5 easy tips for keeping fit during Ramadan
Ivan Djordjevic, founder and trainer at Anatomy Fitness offers advice for fitness and fasting.
1. SWITCH UP YOUR ROUTINE
Trying to increase your muscle mass with the small amounts of food during Ramadan is almost impossible, so adjust your training accordingly. Use this time to focus on weak areas such as your mobility, posture and technique to make the most of your new regime.
Don’t ditch strength training completely, though, as you’ll need to maintain muscle mass and keep your “gains”. And don’t overdo cardio while fasting, because binge eating afterwards will slow down your metabolism and increase weight gain.
2. GET RID OF BAD HABITS
By fasting, you’re giving your body the chance to kick some eating habits that may have creeped into your diet. Once your body is used to not having, say, fast food, you can try to stamp it out completely.
Introduce new, healthy treats and foods that you’ve never considered before and the brain will learn to love them.
3. PLAN YOUR MEALS
Batch cooking is a fantastic way to: a) control the nutrients and proteins you’re putting into your body, and b) avoid unhealthy Iftar meals. The temptation to simply eat the first thing you can while breaking fast is incredible, but grab yourself some Tupperware, spend a few hours making lots of meals that will stretch over a few days, and you’ll have a healthy meal that will complement your training.
4. TIME YOUR WORKOUTS
It is really important to train during the Holy Month of Ramadan – don’t give up. Ideally, the best time to train is 8pm, right after breaking fast with a light meal when your body still has the nutrients to support your system. A successful workout is one done with the right amount of fuel.
5. GET YOUR HYDRATION AND NUTRITION ON POINT
You’ll benefit from eating a protein-heavy meal before fasting starts, so you’ll be fuelled longer throughout the day. With two large glasses of water and multivitamin tablets, you’ll also be more energised and hydrated.
Coffee might be your “go to” pick-me-up in the morning, but avoid it at all costs. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means you’ll need to urinate a lot after drinking it and therefore dehydrate faster.
When breaking fast, rehydrate with water and eat something small that contains both protein and low Glycaemic carbs – no sweet treats! After your workout, have a bigger meal that includes carbs and drink a protein shake. Try to then squeeze one more meal in around 10pm and hit the sack for 11pm as sleep is important for your mental state.