Ramadan is the time of year where Muslims from all around the world fast for one month, give to charity, and feed the hungry. The fast is to remind us, Muslims, of those less fortunate and who go starving on a regular basis.
I know that may be hard to believe because when you usually hear of fasting, you hear of weight loss. It is true that Muslims do not eat or drink from dawn to sunset, but it is known to cause weight gain in many, not weight loss, because Muslims can eat all night during Ramadan. Some people do not take this lightly.
What causes weight gain during Ramadan?
Eating continuously throughout the night, after you break your fast and eating far more foods that you are not used to eating: this includes extra fried and high sugary foods. This extra eating can cause you to be lazy and tired. I refer to this as a food coma. This food coma makes it very hard for you to want to workout out or go for a evening stroll.
I have read and heard that consuming less food and calories during Ramadan, in the night hours, may allow you to maintain or lose your weight. Though I cannot offer advice of how to lose weight during Ramadan, I can discuss ways you can prevent yourself on from gaining weight.
What are ways you can be healthy during Ramadan and control your weight?
The first this to do is the obvious, avoid overeating and overly unhealthy foods! When you break your fast, eat light and and well portioned food. Chew your food slowly to prevent overeating. Don’t inhale it like you are a vacuum cleaner. Eat with your brain, not your stomach.
Second, I typically break my fast on two cups of water, followed by a bowl of soup (these help me feel full faster). Then I pray the prayer that follows sunset (Magrib), then I try to eat a small meal with protein and vegetables.
Lastly, to keep that full feeling, boost your metabolism, and prevent dehydration, drink at least eight glasses of water during the non-fasting hours. Do not drink beverages with a lot of sugar, like a caramel macchiato from starbucks.
Make Healthier Choices!
If you are cooking, making healthier foods and meals will also help you to reduce calories. Avoid deep frying foods at all costs. You can consider baking instead of deep frying. Also, try to replace those sugary desserts with fruit or sugar free desserts.
Following the food changes, like I said earlier on in the article, exercising is hard to do if you are overeating or eating unhealthy. If you are eating healthier, it will make walking or doing light exercise everyday far easier. It will definitely help you burn some extra calories. I typically exercise right before I break my fast because I know I will be extremely tired after eating and praying at the masjid. You also want to try to avoid the sun when you exercise to prevent dehydration as well.
In conclusion, though many Muslims who are fasting during Ramadan gain weight, you can try more healthier options to prevent weight gain. Though some are able to lose weight, I, like many others, am not usually one of them. Last year in particular, I stopped following my healthy lifestyle and put it on hold. I spent my days working and dreaming about food. Then when I got to eat, I overly indulged. This year, I plan to be healthier, and more active.
Join me by tagging me in your healthy ramadan meal posts or with the hashtag #noramadanweight !