Ramadan can be a tough time to maintain your regular fitness or diet routine, with fasting and the heat it can all be a rough summer. Don’t use Ramadan as an excuse to not keep healthy, you’ll only be paying for it afterwards.
Instead of finding excuses, use this time for personal reflection and control. Enjoy being with family that comes with the evening celebration, make it both a time to think of others and yourself. You don’t want to spend Ramadan feeling sluggish and tired, fasting on its own is hard enough. By making healthy food choices, keeping active and hydrated, you can use Ramadan to your advantage in the yoyo weight game.
At Iftar make sure you begin with a couple of glasses of water, not only will this quench your thirst but will prevent you from overeating. The mind can confuse thirst for hunger, which is why when we are dehydrated we might eat more then we actually need too.
Keep hydrated between Iftar and Suhur, avoid caffeine, teas, coffees and sodas should be avoided.
When you fast your metabolism slows down, especially if you are not being a physically active as you normally are. Its best to stock up on healthy filling veggies and some grilled meats and avoid heavy carbs. Carbs are ultimately sugar, and if you are not being active your body wont need all that sugar-energy.
AVOID (PROCESSED) SUGAR
Cut down on the sugar, especially the processed kind. If you want something sweet have a date. But only one, they are very calorie dense and have a high sugar content, but will definitely tickle that sugar craving. This will make a huge difference to your energy during Ramadan and your body after.
Suhur is your time to hydrate before fast begins, eat a good balance of healthy proteins and slow releasing keep you full for the day. Avoid salt, which will dehydrate you. Eggs, yogurt, labneh, cheese, hummous and nuts are all good sources of protein. Combine with complex carbs such as oatmeal, whole grain breads, and whole wheat pita breads.
I know it’s hard to even contemplate working out during Ramadan, but keep the body moving. Even if that means a 10min run on the treadmill, a 15min swim or a long walk around the mall. Try to avoid being seated for long periods of time.
Above all remember what Ramadan is about… Be healthy and kind to yourself.
This post is also available in: Arabic