To those who are a little overweight, Ramadan gives us a yet another reason to celebrate. Though it is a month of fasting and prayer, Ramadan is celebrated with great cheer and gusto. We all know that this is the time to forgive others and receive God’s mercy, grace and blessing. But, what Ramadan also does is that it helps you lose some weight too.
In a normal scenario, the body glucose, stored in the liver and muscles, acts as the main source of energy. During a fast, once this glucose is completely used up, the body starts burning down fat for energy. This is how fasting everyday for the whole month works for losing weight.
Ironically, Ramadan is also the best season to put on weight, but only if we indulge in unhealthy food during Iftar and Suhoor. So, the key to losing weight during Ramadan is to do as follows:
- Drinking enough fluids will not only keep us from dehydrating while we fast, but it will also control our sugar cravings after we break our fast.
- Two glasses at Iftar
- Four glasses in between Iftar and Suhoor
- Two glasses at Suhoor
Don’t indulge in trigger foods:
Trigger foods are foods that cause people to desire more and more of the same food. When we eat such food, we tend to eat what tastes good, such as processed sugar, caffeinated drinks, simple carbs such as white bread, and fatty foods. They block the weight-loss regime. The best way to solve the problem of eating too many starches is to make sure we eat in right proportions from the various food groups.
Have a light, balanced Iftar:
It is recommended that we don’t have a large Iftar as it can clog the digestive system. Breaking a fast with dates is considered healthy as they are a quick source of the sugar. But we don’t need to have more than one date. Small portion of soup, such as a vegetable or lentil soup, and salad can be had instead of eating many dates.
Don’t skip Suhoor:
Suhoor supplies energy throughout the day, thus it should not be missed. Suhoor must composed of complex carbs, such as whole grain bread, instead of white refined bread, and it should also contain some proteins such as labneh, cheese or eggs. This combination will ensure you have a stable level of glucose in your blood. We should also limit the use of salt to avoid thirst.
Fasting is not an excuse to sleep all day or be lazy. We need to exercise or do our daily chores. Try and avoid venturing out in the sun during peak hours though.
Lack of sleep can also cause weight gain in people. And it is common in Ramadan for people do not get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can put excess stress on the body, which can trigger weight gain.
Last, but not least, we need to remember that Ramadan does not have to be the only time of year to manage weight. Focusing just on weight loss is not what Ramadan means. Ramadan means to grow closer to God. It means engage in extra prayers and worship. We ought to fast keeping the true spirit in mind, weight will come off.