Ramadan is the holy month of fasting in which Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. It is also the month in which people are most conscious of the food they eat. However, they tend to eat more between iftar and sehri to make up for the calorie deficit. Resultantly, the combination of heavy consumption and the lack of physical activity leads to weight gain. With careful meal planning, portion control, and smart training, you can lose weight or gain muscles during the month of Ramadan. This article will guide you on how to lose weight in Ramadan with useful weight loss tips.
How to Lose Weight in Ramadan
1. Limit Fats, Sugar, and Salt
The number one reason for weight gain is unhealthy food choices as most of our iftar meals consist of fried food items (pakoras, samosas, rolls, etc) and sugary beverages. These food items are high in salt, trans-fat, sugar, and calories, all of which are considered to be unhealthy in high amounts.
While planning iftar or sehri, replace fried food with grilled chicken and roasted or boiled vegetables, and sugary drinks with fresh juice or water. Limiting these food items will prevent you from gaining extra weight.
2. Add Protein to Every Meal
Protein-rich foods like lean meats, eggs, and beans are filling and low in calories. Protein has a high-thermic effect compared to carbohydrates and fats and has been linked to boosting metabolism significantly and increasing the number of calories you burn.
It also takes a long time for protein to be digested and they will keep you full for longer periods. Moreover, meat and meat products reduce hunger hormones and increase satiety hormones. All these reasons make protein an ideal food item to have for iftar or suhoor.
3. Eat More Vegetables
Salads are healthy, extremely delicious, and refreshing. Opt for a bowl of salad instead of fried foods. Vegetables are a great source of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. They are low in calories and packed with nutrients that boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol levels.
If your goal is to lose weight, including salads in your iftar and suhoor is a great way to stay healthy. Common varieties are Cucumber Greek Salad, Grilled Chicken Salad, Pineapple Cucumber Salad, etc. Moreover, starting with a healthy dish pushes you to make better choices throughout your iftar meal.
4. Keep Hydrated
Reduce your intake of sugary sherbets, juices, and other sweetened beverages, including fruit juice, and carbonated drinks. Be sure to drink plenty of water between your iftar and suhoor as staying hydrated is essential for weight loss as it prevents you from overeating and feeling fatigued.
Moreover, replace sugary snacks with fresh whole fruit and raw vegetables.
Maintaining a normal workout routine with low energy levels during Ramadan can be hard. However, it is important to incorporate light exercises into your routine as this helps in keeping energy levels up and metabolism stable. A simple solution is to exercise two to three hours after iftar or an hour before sehri.
It is not recommended to indulge in intense cardio workouts and heavy weight-training exercises while fasting. Instead, incorporate simple, light, and fun exercises of as little as 10-15 minutes into your routine.
6. Make Your Favorite Iftar Items Healthy
If you do not want to give up samosas and pakoras, try changing their recipes and preparation methods. For instance, air fryers are a great alternative to deep-frying, with the same results and fewer calories.
Other examples include:
- Replacing the sugar in fruit chaat with honey.
- Baking or air frying dahi baray/ballay instead of frying them.
- Opting for fresh fruit juices or water only instead of instant drink mixes and other processed drinks.
- Avoiding processed food.
- Opting for homemade or wholesome foods.
Gaining weight during Ramadan is avoidable as experts believe that fasting is one of the best strategies for weight loss. Remember, the key to an effective weight loss strategy in Ramadan is persistence while being mindful of what and how much you eat.
Check out the complete Ramadan 2022 calendar here and plan your diet accordingly.