How to lose weight in Ramadan
I know what your first thought was while reading the headline, it probably was something like “ Ramadan is meant for spiritual worship, not a tool to lose weight!”.
And you are right, but why not use this holy month to improve your Imaan and also your health?
I will try to help you with this task and make it a little easier for you to lose weight this Ramadan and not gain weight or keep your weight, like you probably did the last few years.
First you need to analyze the reason why you haven’t lost weight the past Ramadan´s.
There are several possible reasons for weight gain in Ramadan, so let’s take them one by one.
1. Delightful Deserts
Traditional Ramadan is the time where mothers, grandmothers and Aunts will spend most of their time in the kitchen to create tasty foods and deserts that we don’t eat very often around the year. It isn’t the purpose of Ramadan to eat special dishes and to indulge in Food but that doesn’t mean you have to completely stay away from these tasty little temptations.
Give yourself a break once a week and eat the desert you like the best (I’d advise you to do that on a Friday as it’s the holiday for Muslim’s so let’s make it special) and stay away from Deserts the other days of the week.
2. Eating only once a day
Another reason for weight gain is if you only eat 1 big Meal while fasting.
Hard to believe, right? Well it is true and I’ll tell you how that works.
If you fast all day your body goes into starvation mood. So if after fasting you eat a huge Iftar and than nothing else for the rest of the night, your body will believe there is a serious crisis going on.
Your Body will store all the Food it gets and turn it into Fat, thinking you might not get Food again very soon.
So the Solution to this is pretty simple. Eat frequently during the Night.
I will give you an example of how you could keep your Diet Plan during the night.
-After the Adhaan (Prayer Call) eat 1- 3 Dates (It’s Sunnah to eat 3 Dates) and drink at least 1 Glass of Water. You can drink some Juice too if you want but still don’t leave out the water, it’s very important for hydration!
- After praying Maghrib you can eat your actual Iftar which ideally should include weather salad or a vegetable dish and soup. Try not to eat fatty dishes or anything including white Fluor.
- You should remember to drink plenty of water during the night and also during praying Taraweeh (Night Prayers in Ramadan).
- After Taraweeh u can eat a little Snack like fresh fruit salad ( use honey with it instead of sugar), Some Nuts or tasty Milkshakes. The Milkshake should be home made with fresh fruits, low fat Milk and less sugar/honey.
-For Suhoor I would suggest u anything that has a lot of Protein, as it will not let you get hungry as fast as a carbohydrate rich dish.
Ideal for Suhoor are Eggs, Fouhl or Yogurt.
The eggs can be turned into Omelette with a lot of healthy vegetables. This is a great dish to serve the whole family without making a huge effort (so you will have more time for worship).
Traditionally a lot of people eat Fouhl (cooked Beans) with Arabic bread for Suhoor. If you want to eat this, try to eat more Fouhl and less bread. Also try to get whole grain bread to eat it with the Fouhl .
3. Unhealthy Drinks
This might not be a problem specific for Ramadan but I will still address it as it’s a big step back for a healthy Life!
Soda drinks are the enemy of any healthy Diet. They contain a lot of sugar and a lot of other ingredients that harm your health.
Did you ever put a piece of meat into a bowl of Pepsi and watch what happens after about 2 days? It will nearly completely disappear. Do you really want to still drink something like this?
Fruit juices are healthy - but only in moderation, which means about 1- 2 glasses a day. And only if you choose juices without added sugar. Most juices you can buy at the store contain a lot of sugar and water and less actual juice.
So ´do something good for your health and buy a high quality juice.
Drink plenty of water! About 1.5 - 3 litre per day ( or in Ramadan per night)
If you are used to drink a lot of Coffee and tea, try to reduce your consume before Ramadan. if you suddenly give them up in Ramadan you can experience head ache from the withdrawal of Caffeine.
If you wish to drink Tea or Coffee in Ramadan limit yourself to 2 cups with less sugar.
4. Sudden drop of Exercise
It is really hard to do your regular training in Ramadan and sometimes it’s even impossible.
My advice on exercise in Ramadan would be to do it right before Maghreb, so you can drink water after it.
Don’t overdo it, 30-45 min of exercise 2-4 times a week is more than enough in Ramadan. The Taraweeh prayer will probably do the rest for your exercise routine.
At last I want to remember you that Ramadan is meant as a reminder of the Poor and Needy.
We are supposed to feel some of their hardships ourselves to sympathize with them and to remember them even long after Ramadan is gone.
It’s not time to indulge in food and find excuses to eat more than ever just because you haven’t eaten the whole day.
So remember yourself of this and improve your health and Imaan in Ramadan and keep it up all Year.