"Hi. Moez! Hope you're doing great! Do you have any advice in terms of diet and exercise for everyone practicing Ramazan this year? Most people think that they'll lose weight during this time, but end up gaining despite not eating too much. Any tips from the expert for all of us? Smile"
Regarding Exercise In Ramazan:
- You might want to do your cardio BEFORE Iftar. Since blood sugars are low after hours of fasting, the condition makes it perfect to use fatty acids as fuel, ceteris parabus.
- You can weight train AFTER Iftar. After Iftar blood sugars are higher. You need blood sugars higher for weight training since resistance training takes up glycogen as primary fuel.
- You might want to reduce the frequency of training in Ramadan. For instance, 3 sessions instead of 5 sessions per week. This entirely depends on the individual's work/recovery capacity. So go by feel. True feel.
- If you just have time for one, choose weight training OVER cardio. In times of caloric deficit or less regular meal intakes, resistance training tends to make you hold on to your higher metabolism MORE than cardio.
- Theoretically speaking, you might want to increase intensity of workout slightly but reduce volume.
Regarding Diet In Ramazan:
- The underlying ideological message behind Ramadan and fasting is self mastery and self control. NOT gluttony. So I believe if done as it was intended to be done, it WILL bring positive changes to ones physical, mental and emotional life. So one shouldn't make Iftar a feast or a flaunt of economic power. Instead it should be a display of simplicity and egalitarianism envisaged by the collective human consciousnesses we call 'prophets'.
- Ramadan DOES result in weight loss if one takes two meals instead of eating all day. The gap during which one fasts also tends to make one feel lighter and healthier. Ramadan is a teaching of the reconnect of the individual with his/her true self. HOWEVER, if one reduces the frequency of meals to two in Ramadan, but increases the 'quantity' of food they consume to even more than what s/he would normally take during the rest of the year (which is what is actually practiced) the opposite is going to happen for mainly two reasons:
First and mainly the increase in the caloric surplus results in weight gain (people consume MORE calories overall in Ramadan), and second the drop in metabolism as a result of less frequent meals over a long period of time (a month) and lack of activity that's practiced in Ramadan (this in no way was intended to happen - eating less and doing less doesn't make you any better). So the lesson is, instead of fueling up for the fasting hours, just take two or three sensible meals that consists of healthy, non processed, agroecological foods and get the rest of the energy you need from your willpower.
- If you were/are on my diets, you can take all the sum of your macronutrients and then divide them by the number of meals you can take in the non-fasting hours.
- Most of these will still apply: http://moezaryan.com/blog/ten-easy-tips-to-lose-fat.html
- Since blood sugars are going to be low by Iftar time, you are going to tend to want to have the carbs in the meals first. Try to have a healthy beverage (non-caloric) to hydrate yourself first, and then have your proteins first. Then carbs.
- A lot of foods make popular Iftar meals but they still don't fall into the definition of 'food'. You are better off consuming real healthy foods. Oats, rice, potato, hemp, quinoa, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, fish, beef, eggs, chicken, veggies, fruits etc. The weight gain seen in Ramazan is also because people go all out on calorie-dense nutrient-void foods. A long time ago before profit was the only agenda and when big corporations owned by a few weren't present and people consumed organic agroecological foods, the month of Ramadan did actually made people healthier. So think old school a bit. Not cavemen old, just go back 200 years ago, when it comes to which foods to use.
I hope that will do for you all.