A Ramadan Nutrition and Fitness Guide

Last week I attended a Ramadan Nutrition and Fitness Prep program given by friend and weight loss director from Nadoona to make the best of Ramadan by avoiding the ups and downs of the effects of sugar, lessen the headache effect, get and extend the most of our energy throughout the day. Here are some key notes that might also help you. InshaAllah.

"Most important is our intention which 1st and foremost is to draw closer to Allah SWT and fulfill our obligation to fast Inshallah. What I will discuss today is how we can do this in a healthier manner and maintain our overall fitness level.  The primary goal is to have optimal/sufficient energy to sustain ourselves while we perform our regular daily activities.  The secondary goal is to maintain our muscle tone through the month of Ramadan/Shawwal.  Our final goal is to lose a healthy amount of bodyweight without sacrificing the first 2 goals." - Zainab

Ramadan nutrition

What should every meal be composed of?

Each meal should have a protein, carbohydrate, and fat

How much water should I drink?

Try to drink 8 ounces of water at Suhoor time
Try to drink 8 ounces water at Iftar time
Try to drink 8 ounces water at Isha time
Try to drink 8 ounces water during Taraweeh time
Try to drink 8 ounces water at bedtime
Goal 40-60 ounces water (5-8 glasses) more if you can!
This is just a sample idea of getting your water in!

What do I eat at suhoor?

Zainab tells us that this is the key meal to get the most energy throughout the day and for this reason we have to choose wisely. She advises we eat fruit with high water content such as watermelon, pineapple, melon and berries for our carbs. For protein, she suggest we eat meat broth, yogurt, eggs or cheese. For fat, we should eat turkey bacon. She also added to use beef gelatin powder which can be bought here. Another protein choice is the Fit-For-Allah smoothie. See her video here. She does note that eating grains is not the best choice because they are dry foods that suck the water around your intestines to be digested. You can still have them, but be sure you compensate by drinking more water. Grains will also will for guarantee give us serious blood sugar problems and give us a roller coaster ride of low energy.

What do I eat at Iftar?

Zainab tells us that we should break our fast with 1-3 dates with milk. For carb choices we should include in our meals salad, cucumbers, zucchini, olive oil, garlic and lemon along with potatoes and other root vegetables. She does add we should avoid pasta because it is low in energy nutrients and will cause water retention and bloating. Rice is also not the best choice either, and Zainab says we should limit it. For protein, she advises we should eat beef or chicken broth, red meat is ideal for energy, liver and fish.

What do I eat after Taraweeh?

Zainab says we should eat sweets at our own risk because it will make the blood sugar unstable and increase FAT! For taraweeh, we should bring our water bottle to prayer and afterwards, we should  eat something light like yogurt, fruit, dates, frozen yogurt, or the Fit-For-Allah shake.

"Understand that your metabolism is going to slow down over time during Ramadan.  The result of overeating (which the Prophet SAWS tells us 1/3 food, 1/3 water, 1/3 air ) will be a gain in bodyfat and loss of tone/muscle (fat is burned in your muscle tissue).  The better you eat for optimal nutrition the better you will enjoy your Ramadan and Ibadah Insha Allah."  - Zainab

Ramadan Work-Out

"The time you spend exercising depends on how many hours of sleep you are getting, amount of worship, and suhoor/iftar responsibilities. Our focus is always on our prayer/worship so exercise program will be 50% intensity/amount of your regular routine.  Sample guideline resistance training (see below) 2-5x per week 15-30min and light cardio walking/biking 2-4x per week 20-30min Insha Allah." - Zainab

When Can I work-out?

Zainab suggests we can work-out before suhoor for those who have children, before Iftar, After Iftar(you have the most energy), after Isha if you are not attending Isha, After Taraweeh if you don't have to work in the morning. She also adds to take advantage and work-out at a higher intesity when we are in our menstrual period and aim for 75% of our normal routine.

A bit about sister Zainab 

"Owner of Fitness Essentials LLC in New York and Trainer of the Fit for Allah sister’s exercise class. Zainab is a movement therapist, nutritionist, personal trainer, and nutritional coach. Zainab’s 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry is nothing short impressive! We like the call her a scholar of the health and fitness world."  -  Nadoona

Let's do this sisters!

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