Ramadan is the holiest month of the calendar for Muslims across the world. It’s a month dedicated to self-reflection, devotion to prayer and spirituality where those observing will be fasting between sunrise and sunset, including all foods and fluids. It’s also a month of celebration, where get-togethers and feasts once fasting is over for the day (Iftar dinners) can be full of food, laughter and great times.
For our Move With Us community observing Ramadan, this can also be a time where the idea of changing your health and fitness routine dramatically can seem scary.
We want to support our community, and help you enjoy such an important month without sacrificing your journey!
Here are a few tips we’ve prepared to help you plan.
Tip #1 Plan your meal times early
Does the idea of fitting your macros in around fasting make you nervous? Or trying to maintain your energy goal with all the incredible feasts? We’ve got you covered!
It’s a great idea to plan out your meal times within your eating window. With proper planning, you should be able to have 2-4 meals each day that will help sustain your energy levels during fasting.
Early planning means you can account for feasts, what foods you can eat during them, and how to make the most out of each meal. Then you can look forward to spending the month with family and loved ones.
Tip #2 Focus on high-protein meals and good portion sizes to maintain your macros
You know all that fantastic meal planning you’ve been doing? It’s extra-important to make it count during Ramadan! Plan for every meal to include all macros and focus on filling your plate up with protein first to avoid muscle depletion.
Having a filling, nutritious meal during Suhur (the meal before fasting begins early in the morning) like eggs and avocados with spinach and toast can help you feel energised. Once you’ve broken your fast look first to proteins, but don’t forget your fats and carbs! And of course, put some veggies on your plate to get those micronutrients in.
It’s all about moderation, not depriving yourself when you need it most. You may find it difficult to be 100% spot on with your macros - but that’s totally OK, just do your best!
Tip #3 Train around the time you break your fast
We recommend planning your training times just before, or just after, you break your fast.
Your body will be in need of hydration and nutrients, so it’s important to either train after you’ve already had something to eat (for most, this will probably be the most comfortable option), or train at sunset so you can recover and replenish straight away. If you choose the latter, be mindful of low hydration and energy levels and don’t overdo it if you feel dizzy.
Tip #4 Take your training a bit slower
You might be worried about slowing down, or how you’ll continue your progress...
No worries here! If you’re observing Ramadan, this month is all about shifting your focus to maintaining that incredible progress you’ve achieved so far.
It’s okay to make your workouts shorter, decrease your weights a little and add in extra rest days during this time. Keep yourself active and remember, all that work and progress you put in during the other 11 months of the year won’t disappear in a month.
Tip #5 Stay hydrated!
You might have heard that hydration is KEY to any health journey, and that sentiment couldn’t be more important, or true, during Ramadan.
During your eating window focus on staying as hydrated as possible. If you’re someone who tends to forget to drink water throughout the day, consciously having 0.7-1 L after you break your fast, during the evening and before your fast begins can help you stay hydrated.
Health experts around the globe also insist that if you’re becoming dangerously dizzy or dehydrated while fasting, it’s best to have some water rather than risk your health.
Tip #6 Prioritise your health and listen to your body
Most importantly, this is a month to be kind to yourself and enjoy the time you spend with your family and loved ones!
Do the best you can, listen to what your body needs, and remember that one month out of the year won’t derail the progress you’ve been working so hard on.
Our team are always here, with expert Dietitian's on board to help you make the most of your meal guide and adjust your macros during the month.
Stay hydrated, take care of yourself and Ramadan Mubarak.