I am writing this article to show you the best way you can fast and stay on track with your life and exercise routine without getting too tired and fatigued so you can enjoy this month and feel cleaned both physically and spiritually.
Dehydration will not only make you gain weight, it can cause headaches, blood pressure and reduces your brain performance. I understand that you are doing dry fasting during the month of Ramadan which mean you can't eat or drink anything from dawn to sunset. Therefore you are avoiding water, food, gum, vitamins and supplements for almost 30 consecutive days so you have to pay a little bit more attention to how and when you should consume water.
Drinking 2 glasses of water or ever better mineral water before a meal can not only keep you hydrated but it will boost your metabolism. BUT YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE YOU DON’T DO THIS BEFORE IFTAR. Since you are fasting, your body loses mineral through out the day and some of it exits from your body when you pee! When you drink water, before you open your fast, you will dilute those minerals even more. Coffee or tea will also add to this dehydration process. So I advise you to
Break your fast with a good amount of salt. Salt contains positive ion Sodium and a negative ion calcium and it helps water and minerals move in and out of our cells and prepare your body for your first meal!
Iftar: How to open your fast
Once your body is prepped an ready to take in nutrition, I would advice to choose your first meal wisely. A lot of people feel very hungry and allow themselves to eat a large portion of food. Your body will have is much going on that it won’t know what to do with all of that food. It won’t be able to digest it properly, therefore, it will eventually store most of it as fat.
It is very common to open your fast with dates and I think it is a great source of energy. It would actually be enough for you to workout following a meal full of clean lean carbs such as potatoes, lean meat and healthy fats. Dates are very high in sugar (30g of sugar per 2/3 dates) even though it provides a lot energy and fiber, it might not be the best food choice for weight loss purposes.
Bone broth or a lean chicken/fish soup would be one of the best options to open your fast with. after an hour, you can have your meal with lean proteins, healthy carbs and fats.
During Ramadan you will usually have 3 meals. Calculate the number of calories you need for your goal, divide your calories by 3 (# of meals you are doing to have) and make sure you stay consistent with it to achieve your weight loss goals.
Suhoor: Pre-Fast Meal
If you had a good healthy meal the night before, you will have enough energy to workout in the morning. You can wake up an hour before Suhoor to get your workout in! .Try to at least do a 15-20- minutes hit workout before your pre-fast meal.
I don’t know if you guys can relate to this but a few hours into your fast you might feel extremely hungry to a point you can’t think about anything else except for eating. Let me know in the comments if this is something you have experienced? I know I did when I started intermittent fasting.
Getting adjusted to fasting might not be the only reason and you might actually be able to avoid this by planning your first meal better.
Your pre fast meal ideally should have minimum or no carbs. The higher your blood sugar is before a fast, the more you are going to crave carbs and crash a few hours later. In order to avoid that try to stick to meat, fatty fish or just simply eggs and avocado! I like to add a spoon of fish oil after my pre fast meal because fish oils absorb better when you have it with fattier food.
You could also use apple cider vinegar and barberries, barberry extract, broccoli sprouts, kimchi to regulate your blood sugar. Hydrate after your meal, say your prayers and get ready for the day!
If you are decreasing your calories so much all of a sudden a few things could happen: dehydration which we already discussed, constipation or a weakened immune system. If you are also working out there are a few things you do.
Creatine: works best when you re fasted. You can take that before your morning workout.
Glutamine: It can help with your gut function, digestion and energy during your workout.
Magnesium: Believe or not a lot of people are deficient in magnesium. Highest amount of Magnesium is found in pumpkins (164 mg/1 oz), and in almonds (80 mg per 1 oz). Since calcium and vitamin D intakes, and alcohol all function to impede retention or to increase the requirement of magnesium most of can be deficient in it.
We need about 220-300 mg per day and if we don’t get enough, we will feel fatigued and tired.
Be careful Magnesium is a laxative! So don’t buy the supplements with a higher dosage.
A lot of people I talk to tell me they feel too tired to exercise and the thought of it scares them. If you actually follow the tips above, keep hydrated and make sure you are taking the right nutrition and supplements you should feel energized and excited to workout. Though in the beginning of Ramadan, since you are not used to intermittent fasting, your body should start adjusting to your fasting routine after a couple of days or a week. If your calories are normally much higher than what you are consuming now, it might even take longer but when you will eventually get adjusted.
Once you start feeling lighter and more energized, it’s time to take advantage of this surge of energy. If you feel fatigued or tired after trying everything mentioned above, get your blood checked to see if there is anything in particular that is missing form your diet. You can downloads my free program where I list the types of food you should remove or add to your diet.
Lift weights or do a hit cardio workout! Get your body moving so you can see weight loss results even faster.
Avoid Weight Gain After Ramadan
Okay so I am 100% sure that if you follow these tips, you will lose some weight during the month of Ramadan. buttttt what’s the point if you’re gonna put the weight back?
You have to be very careful going back to normal eating. Your body is now used to storing fat for energy but also maybe changing the form of fat in your body from visceral fat around your heart and gut into brown fat. When you go back to normal eating, you will start losing these benefits.
If you are looking for more of a long term weight loss I suggest you start alternate day fasting which means you eat normally one dat and fast the other.
If you want to avoid fasting altogether, maybe you can have smaller meals 5-6 through out the day while keeping a close eye on your calories.