Healthy Eating and Weight Loss During Ramadan
Although Ramadan is a time of spiritual fast, it can also be a time to shed some extra pounds. Many of my clients are concerned about how their Lifestyle Plans can fit in with this month long fast. Ramadan begins about May 5th and goes to about June 4th. During this time, Muslims that are adhering to the fasting period do not eat from sunrise until sunset. This year Ramadan falls in May so the daylight hours are much longer than if it was in the Winter months. This is a very long day to go without food or drink but Muslims around the world embrace this time as a period of spiritual growth.
Some guidelines to help you feel your best and shed some pounds during this month:
1. Set your alarm to get up early enough to have time for a good breakfast. This is NOT the time to skip meals as you will be fasting for 15 or more hours each day not including the additional fast you get when you sleep.
2. Breakfast should include lots of liquid since you are not drinking fluids again until evening. In addition, don’t be afraid to add in some complex carbohydrates from fruit which will also add liquid as well as fuel. If you like your protein shake in the morning that’s a great way to start but make sure it includes fruit and some healthy fat such as chia seeds. Also, add a hearty side to this such as a slice of sprouted bread with avocado and some protein.
3. Dinner is going to be close to bedtime so try to have a plan for your dinner meal so that it is not delayed any more than it has to be –try to include legumes, vegetables and go a bit lighter on the meats and fats since you are close to bedtime by the time you finish the meal.
4. For those of you logging your food and following your Lifestyle Plan I would suggest sticking with having your Breakfast and Morning snack for your pre-dawn meal and Dinner and your Evening Snack combined into your dinner meal.
5. Last, but not least, try not to “make up” for the lost calories during the day. While fasting your metabolism will slow down to accommodate the fasting period so the last thing you want is to over indulge at the evening meal and end up gaining weight during this month.
6. As far as exercise, it is important to continue with some exercise however timing and type of exercise should be considered. Rather than lose sleep by getting up early, exercise before sunset each day. Light weight lifting or easy cardio would be fine. Sleep always trumps exercise for health reasons so don’t miss out on important sleep by exercising in the morning. Also, this might be a great month to include more mind body exercise such as yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong. These could be done after the morning meal if someone wanted to exercise in the morning. They should not cause excessive need or fluids but can add great benefits to your fitness.
In conclusion, although Ramadan is a period of religious fast, it is fine to use this time as a way to drop a few pounds or at the very least maintain your healthy weight.
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!