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.
The reason is a higher caloric intake than usual and less physical activity to burn it. For example, during non-fasting time, Muslims consume large amounts of food at iftar and again at suhour.
Additionally, fatty and sugary foods are consumed more frequently in Ramadan compared to other non-fasting months
Ramadan can be a great starting point if weight loss is your goal. … A lot of people will lose weight in Ramadan simply because their portion sizes change. When you fast for a long period of the day, your stomach can become smaller and therefore hold less food. You may also find your appetite changes
Ramadan is a very social month,So, Ramadan fasting does have a social and cultural component when it comes to the food that we eat.People fasting for Ramadan will often gain weight instead of lose weight.
Here are the 7 BASIC Reasons Why You Will Not Lose Weight During Ramadan
1. You Are Eating Too Much Sugar
Even dates, while being nutrient dense, are high in sugar, so if your goal is weight loss,
limit your intake to one date when you break your fast.
2. You’re Drinking Too Much Sugar
Sugar is the main culprit in your lack of Ramadan weight loss, and also highlight the fact that sugar consumed in liquid form is the most harmful.
The worst way to take in sugar is in liquid form.
It is like taking a sugar I.V. straight into the bloodstream.
It is absorbed directly into the blood and causes blood sugar levels to skyrocket.
The easiest step to lose weight this Ramadan (and beyond) is to just cut out all sugary beverages altogether.
Many people find that they lose significant weight by following this step alone. Stick to water (flat and sparkling), tea and coffee (without adding sugar obviously) and you will quickly find that you don’t miss your sugary drinks at all.
Make juice a rare treat and you will come to appreciate it more. And if you care about your body at all, proceed as if soda is haram for you.
3. You’re Eating Too Many Things That Turn to Sugar
Bread, rice, and other carbohydrates are converted to glucose in the body. The liver secretes insulin when you eat them. For some people this is no problem.
For people who are insulin resistant (if you are overweight this almost certainly includes you) it wreaks havoc on the body. As David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Children’s Hospital Boston states clearly, “refined carbohydrates, including refined grain products, are the single most harmful influence in the American diet today.”
If you are eating bread, rice, cereal, etc, you are spiking insulin and thus storing fat instead of burning it. If your goal is weight loss, you have to cut down on carbs.
4. You Aren’t Eating Enough Probiotic/Prebiotic Foods.
Modern science has confirmed what Hippocrates said 2,000 years ago, “all disease begins in the gut.” We now know that there is more bacteria in us and on us than there are human cells in our entire body!
Walt Whitman was right, “[We] contain multitudes.” There are trillions of microbes in your stomach that help you digest food and protect you from harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These microbes also deeply influence one’s propensity to gain weight.
Studies have shown that mice with imbalanced gut microbes become obese even when they are fed the same diets (with exactly the same caloric intake) as mice with healthy gut bacteria. Furthermore, when bacteria from the healthy mice is put in the stomach of the obese mice, the obese mice loses weight even when their diet is not changed at all.
The field of study on the human microbiome is a hot topic in scientific and medical circles and is expanding rapidly. A lot of this science is still less than a decade old and has not yet filtered down to common popular knowledge outside of health conscious circles.
But it is important to understand that we are in the middle of a revolution in the fields of medicine and nutrition due to recent findings about the human microbiome.
So how does one attain a healthy gut? For starters, the worst thing you can do for your gut is to eat a high sugar, high carbohydrate diet (are you seeing the trend here?).
Two great forms of fat are coconut oil and avocados. Try a spoonful of coconut oil for iftar and for suhoor (it is also great for the microbiome).
Avocados are the perfect suhoor. Eggs (yolks and all) and meat (especially organ meat) are also good sources of fat and are incredibly nutrient dense.
Seeds and nuts are a great source of fat and serve as the perfect snack for that midnight hunger between taraweeh and suhoor.
Fat is also slow burning so it keeps you going throughout the day during long fasts. Butter is excellent and delicious.
Cut out all the “low-fat” garbage. These are usually laced with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or other frankenfoods not fit for human consumption.
Fat is not bad. And it does not make you fat. Sugar does.
6. You Aren’t Moving Enough
While body composition is 80% what you eat. It is also 20% how you move. The body gets weak if the body doesn’t move.
During Ramadan we have less energy during the day and consequently going to the gym or keeping up with workouts can be difficult.
However, simply adding in some walks throughout the day and some bodyweight exercises can go a long way. Instead of being sedentary for 23 hours and then running for an hour on a treadmill, try incorporating movement into your daily schedule.
Walk to work, or take the train/bus and walk to and from that. Do you talk on the phone for work? Go on a walk while you talk.
Cycle to the grocery store or to your friend’s house for iftar. Take an invigorating walk around your neighborhood after ‘Asr as the sun is going down and you are getting ready to break fast. It is not true that you need to workout really intensely to burn calories.
Engaging in low level aerobic activity throughout the day (walking, hiking, gardening, yoga, swimming) does wonders.
7. You’re Too Stressed Out
Stress causes your body to release cortisol which tells your body to replenish energy even when you haven’t expended very much or burned many calories.
And your body keeps pumping cortisol as long as the stress continues! Also, in situations of stress we aren’t likely to reach for broccoli and kale. As Elissa Epel, a researcher on stress eating at the University of California, San Francisco remarks, “ [When we are stressed] we crave sweet, salty, and high-fat foods because they stimulate the brain to release pleasure chemicals that reduce tension.”
This soothing effect becomes addicting so that you start to crave fattening foods every time you feel stressed.
The good news is that if you have a daily exercise regimen you will naturally feel less stressed out.
The benefits of eating well and exercising regularly for me are about mental health just as much as, if not more than, physical health.
Alternative healthy food options for Iftar:
Baked samosas and boiled dumplings
Chapattis/parathas made without oil
Low-fat milk-based sweets and puddings/ chia fruit pudding/ fruit custard/quinoa parfait
Fattoush (salad made of vegetables and pita bread)
Tabbouleh (salad made with fresh tomatoes, parsley, garlic, and bulgur wheat.)
Lavash (soft, thin cracker bread) with hummus
Chana chaat, fruit chaat
Mujadarra (a dish made with rice and lentils),
Ful Medammes(fava beans cooked with garlic and spread on bread)Grilled chicken/ Barbequed chicken/ chicken kebabs/ fish kebabs
Juices, even if fresh, are high in sugar. One cup can have up to 25g of sugar equivalent to 5 teaspoons.
Flavor your water with lemon, orange, or mint instead!
Sodas have even more sugar.
One Soda has around 32g, equivalent to 6 teaspoons. Many people switch to diet sodas, these are fine if consumed in moderation… up to twice per week.
A better option is to switch to sparkling water.
Reduce Your Carb Intakes
Limit bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, and pizzas. Not saying you should avoid carbs completely but you should reduce your intakes if you want to lose fat.
In absence of carbs, your body uses your body fat stores as a source of energy and therefore burning fat.
Focus on having more green vegetables instead, like lettuce, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and kale.
Increase Your Protein For Suhour & Iftar
Diets high in protein make you lose weight, boost your metabolism, and suppress your appetite. Make sure you eat chicken, beef, or fish for Iftar and focus on eggs for Suhour. These are the best quality protein sources.
Many people increase their protein intake by having more beans and lentils. However, these are also high in carbs. For this reason, it would be better to stick to animal protein sources.
In case you’re vegetarian, consider taking protein supplements instead.
Sweets should be used as a treat and not as everyday consumption as many do during Ramadan.
If you’re looking to lose weight, limit desserts to 2 times a week.
Focus on getting your sweet cravings from fruits or dark chocolate instead.
When you are active, you burn calories. Many find the month of Ramadan as an excuse to stop exercising.
An entire month of inactivity can slow down your weight loss progress. Promise yourself to train at least 3 hours per week.