunch with friends while you’re fasting. Moreover, tuning into a TV cooking show will make you think about food even more. Replace all these activities with other ones that will occupy your mind. Here are some that you can incorporate:
- Work out or do some exercises for your mental health.
- Play a board game with friends.
- Focus on your prayers and reading your Quran, as well as attending religious services.
- Read a nice book.
- Go for a stroll in nature.
Working out during Ramadan can be beneficial for your weight loss
Another great way to contribute to your weight loss journey is working out during Ramadan. Dubai has a lot of personal fitness trainers and you can easily find a great one if you ever feel like you need help. We don’t expect you hit the gym every day especially if you are a beginner. You can simply go for a walk, jog, or do yoga at home as long as you engage your body. Don’t overwhelm yourself since you will be out of energy before you have the chance to consume food. It is important that you try to discover what your body can do and needs at this point. Depending on your weight, you might want to consult a physician before starting a workout program. Remember to be moderate and take it slow and at a time.
What is the best time to work out during Ramadan fasting?
You may be wondering what is the best time to work out during Ramadan and how to organize your time. Make sure to try to make an honest effort to keep up with your physical fitness during Ramadan. You may want to ask your personal fitness trainer in Dubai for advice and help on how to keep you fit and show you how to exercise. Remember not to engage your lower part of the body as it lowers your blood pressure during fasting. We have come up with the perfect timing for you and you can exercise:
- after an evening meal,
- 90 minutes before sunset,
- between 3 am and 4 am,
- and between 11 pm and 2 pm.
A well-balanced diet is necessary to lose weight during Ramadan
Many people desire to lose weight during Ramadan or try to avoid gaining excessive weight. Our best nutritionists in Dubai can prepare the best weight loss diet for you according to your needs and abilities. Here are a few tips in terms of what to eat, to help you slim down and achieve your fitness goals during the Holy month.
- Iftar: A cup of warm skimmed milk and some dates. After an hour after breaking the feasting, eat 3 tablespoons of rice, chicken soup, and some greens in a salad.
- 12 o’clock: Two cups of water and a fruit of your choice.
- Suhor: A toast with boiled eggs and two cups of yogurt.
- Between Iftar and Suhor: You can add ginger and cinnamon, both aid in burning fat faster and transforming your body.
Be patient and consistent in your goals
A whole month of Ramadan fasting can seem long as this form of fasting changes your eating habits. In order to lose weight during Ramadan, you need to be consistent with your meals, pay great attention to portion sizes, and consume food and drinks in moderation. Recent studies showed that Ramadan fasting can effectively change your body weight compared to before fasting. Consuming a well-balanced diet, staying hydrated, and exercising can greatly help with weight loss. However, be aware that although Ramadan provides an opportunity to reduce weight, consistent lifestyle changes in your diet are necessary to achieve lasting results. Weight loss during Ramadan fasting depends on every individual so make sure to ask for help from personal trainers or nutritionists that Dubai offers you. Following our tips and advice, you will create new healthy habits and start your weight loss journey towards your body transformation.