Ramadan may be a chance for you to indulge in your favorite foods. That’s the least you’ll deserve after a day of fasting, right? On the other hand, it can also be the perfect opportunity for the new healthy beginning your body has been craving. If you want to lose weight this Ramadan, you simply have to follow these five must-dos!
By Hina Zahid
Drink Up H2O
Although it may seem like mission impossible with the long fasting hours this year, hydration is key to weight loss this Ramadan. Drinking enough fluids will not only keep you from becoming dehydrated while you fast, but it will also control your sugar cravings after you break your fast. How much should you aim for? A good two liters or eight glasses of fluids a day will suffice, and it can be broken down where you take 2 glasses at iftar and 2 at suhoor with the remaining spread in between. Also when it comes to the caffeinated drinks, keep in mind that caffeinated drinks such as coffee or black tea do not count and it would be best to avoid these diuretic drinks all together. Instead, herbal teas make a great alternative to water and may aid your digestion.
This may sound harder in Ramadan but that is essentially why you should be doing it. This is especially true if you take on walking right before Fajr prayer because we all eat healthy food that needs to be digested. Many people just lay down after Suhoor and do not walk at all which results in gastrointestinal diseases. We must go for a walk or choose a Masjid that is at least 20 minutes away from home. You should follow this practice after the evening meal too. After breaking fast, you may eat different foods, and now, it takes a break for digestion. Studies show that light physical activity like walking can help you to stay fit in Ramadan, or it might be possible that you may develop obesity issues.
A Light Iftar
In Ramadan, your metabolism slows down and your energy needs decrease as a result. The iftar meal isn’t supposed to make up those hours you spent without food. Forget that you haven’t eaten all day and imagine you have sat down for your dinner meal and eat accordingly. Yes, it is time to rethink those lavish feasts. Break your fast with dates as they are a quick source of the sugar your body needs after a fast. You don’t need to have more than one date as dates are quite high in sugar. Then, go for a small portion of soup, such as a vegetable or lentil soup, and avoid cream based soups. Follow it with a mixed vegetable salad and limit the amount of olive oil in the dressing to 1-2 teaspoons. Skip all other appetizers including the carbohydrate rich ones.
Limiting Salt Intake
This is yet another important factor which people often skip. They are more so concentrated on the sugar intake that they forget how salt also needs to be limited. When choosing your suhur however, make sure it is limited in salt to avoid getting thirsty the next day. It should also be composed of complex carbs such as whole grain bread, instead of white refined bread, and it should contain a good source of protein such as labneh, cheese or eggs. This combination will ensure you have a stable level of glucose in your blood so you don’t get hungry the next day.
Say No to Processed Sugar
It seems the number one cause of weight gain in Ramadan is not the food you eat for iftar. You guessed it, it’s the sugar you consume from Ramadan beverages and sweets. This Ramadan, challenge yourself to only eat naturally occurring sugar such as fruits, dried fruits, molasses and honey. This will be life-changing and oh so effective in ensuring a nice surprise the next time you stand on the scale.