The Holy month of Ramadan can be used to one’s advantage when it comes to weight loss in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the rest of the UAE.
The main cause of weight gain simply boils down to surplus calorie intake.
Combine the lack of movement while fasting and decreased hydration can add to the cocktail making it more likely for one to gain more weight than usual.
Over Eating When Not Fasting
Today’s culture doesn’t always help, promoting affordable and tantalizing buffets enticing more people to over eat than they normally would.
Food and social occasions become difficult to turn down and hunger makes it harder to say no.
The choices of food people tend to go for may not always be the healthiest as the mentality of ‘I haven’t eaten all day I can eat this’ overrides healthier options.
Here are some of my personal trainer tips to help combat these issues while still enjoying and making the most of this Holy month:
1. Rehydrate Well
Ensure you break your fast with a decent amount of water to rehydrate your system and also fill your stomach helping you eat less.
Drinking continually throughout the eve will also ensure you stay hydrated and reduce the chances of you going for the extra food you may not need.
I suggest 2 to 3 liters is a good target which will help keep you energized the following day.
2. Do Light Exercise
Fasting does have its benefits where it can give one more energy to some degree so light exercise is recommended throughout the day in the UAE.
You can also do some low impact high intensity training session with your personal trainer just before breaking fast, 2 hours after breaking fast, or just before sunrise are a good time to fit in some exercise.
3. Watch Your Food Choices
Food choices can play a huge role in reducing the chances of overeating.
Choosing high protein and fiber rich foods in all meals can help keep you feeling fuller for longer therefore reducing over consumption in the long run.
4. Learn To Eat Smaller Portions
A few days into the month your stomach will adapt to your new eating lifestyle and may even shrink.
Don’t over stuff yourself and learn to eat smaller amounts continuously throughout the eve to ensure calorie intake is sufficient without over stretching your stomach.
5. Plan Your Meal Ahead
Planning your meals ahead of time can help reduce your chances of over indulging.
Sort your portions ready for you and you are less likely to choose fast food options due to hunger and impatience to eat.
6. Add More Activities To Non-Fasting Times
Try to avoid revolving all evening activities around food and attend more active social events instead like charity work which can help keep you moving and not thinking about food all the time instead.
7. Reduce Sugar Cravings
Before Ramadan try reducing your sugar intake to get your system used to not having it so cravings for it will diminish.
Try replacing sweets with healthier options like fruits and healthy wholesome snacks like homemade granola bars.
8. Allow More Time For Relaxation
Stress during this month can be high as you still have to go to work and deal with other people who may also be stressed.
Try allowing time for relaxation and meditation to reduce cortisol levels spiking making you crave sugary foods leading you to make bad choices of foods once you break your fast.
You could even try Meditation Classes or Yoga Classes in Abu Dhabi to help you stay more relaxed.
9. Support & Motivation
Get your family and friends to practice the same eating habits to keep each other motivated and encouraged.
Having a supportive community helps keep you all accountable and more likely to achieve your goals.
10. Don’t Get Too Stressed During Ramadan In The UAE
Remember to enjoy this month and don’t get too stressed if you have to constantly attend food functions and dinners.
More and more restaurants in the UAE are providing healthier food options so choose those to fill you up while allowing some room for a small treat now and then.
Remember – Balance is key always.