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How to Lose Weight in Ramadan

Ramadan Diet Plan to Lose Weight

The holy month of Ramadan is here and are you looking for a great way to end your fast this Ramadan? The delicious meals at iftar are what all of us have our eyes on!

Traditionally, there is an emphasis on providing bountiful meals to celebrate this special month. The women of the house toil for hours preparing scrumptious meals for family and friends.

Ramadan isn't always thought of as being an opportunity to lose weight because the spiritual aspect is emphasized more generally than the health aspect. However, it's a great chance to get the physical benefits as well.

Prolonged fasting for a very long period of time leads to the breaking down of muscle proteins to release energy, which is very unhealthy for the body. So, all you have to do is prepare and eat food made from fresh ingredients, cooked healthily for a nutritious Iftar meal. This will keep you nourished while setting a good example for your family and friends.

So, let's consider these options to start planning your Iftar evenings. During Ramadan, you need to put extra effort into including foods from all five food groups to ensure variety and a well-balanced diet.

How to Lose Weight in Ramadan

Know the importance of eating right.

Most of us have different schedules during Ramadan, whether due to work or school. For those of us who cannot stay up all night, we need proper sleep along with proper food intake to allow us to fast and last the following day.

With the change in eating routines and habits, we may be oblivious to the fact that we could be putting on weight. We do not have the time to workout, nor do we focus on clean eating. It is Ramadan of course, so many people have the belief that indulging in greasy foods for iftar/suhoor will give us energy throughout the day.

The whole idea that greasy foods give us more energy is incorrect. In fact, heavy greasy meals make you feel fatigued faster when standing for long prayers. Crash rates with greasy fatty foods are higher than clean foods. Simply look for the right foods.

Intermittent fasting aids weight loss.

Fasting can be a safe way to lose weight as many studies have shown that intermittent fasting – fasting that is controlled within a set number of hours – allows the body to burn fat cells more effectively than just regular dieting.

So after a day of fasting, it will be more effective if you exercise for at least 30 minutes, with a particular focus on cardio. You will be burning more body fat during fasting days versus non-fasting days, because intermittent fasting allows the body to use fat as its primary source of energy, instead of sugar. Now even many athletes use fasting as a means to hit low body fat percentages for competitions.

Fasting is not starvation.

Some people are under the impression that fasting starves the body and hence you go into “starvation mode”. That is not true. Fasting is not starvation. It is simply not eating or drinking for a period of time, not continuously for days on end without basic nutrients.

Martin Berkhan, a nutritional consultant and personal trainer, stated the following in his article regarding fasting and its myths: “Starvation literally means starvation. It doesn’t mean skipping a meal or not eating for 24 hours. Or not eating for three days even. The belief that meal skipping or short-term fasting causes ‘starvation mode’ is so completely ridiculous and absurd.”

Fasting is a natural detox.

Have you noticed that during Ramadan our bodies feel more rested? It is because fasting gives your digestive system a rest, and this can energize your metabolism to burn through calories more efficiently. If your digestion is poor, this can affect your ability to metabolize food and burn fat.

Fasting can regulate your digestion and promote healthy bowel function, thus improving your metabolic function. According to some researchers, not eating anything for just one day has shown to help the body clean up the toxins and regulate the functioning of other organs of the body including liver and kidneys, health expert, Nathan Hewitt, mentioned in one of his articles.

Ramadan Foods include:

  • Bread, cereals, and other grain products
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Meat, fish, and poultry
  • Milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • Fats, oils, and sugars (these contain very little nutrients and are high in calories and therefore their intake should be limited)


Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, should be a wholesome, moderate meal that is filling and provides enough energy for many hours. It is therefore particularly important to include slowly-digesting foods, so as to delay pangs. Foods like oats, millets, beans, lentils, bran, figs, prunes can be consumed. Drink fluids to keep you hydrated during the day and assist with digestion.

Ideal Suhoor Meals:
  • Oatmeal with fruits, nuts, and 1 mug of tea/ green tea/coffee
  • 1 multigrain egg white and veggie sandwich + 1 glass chilled milk with 1 tsp soaked chia seeds and almonds
  • 2 chapatis + 1 katori subji + 1 katori curds.
  • 1 bowl muesli + milk, cut fruits, and 4 walnuts


Iftar is the meal that breaks the day's fast. This meal could include dates that will provide a refreshing burst of much-needed energy. Incorporate protein-rich sources such as egg whites, legumes, and low-fat dairy products. Wholemeal bread, brown rice, or whole-grain noodles are complex carbohydrates that provide the body with energy, fiber, and minerals. Make sure you have 1 serving of fruit and 1 serving of vegetables at each of your two meals.

The meal should remain a meal and not become a feast! Try to minimize the rich special dishes that traditionally celebrate the fast and keep to the advice included in the table below.

Alternative healthy food options for Iftar.

  • Baked samosas and boiled dumplings.
  • Chapattis/parathas made without oil.
  • Low-fat milk-based sweets and puddings/ chia fruit pudding/ fruit custard/quinoa parfait.
  • Fattoush (salad made of vegetables and pita bread).
  • Tabbouleh (salad made with fresh tomatoes, parsley, garlic, and bulgur wheat.).
  • Lavash (soft, thin cracker bread) with hummus.
  • Chana chaat, fruit chaat.
  • Mujadarra (a dish made with rice and lentils).
  • Ful Medammes(fava beans cooked with garlic and spread on bread).
  • Grilled chicken/ Barbequed chicken/ chicken kebabs/ fish kebabs.
  • Ragda chaat/ chole chaat/ chana chaat.
  • Smoothies/ Refreshment drink.

Food to avoid.

  • Deep-fried foods - Pakoda, samosas, fried dumplings, kebabs, etc
  • High sugar and added sugar foods - Sweets/ desserts like Gulab jamun, rasagulla, balushai, baklawa, pastries, jams, jellies, candies, syrup-drenched desserts, etc
  • High-fat dairy products - Ice-creams, cheese, oily parathas, creamy cheese sauces, etc
  • Fast foods - Pizza, burgers, etc
  • Greasy cooked foods - Oil-rich curries, French fries, etc
  • Highly salted foods - Pickles, salted chips, etc
  • Fried meats and meat products - Haleem, hot dogs, hamburgers, tandoori chicken, chicken tikka, etc
  • Fast-burning foods - Pasta, white bread, chocolates, cookies, etc
  • Heavily processed foods- Sausages, juices with added sugar, fruit preserves, etc
  • Carbonated beverages- Cola, energy drinks, etc
  • Caffeine-based beverages- Coffee, tea

Common mistakes at Iftar that have a negative impact on health & weight loss.

1. Drinking large amounts of water at Iftar time.

  • Impact:- Filling the stomach with water is more strenuous to it than with food.
  • Solution:- Can have a few sips during Iftar. Later, a glass full of water every two hours.

2. Drinking Roohafza on a daily basis.

  • Impact:- It contains high amounts of added sugars, preservatives, and food colors.
  • Solution:- Can be consumed twice a week if required.

3. Chewing and swallowing food quickly.

  • Impact:- Increases unhealthy weight gain and slows down the digestion process.
  • Solution:- Chewing food slowly will speed up digestion and help in maintaining a healthy weight.

4. Consuming foods high in sodium.

  • Impact:- Sodium triggers thirst throughout the fasting hours of the day.
  • Solution:- Consume foods dense in potassium as they retain water and suppress thirst. Banana can be consumed during Suhoor, to control thirst levels throughout the day. Other foods such as milk, dates, avocados, pistachios, dried peaches, pumpkin, peas, and dark chocolates (in minimum amounts) can be consumed.

5. Intake of sweets/desserts soon after Iftar.

  • Impact:- Leaves you feeling drowsy and sleepy.
  • Solution:- Wait for two hours of having an Iftar meal to stay fresh and awake for Isha Prayers.

6. Exercising directly after Iftar.

  • Impact:- Adverse effects on blood flow as it is concentrated around the stomach during Iftar.
  • Solution:- To ease digestion, work out after two hours of intake.

1. Cooking methods to avoid:
  • Deep frying
  • Frying/ excessive use of oil

2. Healthy cooking methods:
  • Shallow frying
  • Steaming, grilling or baking is healthier and helps retain the taste and original flavor of the food.

With such an assorted list of food available for you to choose from and with a better view of your choices this Ramadan; you now hold the key to a nutritious diet. Just remember, it's not a good idea to fast and then feast. Whatever you decide to eat, a balanced food plan containing healthy ingredients, cooked right will help you enjoy Suhoor And Iftar while giving you good health and more energy.

Here's How To Lose Weight While Fasting Ramadan.

But if you want to use the opportunity of fasting at once to lose a few kilos of body weight, here are some tips that can be done:

1. Break the fast with a balanced menu.

In Ramadan, the body's metabolism slows down so that the body's energy needs are automatically reduced.

When it comes to breaking the fast, think of it as a regular dinner you eat all year round. After breaking the fast, do not immediately enjoy the food at once, instead, rest, pray, wait a few minutes and then continue eating.

This will give you a perspective on how much food you really need and if you start to feel satisfied, you'll know now's the time to stop.

2. Avoid fried foods.

The main factor that turns out to be the reason behind all the weight gain during Ramadan is oily foods.

For years, people avoided eating fried foods in their early teens and 20s, but when age factors play their part and metabolism slows down, that's when weight gain occurs. Fried foods contain high calories and are low in nutrients. There are many healthy options to choose from rather than fried foods that are already typical of Ramadan.

3. Don't miss sahoor.

In Ramadan suhoor replaces breakfast. Skipping sahoor is a risky option as you will tend to be hungry throughout the day which will result in overeating during iftar and it is a must avoid to continue the weight loss journey.

4. Reduce sugar.

Another major reason for weight gain during Ramadan is sugar consumed throughout the month from sugar-laden drinks and sweets.

The best thing to do is to avoid refined sugars because it is the last thing you need in your body if you aim to lose weight or not gain weight during Ramadan.

Sugar can always be replaced by eating foods rich in natural sugars such as fruits, dried fruits, and honey. A good bowl of fruit salad will not only keep you full but will also be a delicious food that will benefit your body and not lead to weight gain.

5. Limit salt intake.

Sodium tends to make the body dehydrated, therefore the best option is to avoid eating foods that contain a lot of salt in them. They tend to make you thirsty and also affect the body's ability to digest and absorb fluids.

6. Plan a thirty-minute workout.

During Ramadan, people feel overwhelmed to adjust to the new routine. Lack of hours of sleep also tends to have an impact on the mind and body.

Therefore, it is very important to do some kind of physical activity such as brisk walking or simple exercise that will keep the body active and prevent it from becoming too tired or lazy.

In Ramadan, it's easy to feel lethargic and look for reasons not to do physical activity, but that becomes important, especially when it's a weight loss goal.

7. Control your portion.

Portion control is the most important in Ramadan. The essence of the month is to exercise patience and self-control, therefore in terms of food, these two factors should also be considered.

Not eating between suhoor and iftar and then overeating when breaking the fast is not in line with what Ramadan teaches.

Portion control is the best way to ensure that the numbers on the scale do not increase at the end of the month. Eating small portions is always the right idea and also helps one understand how much the body needs.

8. Stay hydrated.

Hydration is the most important factor in terms of weight loss. With or without Ramadan, all dietitians around the world stress the importance of keeping the body hydrated to worsen the weight loss process.

At first, it may seem impossible given the length of the fast, but if broken down correctly, it is very easy to meet the criteria of water intake to lose weight. Drinking 2 liters of water per day is enough throughout Ramadan and not only helps detoxify the body but will also keep your appetite away.

Ramadan Diet Plan to Lose Weight