How to stick to your goals during Ramadhan

Hello peeps!! So the holy month is around the corner and i know quite a few of us are wondering how we can carry on being fit and healthy if we can’t eat for at least 12 hours. In some places like the UK, we’ll be fasting for about 18 hours!

Here’s the thing, many of us fall off the wagon during Ramadhan because we turn this month to be all about food. We spend a good part of our day cooking various, delicious, calorie dense foods and a good part of our night eating those foods. Foods that we normally wouldn’t consume much any other time of the year. However, because we don’t eat all day we feel like we “deserve” to indulge and over indulge once we break our fast. Like its our “responsibility” to eat and eat. The thing that we tend to forget is…calories still count!!

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying don’t eat kachoris and bhajia’s and all that yummy stuff. Eat them but eat them in moderation. If you want to stick to your fat loss goals then you HAVE to still pay attention to your calories in especially during this month because your calories out are at a minimum as you can’t really train as hard during this month as you would in other months and our NEAT( Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) usually drops quite a bit due to the lack of energy during the day. We need to stop over-thinking about food just because we are fasting. Food is food, it is what its always been, Ramadhan or not. The only difference is you’re having it much later in the day, THAT IS ALL.

This is how most of us think (me included):

“I haven’t eaten all day! (Yusra scoffs down one Kachori), yup i haven’t eaten all day (she scoffs down 4 more)”…

2 mins later:

“oohhhhhh look, Samosas!! its okay i haven’t eaten all day (Yusra has 3 samosas”)

2 mins later

“Oh yummmmm…kaimati!!! its fine, i haven’t eaten all day anyway so its fine “Yusra scoffs down 5-6 kaimatis)

And that’s how the evening continues and before you know it, Yusra has consumed all her calorie budget for the day in ONE sitting!! and then we sit down feeling stuffed and bloated and regret why we ate so much and are now feeling too lazy to do anything. Too lazy to even get up let alone squeeze in a 10-15 min workout. You are probably laughing right now because i know you know what i am talking about 🙂

So, I am going to give you some tips that will help you stick to those goals or at least maintain your current progress and not let it go down the drain for those 4 weeks.

  1. STOP over thinking about food, food is food and just because you haven’t eaten all day it doesn’t mean you get a pass at eating anything and everything that’s in front of you. Moderation is still key!
  2. You want to focus on consuming nutritious meals. These will keep you satiated for longer. They’re also less likely to bloat you.
  3. Stick to the foods you usually eat as opposed to stuffing yourself with fried and sugar loaded foods just because its Ramadhan. This will help you keep track of your calorie consumption and make sticking to your calorie budget easier
  4. Water, water, water. From the moment you break your fast to the moment you go to bed. Make sure you consume enough water so you don’t feel dehydrated the next day.
  5. Eat slowly. Most of the times we tend to eat very quickly and before we know it, we are bloated and can’t move. Eat slowly especially during Iftar. Allow your brain to register when you are full so you don’t over eat.
  6. Keep your Suhoor nutrient dense especially fiber. Fiber will potentially reduce hunger whilst you are fasting. My go to Suhoor is usually wholegrain rolled oats.
  7. Whilst Ramadhan is not the time to be hitting PR’s, you should aim to workout at least 15-20 mins 3 or so times a week. If you want to maintain your gains then you have to train at maintenance at least. What i tend to do is plan my workout time depending on the type of the workout i am planning to do on that particular day. If i am doing HIIT (high intensity internal training) then i will do this half an hour before i break my fast, this way i can eat as soon as i finish working out. However, if i am lifting then i workout a couple of hours after eating as i need energy to lift properly.
  8. Ramadhan is a month of worship and that is what it should be spent on. However, you find that most of us spend the majority of it either cooking or eating. Over-eating almost always leads a super lazy evening and minimal activity and you really do want to avoid this.

May Allah accept all our fasts 🙂

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