Contrary to public opinion, most Muslims end up gaining weight during Ramadan. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset. Although, this sounds like a good diet, seldom does it turn out to be.
Traditionally, Muslims are supposed to eat two meals; after sunset and prior to sunrise. While in most Muslim majority countries this works out well, in the US it doesn't. In Muslim majority countries the entire country reverses their daily schedule. They don't do much all day, and stay awake at night so they have time to eat a morning meal.
Here in the US, most Muslims indulge after sunset and don't wake up to have an early meal. Busy work schedules and busy lifestyles promote this bad eating behavior. This is a major contributor to gaining weight.
The human body is very smart. The body figures out that it is only getting one meal a day and decides that it needs to store everything. So everything you eat gets stored as fat. The best practice would be to remember to wake up early and have a sensible meal, but that may not always work out.
You can easily use the occasion of Ramadan to lose some weight and shed some pounds. You don't have to stop eating or avoid going to dinner break-fast parties (Iftars). You just have to follow a few guidelines.
First of all, avoid eating too many carbohydrates. Muslims love carbohydrates. Most Iftar dinners are composed of a ton of carbohydrates. Pasta, rice, bread, sweets and sugars are the most common culprits. Try to avoid these. No your host will not be offended. Instead of eating a ton of rice with the red sauce, try to cut the rice out totally and just have the sauce. Load up on salad and drink diet pop. Carbs are the worse thing person can eat if they are trying to lose weight.
Secondly, eat lots of protein. If you avoid carbohydrates and eat tons of protein, you will stop feeling hungry and end up eating less. And even if you eat tons of proteins, you will still lose weight. Eat chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, veal, eggs, and seafood. Contrary to popular belief an all meat diet will decrease your cholesterol and blood sugar. Recent studies in the New England Journal of Medicine and other reputable medical journals have proven this time and time again.
Thirdly, eat some fiber. Green, leafy vegetables are great for getting your system flowing. Have all the salad you want. Don't use "fat free" dressing. Fat free usually means "tons of sugar". It's the sugar that is making us fatter. Also, avoid fruits, a piece or two a day is fine, but they usually contain a lot of sugar.
Avoid sugary drinks. Tea, coffee, pop, and juices all contain tons of sugar. Try to drink diet drinks and use Splenda as a sugar substitute. It is made of real sugar and tastes like real sugar, but does not make you gain weight nor does it have the side-effects of other sugar substitutes.
Following this high protein diet, your body will turn into a fat burning machine. Your body doesn't get the sugar from the diet, so it has to burn fat to make fuel. Even while you sleep the fat will burn right off.
Along with extra prayers and spirituality, this is a quick easy way to get the most out of your Ramadan.
Note: Always check with your doctor before beginning any diet and exercise plan. This article does not constitute medical advice.
I, however, also disagree about having the intention of losing weight while fasting. So many of our sisters are trying to become more western beauties by dieting too much. Islam teaches moderation. Be moderate with what you eat, how much exercise you get, and inshallah Allah (swt) will give you the health associated with these actions.
Also, this is horrible advice to promote diet sodas! Aspartame-laden drinks are hardly healthful and aspartame is very harmful. There are even support groups to help (mainly women) deal with withdrawal and addiction to these artificial sweeteners! What about water? Water with a lemon slice is a tasty alternative.
I also do not like the language in the use of the word "tons" in describing what one can eat during Ramadan. Even if we're eating something that won't "make us fat", that doesn't mean we should just pig-out on that, either. Moderation, moderation, moderation. And, why aren't there citations from the way the Prophet (saws) used to eat?
Overall, this article just puts a bad taste in my mouth....similar to the aftertaste of aspartame.
This is what i think: The best of everything is moderation, and Allah hates those who goes over the limits. in this case, it is eating. The prophet said, the two most happiest times for someone fasting is the Sahur and Break Fast. Eat what you want that is good, healthy and delicious, but never stuff ourselves to the point of bloating, so that we could concentrate in praying and zikr. And never waste, as waste is the action Syaitaan loves doing. Wallahu a'lam
I believe we should a portion carbohydrates, proteins and other food nutrients because our body needs all of them. We should not stuff ourselves it is haram that is why we get fat because we end up sleeping and too lazy to sit up and pray at night which helps to control our weight. So we should eat a little bit of everything and drink water it because we tend eat alot and drink less. So we should eat what is enough for us. And pray alot it is good exercise after eating. Thank you
The following statement:
"First of all, avoid eating too many carbohydrates. Muslims love carbohydrates."
Is not only foolish and untrue, it's shows the deep ignorance of the people allowed to post on this site.
Red meat is not bad for you if you are on a high protein diet. In fact, it helps you burn your own fat faster.
Consuming cholesterol does not increase your blood cholesterol levels. In fact, people with hyperlipidemia are placed on protein diets by physicians.
Enjoy your Ramadan!
Thank you all for your concern,
Medical Student Year 2
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
I now know why I don't lose as much weight as I usually try to lose during Ramadan. I tend to eat a lot of rice. Although I get up for Suhoor, my stomach isn't able to hold a full course breakfast. I eat very small amounts. What else can I do. As salaamu alaikum.
Carbohydrates forms the base of the food pyramid which means it should be the principle component of our daily diet. The author seems to favour the Atkins diet (the carbohydrate-free diet applauded by the media) which has been medically proven to be harmful.
While I applaud your intention, I must bring up three
unfortunate realities. What you describe is essentially the
Atkins diet, which works very well and which I am very
familiar with. BUT... to do it, one must be eating as much
as one wants when one wants, but of protiens, not carbos.
SOME restraint might still work, but a US Ramadan forces
the body to fast, which puts it into conservation mode, so
its neither functional nor necessarily safe. Fact is tht we
NEED those carbos specifically because we've been fasting,
unless we're already in Induction mode/phase... and this is
an ill-advised way to achieve that.
Second point: If we simply reverse our sleep schedules and
doze all of the daylight hours (a practice I'm guilty of) are
we really fasting, showing the restraint, or just pushing a
loophole to make it easier?
Finally, the statement "First of all, avoid eating too many
carbohydrates. Muslims love carbohydrates." was riddled
with holes. Not only does "too many" remain undefined,
but "MUSLIMS" don't love carbos any more than any other
While the intention was good, I feel you've unwittingly
misled some people. Insha'Allah, no one will suffer any real
damage (kidney, etc) from the advice, as it ends up
suggesting moderation, rather that removal of carbos.
(Salad can still have lots of carbos if you're not careful of
carrots, etc.) Again, jazak Allah khair for the good intent,
but please use caution in advising such in the future?