How To Lose Weight During Ramadan
Hello! My Tribe,
Ramadan Kareem to all of you who are fasting.
Its a beautiful time of year, so serene, peaceful and blissful. I love it.
It’s also that time of the year that brings a great opportunity to cleanse your system and lose weight. Since it is almost 16 hours of fasting, it is long enough to utilize all your excessive glycogen stores. Generally, after a long day of fasting, we all would love to indulge in massive amounts of our favorite foods. And that’s simply because we think since we haven’t eaten anything all day, we will end up losing weight anyhow! But no! That’s not how it works! So today I’m gonna tell you the reasons why some people gain weight during ramadan and will share with you a simple guide that you can follow this Ramadan to lose weight. So if you want to seize this golden chance to get in shape and become healthier, follow these simple steps and get ready for a healthy new you by the end of the month!
Benefits of fasting
So first let me start by telling you a few benefits of fasting. I’ve already discussed the benefits and different kinds of fasting in one of my videos where I’ve explained it in detail. But let’s quickly recall the benefits of fasting.
• cleanses your body of metabolic wastes and toxins
• heals a host of health disorders
• helps you lose weight and keep it off
• improves your skin tone and health, making you look younger
• stimulates new cell growth, making you feel younger
• strengthens your immune system and natural defenses
• improves glandular health and hormonal balance
• increases mental clarity
• enhances your mood
• gives you more energy and enthusiasm
Common causes of weight gain during Ramadan
• Eating continuously, especially between Iftar and Suhour, which is sometimes accompanied by tiredness due to the feeling of fullness.
• Inactivity and lethargy after Iftar
• Consuming large portions of food, more than the usual
• Eating fried, high fat and calories food in large uncontrolled amounts, especially in the evenings
• Going out for Iftar or inviting guests over which may be putting you within reach of large varieties and quantities of mouth-watering, but calorie dense foods
• Distruptive sleep cycle which leads to indigestion and acidity
• Excessive sugar intake which gets stored as fats
How to lose weight
Rule no#1: Drink More Water and Hydrate
Although it may seem like mission impossible with the long fasting hours, hydration is key to weight loss in Ramadan. 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.
Rule no#2: Replace Refined Carbs to Complex
Eliminate those calorie-filled and nutrient-poor refined carbs. Instead, replace those carbs with foods that are higher in fiber and less processed such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. These foods pack a powerful nutritional punch including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Rule no#3: Quit sugar
It seems the number one cause of weight gain in Ramadan is not the food you eat for iftar. You guessed it, it’s the sugar you consume from Ramadan beverages and sweets. This Ramadan, challenge yourself to only eat naturally occurring sugar such as fruits, dried fruits, molasses and honey. This will be life changing and oh so effective in ensuring a nice surprise the next time you stand on the scale.
Rule no#4: Choose more greens and Whole Foods
Whole foods are healthier and keep you full for longer hours. They will help you with the hunger pangs. And greens like cucumbers, lettuce and other vegetables are high in fibre and water. They not only help your body feel cool, but are also a great choice for keeping your skin healthy and avoiding constipation during Ramadan.
Rule no#5: Stay away from processed ready meals
Cook fresh and healthy meals at home, instead of buying readymade packets, which may contain preservatives and high fat content. Eating fresh food is always healthier when compared to processed and packaged food.
Rule no#6: Stay away from fried food
Greasy and fried food, such as fried dumplings, samosas, pastries and oily curries, should be avoided as they are loaded with fat and stored in the body as fatty tissue. Eating fatty foods after long hours of fasting causes acidity and indigestion. Frying can be replaced by grilling, boiling or baking.
Rule no#7: Reduce meat and chicken
Avoid chicken, as a health coach I would say, avoid chicken at all times, its filled with hormones that messes with our system completely. Red meat takes a log time and energy to digest so makes us feel lethargic and heavy and low on energy. So it best to avoid meats at the time of Ramaradan.
Rule no#8: Chew your food
It’s natural to want to eat as fast as you can when you’re very hungry, but slowing down can help. Research has shown that eating slowly and mindfully helps you eat less, aids the digestion process and enhances the pleasure of the food. The physical process of chewing food in your mouth helps to break down larger particles of food into smaller particles. This helps to reduce stress on the esophagus and helps the stomach metabolize your food. When you chew each mouthful properly, you also release a lot of saliva, which contains digestive enzymes. As you release these enzymes into the throat and stomach, you further improve the digestive process.
Rule no#9: Connect with your food
Having your meal should just be like meditating. You must fall in love with the act. Be mindful when you’re eating. Don’t watch TV, don’t instagram, and keep that phone aside for a while. Instead, connect with your food and eat mindfully. This will help you to avoid overeating and also help the digestion process.
Rule no#10: Open the fast with something light
The iftar meal isn’t supposed to make up for those hours you spent without food. Forget that you haven’t eaten all day and imagine you have sat down for your dinner meal and eat accordingly. Go for a small portion of soup, such as a vegetable or lentil soup, and avoid cream based soups as they are very high in calories.
Rule no#11: Have the main course after two hours
Have a two hour gap before you get on to eat everything. Eating at intervals will allow your digestive system to work properly. Loading it with food will overwhelm it and only lead to storing the food as fat in your body. You need to give your stomach enough time to digest food properly.
Rule no#12: Never skip your Sohour
The pre-dawn meal before the fast is just as important as your iftar meal. Your body needs to generate energy to keep you going during the fasting hours. So build a healthy plate containing Brown Carbs or oats, and choose a good source of protein (eggs, cheese, beans). Make sure you eat slowly and mindfully.
Rule no#13: Do light exercises
Avoid High intensity exercises that throw the pulse rate to above 150 per particularly if you are working out during the fast. Do slow or moderate exercises like brisk walk, slow jogging, cycling, cross training and light machine exercises at gym. Also have your sessions of yoga, breathe, meditate and relax yourself. This will help you stay stress free and flab free.
Rule no#14: Socialise
Social gatherings are a great way to connect with people and feel great as a community. So hug more, smile more and connect more. This is the best time to meet new people and enjoy time with your loved ones. Happiness is related with health. So the more you smile and stay in a good space, the more relaxed you will be! And the more relaxed and happy you are, the more balanced your weight will be.
Rule no#15: Sleep enough
Having a good night’s sleep is essential for the body to heal and grow. So compromising on your sleep in no way will bring you good results. If you have to wake up early for suhoor, you need to hit the sack early so that you get a good night’s sleep. So manage your sleep timing and make sure you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep each day.
Hope these tips help you, at the end it’s all about being more conscious about what you put inside your body and mind.
Even if you follow a few of these and be consistent, you will see results.
What do you like to incorporate during Ramadan for your health and over all wellness?
Share with me and my tribe.
Love and health