How to lose weight in Ramadan

Shoaib Siddiq Jun 07 2016
how-to-lose-weight

Image courtesy: Google

Follow these tips to get the most out of this holy month.

Ramadan. The holy month of prayers and fast. Sehri and iftars. Fasting and of course, the delicious meals that we treat ourselves with at the end of the day. But even though we fast for almost the entire day, most of us actually gain weight in Ramadan.

Turn the table! Follow these tips to lose weight this Ramadan instead of getting fatter.

1. Cardio when it counts

It must sound crazy to do cardio while fasting, but trust me, it will do wonders. To burn fat, you first need to burn your glucose, since the body’s first choice of energy is glucose over fats. So when you are fasting, you are using your glucose reserves. By the end of the day almost all of your glucose gets used up and the body switches over to fats for energy. My idea is to utilize this to your advantage. Do a small HIIT cardio session about 30 minutes before iftar so when you finish your cardio and cool down session, its iftar time. Hurrah!

This has two advantages, first being, as already mentioned, a short session would burn as much fat as in an hour long high intensity cardio in a normal non-fasting state.

The second advantage is that most of the things that you consume in iftar, it will be directly utilized for restoring your body energy reserves (glycogen) and for muscle recovery. Not much will be converted and stored as fats, provided you do not over eat.

Doing it just before iftar also ensures that your body doesn’t stay dehydrated for long.

Alternatively, you can also do this cardio session before sehri as you will be in a short fasting state between your dinner and sehri.

2. Stay clear of fast digesting sugar

Carbonated drinks, energy drinks, common table sugar (hence the sharbat that we consume so enthusiastically) are all fast digesting sugars. They are digested without much utilization of energy and are easily converted into fats and stored in our body, increasing your body fat percentage.

I have seen how a lot of people use pepsi, etc. in iftaari. People, it damages your kidney, throws your hormones off balance, erodes your bones and makes you fat!

3. Avoid over eating

Calm down people, it’s iftar, not the last meal of your life! But I know that it is easier said than done. How can we not stuff our tummy after a day of hunger? Try to control yourself. Drink more water so to stretch your stomach and give a sense of fullness (but gulping down a glass of water one after another won’t help either), eat slowly so your brain gets fullness signals earlier.

4. Fruits are your new best friend

Fruit chaat, sliced or diced fruit, smoothies etc. should be on top of your food list. They are healthy, fat free and packed with vitamins. Added with the cardio, fruit diet will make you slim before Eid.

5. Stay oil free

What’s iftar without pakoray, right? But it goes without saying that you need to stay clear of these fried dishes. What you are actually doing is just adding excess fats into your diet. More than what you consume in other months, hence most of us tend to gain more weight.

6. Sehri is important

Skipping sehri will not do you any good. Sehri is necessary to provide for energy for the next day. Skipping sehri will only result in dehydration, but also less activity throughout the day and will eventually result in you over eating in iftar.

 

Shoaib Siddiq

Shoaib Siddiq:

Shoaib is currently a 3rd year MBBS student. Apart from studying, you can often find him in gym either resistance training or practising mixed martial arts. With his love for fitness training and knowledge that comes along with it, he writes various fitness related articles for HTV.