How to Lose Weight During Ramadan

During Ramadan, you will fast from food and drinks during the daylight hours, from dawn to dusk. Fasting during Ramadan is for religious purposes; however, you can also use it to break bad habits, Ramadan can be a great time for weight loss if you make good decisions about food and keep your mind focused on general wellbeing

Replace bad habits with good habits during your fast. While you fast for Ramadan, you won’t be able to grab snacks or sugary drinks throughout the day. When you reach these moments, handle the cravings with a helpful new habit, such as a short walk or focusing your mind and hands on another activity.

Stay active during your fast but avoid the sun. Continue to live as you normally would while you fast, just stay out of the sun while it’s at its peak so that you don’t get too dehydrated.

Do a short, vigorous workout after sundown. Save heavy activity until after sundown, when you can drink water, dedicate about 30 minutes to your workout. Talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise programs, if you are overweight, or if you have any health conditions.

Never skip your suhur. If you do, you’ll be setting yourself up for a binge after your fast ends for that day. Instead, choose complex carbs like whole grains along with lean proteins like egg whites, and cheese. Hold the salt, though, because you don’t want to increase your thirst going into your fast.

Drink 8 glasses of water between sundown and dawn. Drink your first 2 glasses at itfar, then drink 4 glasses between itfar and suhur. Finally, drink 2 more glasses of water with your suhur. While it might seem difficult to drink water overnight, it will help you stay hydrated and healthy during your daily fast.

Avoid processed sugar. Desserts and sugary drinks can add up to a lot of calories, which can erase all your hard work. Replace as many as you can with healthy sugars like fruits. These changes can help keep you on track, avoid blood sugar fluctuations, and limit calorie intake. Ramadan is a great time to break your sugar habit. If you stop eating it, you'll stop craving it.

Slow down your meals. At suhur, you may feel that you need to eat quickly so that you can make your dawn deadline with enough food to carry you throughout the day.

However, doing so will lead to overeating and undermine your efforts, both spiritually and health-wise. Similarly, at itfar, eating too quickly will not give your body time to register when it is full. Bring a mindful approach to eating and slow down.

It's okay to eat a normal-sized meal, even though you will not eat again until sundown. Overeating at meals is one of the biggest diet pitfalls of Ramadan.

If you want to lose weight, you will need to eat less than you burn. However, you should not eat fewer than 1200 calories per day.

Photographs by: Getty Images