Tips To Healthy You This Ramadan

With fasting long hours in Ramadan, it’s surprising that rather than losing weight many people end the month a little heavier than they started.

REASONS FOR WEIGHT GAIN during the month of Ramadan?

First, eating continuously, especially between Iftar & Suhour with no portion control and not having proper three meals.

• Not exercising completely or inactivity due laziness after consuming a big meal on Iftar.

• Eating fried, too many processed foods like white flour, white rice, pasta, and sugar, and high unhealthy fats in large uncontrolled amounts that will skyrocket your calorie intake dramatically.

• Going out for Iftar or inviting guests over which may be putting you within reach of large varieties and quantities of mouth-watering, but calorie dense food.

So how can we lose weight in Ramadan or at least maintain it?

• By realising that Ramadan is not just about fasting and iftar, but understanding the spiritual essence of it. It’s the month of Giving, Helping Others, Kindness, Controlling Hunger, and Faith.

• Water….Hydrate, Hydrate: Although it may seem like mission impossible with the long fasting hours, drinking enough water is key to weight loss. It will not only keep you from becoming dehydrated while you fast, but it will also control your sugar cravings after you break your fast. So what’s the minimum amount you should be aiming for?

~Break your fast with 2 glasses of water.

~4 glasses in between iftar and sohour, set your reminder for a glass every hour.

~2 glasses before you start fasting again.

• After water have ONE date as an instant energy booster to make you feel rejuvenated after the long-hours of fasting along with 8 Soaked Almonds as they contain monounsaturated fats, and insoluble fibers that gives the feeling of fullness so that will decrease binging, and of course many other nutritional benefits. Both are high in fiber, which may be beneficial for preventing constipation and aids in blood sugar control.

• Go for a small portion of soup & make sure to avoid cream based ones. Follow it with a mixed veggies salad, skipping all the heavy dressings. All those extras are hidden calories that your body doesn’t need. Make sure to limit adding too much salt to avoid getting thirsty the next day.

• When cooking, make your favorite Ramadan recipes healthier by avoiding deep frying. Instead, reduce the amount of unhealthy fat in your meals by cooking your food with a little bit of oil, baking, roasting, steaming or grilling. Keep in mind that reducing fat in your cooking does not necessarily mean reducing its flavour. You can enhance the seasoning of your dishes by using fresh veggies, herbs & spices, which add taste without adding calories.

• It is important to take a break. You don’t want to overwhelm your digestive system. Complete your prayers, take a five minute walk, just keep yourself busy. When you’re ready to resume your meal, choose only one main dish, or eat very small portions from 2 to 3 dishes choose wisely and avoid fried dishes, make sure it is balanced by choosing foods high in fiber like oats, brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, beans, peas and lentils, fruits, veggies, proteins, and a healthy source of fat like raw nuts, avocados, salmon, olive oil,….., and most importantly control your portions.

• Limit the intake of sweetened juices, especially the ones served during Ramadan like Jelab, Amar El Din,….as they are full of sugar and easy hidden calories.

• Replace Arabic sweets with fruit salad and fresh fruits as much as you can.

• It’s true that your “eating hours” are quite limited, but this doesn’t give you an excuse to forgo your suhur meal, the pre-dawn breakfast before the fast. Skipping your suhur will get you hungrier the next day and you will end up overeating for iftar. Just make sure to have this meal high in fiber to keep you full and energized for the day.

• Exercising is an important factor to help you maintain. Some people who are physically active tend to stop altogether in Ramadan. This results in sudden weight gain in many due to lack of caloric burn and overeating at iftar & suhour. It is advisable to continue with the exercise but at less intensity particularly with sufficient water intake. If you exercise regularly, workout after Iftar as by then you would have sufficient calories from the meal to give you energy and strength. However, if you have not incorporated exercise in your daily routine, you can go for a light or brisk walk after iftar dinner for at least half an hour to maintain your weight.

• lastly, make sure to take extra supplements like muli-vitamins, Vitamin D, Omega 3,…. as you might lose many vitamins and minerals during the long hours of fast.

Fasting during Ramadan can improve your overall health, but only if done in proper manner, if not, it can cause more harm than good. It is important to have self-control when you see a good spread of appetizing meal. Moderation in everything is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Ramdan Kareem,

Nad The Fab Diary


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