With the holy month almost over, Dina Taji Al Farouki, an ambassador for Sun & Sand Sports, shares her tips on making the most of the last week of Ramadan by staying as fit and healthy as possible.
1. Break your fast with something light
Fat loss can be easier in Ramadan, as body fat is the only energy source for the system to tap into while a person is fasting, according to Al Farouki. For the last week of the month, she recommends eating something light to fuel your body before working out, and having a heavier meal post-workout.
“When I break my fast, I start off light with some dates and laban. After a short break, I have salad with chicken and wild rice, or quinoa and hummus. What is great about these foods is that while they are filling, they keep your blood sugar level stable,” she says.
2. Incorporate healthy fats into your diet
Al Farouki says the best way to avoid overeating during the last week of Ramadan is by increasing healthy fat in your diet. Her suhoor usually consists of salmon and avocado with salad, or salmon with egg, which contain healthy fats that keep her full through the next day.
3. Drink enough water
“It is important to get at least 1.5 liters of water into your system before midnight during Ramadan, but don’t drink too fast – have a little bit of water every twenty minutes after you break your fast, leaving some time after your meal,” recommends Al Farouki.
4. Engage in high intensity interval training
Weight-lifting is particularly beneficial in Ramadan, as fasting helps build and preserve lean muscle, says the trainer, adding that tension against muscle will not only promote growth but will burn more fat and energy.
5. Get an accountability partner
Al Farouki also recommends finding a partner or friend who will also stay committed to his/her fitness goals during Ramadan. That way, either one can hold the other accountable.
6. Keep your gym bag packed
Avoid getting lazy when the time to hit the gym comes. Keep a packed gym bag in your car and make it a practice to train regardless of how tired you feel, Al Farouki says. “Habits are essential to keep up your fitness routine; working out needs to be part of your everyday lifestyle,” she says.
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