Eat, Pray and Exercise: The Ramadan Guide Part 2

So now it’s a few days into Ramadan now regardless of whether you started fasting on Tuesday or Wednesday, so it’s time for the next piece in the series Eat, Pray, and Exercise: The Ramadan Guide.

Many of you are looking to use this time of Ramadan as a way to lose some of the excess pounds you might have put on since Ramadan ended last year, but some people actually find that they gain weight during Ramadan.

Why?

Because your body adapts to your new eating patterns by slowing down its metabolism.

What's the most basic way to describe weight loss? It’s burning more calories than you’re putting into your body.

So,  you should take advantage of the fact that your body is using fat as its primary source of energy. How do you do this? By exercising and eating healthier than you normally do.

The big problem with Ramadan eating is entitlement--   fasting people feel like they’ve earned  the right to gorge since they haven't eaten all day.

But here's the problem with that: Eating enough calories for breakfast, lunch, and dinner during iftar isn’t going to help you lose weight. In fact, overeating might just get you sick-- like these ataris who were sent to the hospital after overeating in Ramadan.

Also, overeating can cause you to gain more weight.

So let’s talk some strategy here, and break things up into four main categories.

Training modifications: Either exercise before sunrise, before sunset, or after sunset. There might not be one that’s better than the other as much as one is better than another for each individual so try them all out. Some people might not want to or have the ability to get to a gym at 3:30AM for a pre-suhoor workout, and others might have things they have to tend to after iftar. There’s no one size fit all here, so put time into seeing what you like.

READ: Extreme Ramadan Fasting Times From Around the World (ILLUME)

Dietary habits: Eat healthy!  Make sure to hydrate your body, and most importantly, don't overeat. Everyone is guilty of stuffing their faces as quickly as they can with any food that’s in front of them during iftar, but that’s the worst thing you can do for yourself. The signals in your stomach that tell your brain it’s time to stop eating take twenty minutes, so it’s very easy to overeat.

A major cause of overeating also stems from dehydration,  so drink plenty of water because you might not be as hungry as you think you are. If you want to understand the important of this then just know that everyone in the fitness world preaches getting ripped abs is 80% diet and 20% exercise.

READ: Ramadan Chic: Your Style Guide For Taking It From Day to Night (ILLUME)

Self-control: This part can’t be stressed enough. You must make a conscious effort to do the things that are right for your body during this month. That may mean choosing to eat a healthier meal even if everyone around you isn’t doing the same, going to bed to ensure getting enough rest even if those around you aren’t doing the same, and making sure to find time to exercise despite your body trying to lure you into not moving. Persistence is more important than perfection so keep trying.

Rest and recovery: An underutilized and underappreciated aspect of fitness is rest. While the exercise itself is the stimulus your body needs to make physiological changes the rest period is when those changes actually occur. This means that not resting enough can cause a host of issues, which range from overtraining to illness. Because of the added social and religious activities that take place after sunset reduce your ability to sleep more at night, look to take a nap at some point during the day. This may be difficult for some, but finding the time to do some can prove fruitful.

Give some thought to all of these, start implementing them, and watch the fitness gains you’ve been searching for start appearing right in front of you. The next piece will focus on the pros and cons of each of the exercise times. Leave any feedback you may have, and remember you can contact the author at Azeem@supshot.com for anything.

 Further Reading:

Eat Pray and Exercise: Ramadan Guide Part 1 (ILLUME)

 

 



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Azeem graduated from Boston University with a BA in Biology and an MA in Medical Sciences. He is a co-founder of Supshot.