This is a discussion and my personal view of how a diet should be like during Ramadan. All the information provided below is my own opinion and from my own experience. This is what works for me, it might not work for everyone. You have to test things out and see what suits your lifestyle best and what helps you see results.
From people trying to lose weight and people trying to build or maintain muscle, everyone starts to panic about what to eat once Ramadan starts. I’ll get straight to the point and this is completely my opinion. If the diet you were following before Ramadan was working and helping you on your way to reach your goal, then why would you change it during Ramadan? The only thing that will change is a shift in what time of day you will be eating those calories. You can switch around your meals however way you want. If you eat eggs or oatmeal or whatever your breakfast usually is, then iftar can be your breakfast meal or suhoor becomes your breakfast meal. It’s completely up to you. Forget the rules of not eating carbs at night. Every meal should have some portion of HEALTHY carbohydrates, fat, and PROTEIN.
My goal for Ramadan is to maintain my bodyweight. I have a set number of macronutrients and calories that I follow so I need to make sure that within the few hours that I have to eat, that I’m reaching those numbers.
I’ll give you an example of how my meals are spread out:
7:00pm meal 1: iftar (small portion of grilled chicken, rice, salad)
10:00pm meal 2: post workout (whey protein shake, then half of what I ate for iftar with maybe some fruit)
12:00am meal 3: dinner (salad, chicken or meat, with fruits or dates)
2:00am meal 4: suhoor (casein protein or whey protein, peanut butter, and a little bit of oats)
The biggest mistake you can make is eat one meal a day, and that’s for Ramadan and the rest of the year too! If you know eating one huge meal a day that has you unable to move for a few hours is bad for you any other time of the year, why would you do that during Ramadan?? There are so many reasons why eating this way is bad for you. One of them is by only eating one meal you’re restricting calories and not providing your body with the energy and nutrients it needs to function properly. You’re also making the next day that much harder because you’ll be starving! We already know your metabolism can shut down if you’re body isn’t receiving it’s required nutrients. This goes for people who are trying to lose weight and those who are trying to maintain or keep their muscle mass during this month. As for suhoor, it could be the most important meal to help keep you energized and full for the next day so you don’t go to work like a “hangry” zombie. Your suhoor should also consist of healthy carbohydrates, fat, and PROTEIN. There are endless examples of meal options online I can provide some links below. I prefer casein protein because it’s a slow digesting protein and provides nutrients to my muscles for hours after consuming it. My fats and carbs are from the peanut butter and oats.
Don’t stress yourself out during Ramadan by worrying about your diet. If it was working before keep doing it, if you weren’t eating healthy before then now is a good time to clean up your meals and avoid the sweets. Give yourself the chance to focus on what this holy month is actually about.
Last but not least and maybe the most important part of your diet; drink lots of WATER!
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