Ramadan is a time during which exercising your discipline becomes a more important element of each day. Now, it is only natural and understandable that people tend to overeat at Sahar and Iftar. This is completely acceptable from a religious standpoint, as no special food restrictions apply during Ramadan when the sun in not present. However, we would like to propose something for you.
Scientific studies confirm that for overweight people, Ramadan fasting can actually improve their health and help them with weight loss. If you are the type of person that would like to take advantage of this situation and/or desire to add further disciplinary exercises to their fasting practices, then following a diet during Ramadan is highly recommended. In the past we proposed several tips to avoid harmful effects from fasting by eating food that could both hydrate and nourish, now we will dive more into foods and exercises to loose weight.
We also would like to indicate that people with low body mass index and low to regular blood levels for sugar of fats should avoid following special diets during their Ramadan’s fasting
Best diet in Ramadan for healthy weight loss
There are many different diets in the world but you need to be careful. Following a diet that doesn’t consider you cultural and/or socioeconomical context can be dangerous.
As every individual is different, a hard-lines and sharp-edges diet will be useless for a significative percentage of our readers. Instead, we will provide simplified guidelines that will help you develop your own safe and practical diet.
Water: Let’s be realistic, Pakistan summer is very very hot and fasting at high temperatures can really be dangerous. If you want to lose weight, you need to keep hydrated. Otherwise, your body can become vulnerable due to the caloric restriction. The following is a very simple guideline, but remember, your body knows when it needs water, please be aware of it and drink more if you still feel like you need it. IFTAR (2 glasses of water), SUHUR (2 glasses) and in between both (4 glasses, 1/hour). Also, avoid eating or drinking large amounts of diuretics.
Don’t overeat, especially at Iftar: We know this is difficult, at this time you really feel the hunger, but this is an extremely important moment in which a large amount of caloric intake can be avoided. Eat as you would normally would. There’s a simple guideline: Low fat and High-quality carbohydrates. If you are not sure what that means, well, you should avoid meals high on cholesterol and unsaturated fats. Deep fried food should be avoided and you should increase the amount of fiber (like cereals), all of this at the same time you cut processed sugar from your diet. Salads, fruit chaats are also fine ways to stay healthy.
Minimal eating at Suhur: It may sound a bit odd considering that this diet is meant for you to lose weight, but skipping meals is the worst way to do this, you need these calories to sustain you for the rest of the day, not eating will only make you feel weak, in pain and extremely hungry, making our guideline #2 more difficult. Limit your salt intake and increase your fiber and whole grains.
If you are looking for more food options, you can find healthy, low fat and high-quality carb lists here and here.
Best exercises and their timings
During Ramadan, there’s plenty of opportunities to lose or gain weight. If you are trying to lose weight, then exercising will make the process much faster.
You should start your routine about 2 hours before Iftar. This will include your warmup, exercises and cooldown. For most people this will imply exercising right after work or as soon as they get home.
You will need to stretch, do some basic and low-impact flexibility exercises every day and before any workout. Yoga is a good example for the kind of exercises we are talking about. This is a good way to start.
Before Iftar you simply don’t have enough energy to endure a full and long exercise session. Any workout must be low impact and not last very long or your hurt yourself.
Low-impact cardio is the best option for you. If you are looking to build muscle, weight lifting should also be included, but right now, we a focused on weight loss. These routines should be perfect for you.