All those pakoras & samosas on a daily basis in Ramadan can get to you!
Ramadan is a time of abstinence, introversion & self-reflection. The medical benefits of fasting during the month of Ramadan are immense. Every single research keeps coming up with wonderful advantages of fasting in Ramadan. Detoxification to digestive disorders, the month of Ramadan brings with it a wide range of rewards – Both spiritual and physical
There is no better way to give your body a fresh kick start for the rest of the year than being disciplined and dedicated in Ramadan
The 5 best tips of exercising in Ramadan:
What do you eat – Well the answer is just follow the religion & traditions. Breaking a fast with dates at iftar is a long respected tradition carried on from the prophet PBUH himself. But did you know dates have the highest level of potassium than any other fruits? Leading to an instant environment of hydration in the body. Water straight after dates replenishes your dehydrated body. Water + dates = natural Gatorade but better.
Avoiding unhealthy fatty foods, yet sticking with healthy fat is essential.
Eating regularly & getting the right amount of protein is a key to maintain your muscle strength
Liquid proteins are easier to digest than solid proteins, you may consider taking light protein supplements if you feel you cannot digest too much food (CAssein based protein as opposed to whey protein is much better)
Keep hydrated to avoid muscle spasms if you are weight training.
Top five foods for Ramadan are
- Olive oil
- Brown rice
- Egg Whites
- Timings for gym/exercise?
There is no simple answer for this. Adopt a routine that suits your body and your goals. It is that simple.
If you are trying to gain weight/muscle mass adjust your routine to after breaking your fast. One routine which seems to work for a lot of people is having a small meal at Iftar (usually consisting of a diet of high carbohydrates & water), gym 30-45 minutes after this. Keep the workout short (30 mins), follow up with a large meal straight after.
Another routine for weight gain is to skip the pakoras & samosas at iftar and have a proper meal straight after iftar, gym approximately an hour later followed by another meal.
Note: Avoid too much cardio if you are trying to gain in Ramadan
If you trying to lose weight, well you’re in luck! Light meals, avoiding fats and a longer workout 45 minutes – 1 hour at mid intensity with some light cardio should do the trick. Ramadan gives your digestive system a well-deserved rest during the day & helps you get rid of a lot of impurities in the body whilst catalyzing fat
- A sample diet plan for gaining weight (Tailored for Pakistani timings in Ramadan 2017):
- 7pm(ish): Open fast with dates & water or skanjbeen (lemon juice, followed by some carb rich foods. A small portion of brown rice & some 2-3 egg whites is a great meal. Light easily digested with all your essential nutrients
- 8pm (ish): Gym 45 minutes-1 hour later — 30-40 minute workout
- 9pm (ish): Full meal – 25-30 grams of protein + 40 grams of carbs – Avoid fats altogether in this meal for easy digestion
- 30 pm: Full meal
- 30 am: Suhoor – Full meal – Slow digesting casein based protein + slow digesting carbohydrates (Try Weetabix or oats) – Plenty of water
This should give you approximately 120 grams of protein & the right amount of carbs for your desired goal whilst maintaining your essential nutrients
- A sample diet plan for losing weight: (Tailored for Pakistani timings in Ramadan 2017)
- 7pm(ish): Open fast with dates. 2-3 egg whites or a small portion of lean beef/chicken is a great meal. Light easily digested with all your essential nutrients
- Brisk walk (Do not overdo your cardio) – Your body is still needs fluid replenishment – followed by a targeted gym workout
- 10pm (ish): Light, lean protein based meal – Salad & bbq/lean white meat is a great option
- 2 am: Light sehri – Lots of fibre with some light protein
- 10-15 minutes of light exercise/walk
- Plenty of water before you sleep
Consult an expert:
- If you have specific dietary requirements or need to get some expert advice on tailoring your diet plans, get in touch with a good GP or nutritionist
- Avoid online searches & self-medication/research. Experts are there for a reason
- There are some great apps available to help you create a great diet plan. Alternatively consult a doctor for free with myZindagi App via live video call
- Fitplan is a great App too – But it is only free for a week
- Nobody knows your body better than you – Do not over exert yourself, after all Ramadan is a time of learning about oneself; Physical, mental & spiritual discipline is the key to self-improvement in Ramadan