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]


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Avoid Weight Gain During Ramadan

Avoid This Ramadan Pitfall: Weight Gain During Ramadan

Fasting Muslims know that putting on excess weight is one of the unwanted pitfalls of Ramadan. The long hours without food or drink lowers the body's metabolism; the spiritual obligations do not end with the fast, but include special night prayers called the taraweeh, as well as doing acts to be more connected to God, such as making du'a (supplications). All of these activities mean that many Muslims end up sleeping less hours than they normally do. This also has the effect of lowering one's metabolism.

So it is critical that one does not over-eat, gorge, or feast during iftar (the breaking of the fast). Doing so would cause weight gain.

Here are some useful tips on how to avoid weight gain during Ramadan.

Balanced diet
Those observing the fast should have at least two meals a day, the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor) and a meal at dusk (Iftar).

Food intake should be simple and not differ too much from your normal diet. It should contain foods from all the major food groups:
  • fruit and vegetables
  • bread, other cereals and potatoes
  • meat, fish and alternatives
  • milk and dairy foods
  • foods containing fat and sugar
Complex carbohydrates are foods that help release energy slowly during the long hours of fasting. They are found in foods such as barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour and basmati rice.
Fibre-rich foods are also digested slowly and include bran, cereals, whole wheat, grains and seeds, potatoes with the skin, vegetables such as green beans, and almost all fruit, including apricots, prunes and figs.

Foods to avoid are the heavily processed, fast-burning foods that contain refined carbohydrates (sugar and white flour), as well as fatty food (for example cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets, such as Indian mithai).
It's also worth avoiding caffeine-based drinks such as tea, coffee and cola. Caffeine is a diuretic and stimulates faster water loss through urination.

Wholesome foods
Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, should be a wholesome, moderate meal that is filling and provides enough energy for many hours. Suhoor should be light and include slow digesting food like pitta bread, salad, cereal (especially oats) or toast so that you have a constant release of energy.

It's customary for Muslims to break the fast (Iftar) with some dates, in accordance with the Prophetic traditions. Dates will provide a burst of energy. Fruit juices will also have a similar, revitalising effect. 

Start by drinking plenty of water, which helps rehydration and reduces the chances of overindulgence. Avoid the rich, special dishes that traditionally celebrate the fast.

Foods to avoid
  • deep-fried foods, for example pakoras, samosas and fried dumplings
  • high-sugar and high-fat foods, including sweets such as gulab jamun, rasgulla and balushahi
  • high-fat cooked foods, for example, parathas, oily curries and greasy pastries
Healthy alternatives
  • baked samosas and boiled dumplings
  • chapattis made without oil, baked or grilled meat and chicken. Make pastry at home and use a single layer
  • milk-based sweets and puddings such as rasmalai and barfee
Cooking methods to avoid
  • deep frying
  • frying
  • excessive use of oil
Healthy cooking methods
  • shallow frying (usually there is little difference in taste)
  • grilling or baking is healthier and helps retain the taste and original flavour of the food, especially with chicken and fish  
Healthy Eating During Ramadan Tips

More Ramadan Healthy Eating Articles 


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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Blogger julie anderson said...

I this season people will not follow any diet they early in the morning or evening after the long break!This will lead to the acidity and after the long gap they consume the food it will lead to consume the excess food which result in the weight gain!

October 11, 2012 at 6:42 AM  
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June 28, 2016 at 5:28 AM  

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