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For Muslims all around the world, the holy month of Ramadan is a time for reflection and gratitude. Every day during the month, from dawn to dusk, they abstain from eating and drinking for an average of 12 hours. As such, Ramadan is also a time when many people tend to observe rapid changes in their bodies due to abrupt dietary modifications.
Ramadan is often accompanied by a higher caloric intake during non-fasting hours and lesser physical activity than usual. Moreover, sugar and fatty foods are consumed more frequently. Many people also struggle with the negative effects of disruptive sleep cycles, such as slowing down of the body’s metabolic rate, which can all translate to weight gain.
On the contrary, the fasting season can also be a great starting point for weight loss, if done mindfully. Here are some useful tips to consider while contemplating weight loss during Ramadan.
A suhoor/sehri meal is consumed early in the morning before fasting. Eating a healthy first meal is the most important step towards weight loss, as the body depends on these nutrients for the rest of the day. If skipped, it can increase hunger pangs and lead to overeating during iftar.
Break your fast with water and something small like dates to help restore sugar and salt levels in the body. Optimizing your fluid intake will also help to keep the body hydrated, which is important for weight loss. Eating a small portion first gives your body time to prepare for the main meal you are about to consume. Additionally, while fasting for long hours, we tend to confuse cravings with hunger. Eating smaller portions helps to avoid overeating as you give yourself enough time to process if you’re still hungry or not before going for a second serving.
Add more fruits, vegetables and eggs to your meals. Replace refined carbs like white rice, white bread and sugar with wholemeal foods like brown pasta, brown rice and brown bread. Since wholemeal carbs have a lower glycaemic index, they get absorbed slowly and help maintain blood sugar level while fasting. Additionally, fried and oily food can be replaced with baked food to help promote faster weight loss.
There’s a big misconception among people about not exercising when you’re fasting. However, it is often advised to continue moving your body even while fasting to encourage weight loss, though it should be done at a lesser intensity as you don’t want to overwork your body. You can also take brisk walks after iftar dinner for half an hour to help maintain your weight.
FCBS Weight Loss Clinic, Dubai offers a range of weight loss and weight management services to help you get your fitness journey back on track. If you’re looking to shed off that extra Ramadan weight, book an appointment with us today.