The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down,
a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Losing Weight During Ramadan

How to Lose Weight During Ramadan

During the Ramadan month, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for 30 days. Muslims stay away from all food and drink while fasting. This might seem an ideal way to lose some weight. But contrary to popular belief, some Muslims actually put on weight during the month of Ramadan.

The lavish iftar dishes - traditional sweets, cakes and fried foods - that are served for the breaking of the fast can actually contribute to unwanted weight gain. It is customary to have several selections of such foods on the table for iftar. It is a strong person indeed to stay away from such temptations after a whole day of fasting.

So even if a fasting person took a small taste from each of such unhealthy foods, it will eventually start to add up, and weight gain would be inevitable.

However, it is not impossible to lose weight (if one needs to), or maintain a healthy desired weight during the Ramadan period.

Here are some simple tips a fasting person can use to lose some weight during Ramadan:

1) Do NOT skip Sahur (the early morning meal). Firstly, it is the Prophet's sunnah to wake up and take a meal in the morning. Secondly, there is wisdom in this for the early morning meal provides the body with needed nutrients while fasting during the day. It also engages the body's metabolism. Remember a fasting body slows down its metabolism quite a bit so as to conserve energy. In order to lose weight, a high metabolism is required. And the early morning meal helps jump-start the body's metabolism.

2) If possible, eat what you normally would for breakfast on a non-fasting day. Cereal and milk, toast and fruits and so on. There is no need to have an entire meal that one would for dinner during Sahur. This is particularly so, if you intend to go back to sleep after your morning prayer. The easiest way to gain weight is to sleep on a heavy and full stomach!

3) If you are able to, incorporate an exercise routine into your day. There is no absolute ideal time for exercise, but it is recommended that if you want to exercise while fasting that you do it 1-2 hours before iftar. That way, all the bodily fluids one loses while exercising can be replaced in a relatively short period at iftar. It is vital to re-hydrate the body during iftar, or else one could suffer from headaches, which is a common symptom of lack of water in the body. Another way is to exercise after taraweeh prayers, but this schedule can be tough to maintain for most people who need to wake up early for work and school! Keep in mind, that if you do decide to exercise while fasting, you may not have the same energy level as you normally do. Be less demanding on yourself - instead of a 45 min run, reduce the time period, or do brisk walking instead. The idea is to get the blood moving.

4) Be discriminating about what you eat at iftar. Seriously! This can make or break your Ramadan weight loss goals. Your mother can cook fantastic food for iftar, but it may not be the best type of food that could help you achieve weight loss. Avoid the oily and sweet stuff. Again, it is best to follow the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad. He broke his fast with dates. Dates can quickly provide natural sugars to the blood system - and has many other health benefits. It has also been reported in a science paper that dates can help the body re-hydrate three times faster than if one were to only drink water. The dates help the body to absorb the water better. How about that!

5) Definitely avoid the sugars, and that goes for carbohydrates that are easily broken down into sugars. It is the sugars in our foods that make us put on weight quickly. Instead, eat more high-protein and high-fiber foods that will help the body build on muscles. When the body has less sugars to burn for fuel, the body will turn to fat. Muscles help in fat-burning. And the best part is that this process continues while you sleep.

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Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Haq Islam said...

Assalam Alaykum
Jazakallah for leaving your comment at Haq Islam. Your blog has been linked to from http://www.haqislam.org/muslim-bloggers/
Would you please place a link to either www.haqislam.org or http://www.haqislam.org/articles/ramadan
Jazakallah
Wasalam Alaykum

August 25, 2010 at 9:18 AM  

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