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How To Train And Eat During Ramadan To Stay On The Fastlane To Fitness!

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

Ramadan is nearly upon us again, a religious month observed by approximately 1.6 to 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide.

A period of prayer, reflection and celebration during which Muslims fast, abstaining from both food and drink, from sunrise to sunset.

It can be challenging and it can also be highly rewarding but what are the best food and training choices for anyone looking to get into shape or stay in shape and continue their fitness journey during this time?

The Perfect Time To Lose Weight?

You’re probably thinking if you’re fasting, you’re going to lose weight anyway so it doesn’t matter!

Well, that’s not necessarily true!

There’s evidence to suggest that many individuals who lose weight during Ramadan are back to their pre-Ramadan weight within a month or so after Ramadan ends.

With approximately 15% of the population of Singapore being Muslim, I’ve treated and counselled many Muslim patients during Ramadan and in my own clinical experience, without the proper guidance, a lot of patients find themselves not losing weight and actually gaining weight during Ramadan!

Wait, what?? Yeah, imagine fasting all day, no food or drink, especially if you’re in a hot climate and somewhere where the days are long! You’ll be famished by the time you can break your fast and if you’re presented with a glorious feast, a royal banquet, surrounded by friends and family, are you going to be able to control yourself or are you going to stuff your face till your belly is bulging?!

It’s surprisingly easy to over-indulge and find yourself gaining weight!

Some do indeed eat and drink less during the Ramadan period but unknowingly, many will also move less and exercise less during this time! By consuming less and also exercising less, it kinda balances out so you end up losing less weight than you might have thought or lose no weight at all!

On the flip side, you also have to remember that if you are losing weight, you don’t want to lose weight too quickly! Lose weight quickly and you run the risk of losing precious muscle, your body will think you’re starving to death, it’ll perceive this as a threat to your survival and, long story short, your body will drop its metabolic rate to protect you. This sets you up for fat-overshooting, meaning you run the risk of gaining weight above and beyond what you had before you even started fasting!

So here are some nutrition and training strategies to optimize your fitness if you’re fasting during Ramadan!