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Nutrition Mythbuster – Losing Weight During Ramadan

Nutrition Mythbuster – Losing Weight During Ramadan

Jul 27, 2017

Nutrition Mythbuster

Much like the well-loved show, we dive into the reasons why well-known “facts” are really nothing but old wives’ tales, and in the end, come up with new and accurate wisdom that helps us make more informative food choices

Nutrition Myth: “I can’t lose weight during Ramadan!”

For the uninitiated: Ramadan is one of the holy months in Islam, starting and finishing (like the whole Islamic calendar) with the lunar cycle. During Ramadan, faithful Muslims observe a fast from sunrise to sunset, avoiding all food and beverages in that time. The fast is broken from sunset to sunrise, and this routine continues until the end of the month, culminating in Eid Al Fitr.

We took a poll before writing this, to ask Muslims what their experience is with regards to weight loss and weight gain during Ramadan.
The following answer sums up 95% of the responses we got:

I gain weight, probably because when the time comes I eat the amount of food 10 full grown men would eat in 3 sittings in 1 meal.”

That statement in itself humorously shows the cause of the weight gain, as many Muslims can attest to behaving the same way when they fast; they eat at iftaar (evening meal) and suhoor (morning meal) like it is their last. For roughly 30 days.

We understand that the fast is challenging, especially given the shorter days over summer, which is when Ramadan tends to fall in recent years. You feel bored and tired and hungry and thirsty all at once, and food is a forbidden item that is suddenly allowed in the evening, so of course you eat as much as you can, while you can.

Honestly speaking, humans are always on a see-food diet; we see food and even though we aren’t hungry, we will eat it if it really appeals to us. And this is doubly true after not eating anything for the whole day. The longest time is between sitting down and waiting for the azaan (announcement to break the fast), and the shortest time is between the first bite and loosening your belt.

“I’ll be d***ed if I waited a whole day for an average sized meal. I’m eating until I pass out.”

How Do You Fast?

From our research, we were under the impression that fasting was done as one of the pillars of Islam, to commiserate with the poor and hungry people of the world, and so that the time spent not eating is spent in meditation or contemplation of spiritual matters.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not asking you to become saints during this time. Just, instead of obsessing over which restaurant has the best Suhoor menu, or which new tantalising morsel you will show off to your Iftaar guests, you could spare more thought on your role in the world, how you can be a better person…how you can really use this month to improve your health.

Fasting Fit!

We believe that anyone can lose weight during Ramadan with the right mind set; that fasting is done with the brain, not the stomach.

Each meal doesn’t really have to be a marathon of cramming anything you see into your mouth. Simple preparation is all that is needed, not to mention developing some habits prior to starting the fast.

An example day:

 

Pre-Iftaar 20-30 minutes walking
Iftaar 1-2 dates
2 glasses of water hot/cold
still/sparkling
infused with lemon/orange/ginger/mint
Vegetable soup
Protein
Low GI carb brown rice or sweet potato
Between

Iftaar and Dinner

Gym ideally resistance training
Protein shake optional; only if resistance training is done
Dinner 2 glasses of water hot/cold;
still/sparkling;
infused with lemon/orange/ginger/mint
Protein

Veggies

Low GI carb

1 dessert or 1 bowl fruit salad

Herbal tea or green tea

Between

Dinner and Suhoor

1 glass of water every hour hot/cold
still/sparkling
infused with lemon/orange/ginger/mint
Fruit
Vegetable crudités with dipNuts
Suhoor 3 glasses of water hot/cold
still/sparkling
infused with lemon/orange/ginger/mint
Protein eggs, chicken, turkey, dairy, quinoa, legumes
Low GI carb whole grain bread, protein bread
Fruit

To get a similar plan for yourself to ensure the best Ramadan you can experience, we are happy to schedule your consultation soon, before spaces run out!

Exact amounts of the components would be determined individually

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