By Hesham Khalil
- Watch out for fat content. There is no point in eating heavy meals after fasting; they will not help you feel better. They will just make things worse. Highly nutritious food is what you need during Ramadan. This hardly seems like a scientific argument.
- Brown bread, brown rice, beans, legumes, skimmed milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, boiled eggs, chicken, fish, nuts, olive oil, fruits and vegetables are all great choices for Ramadan.
- Ensure adequate water intake during a workout and between iftar and sohour to avoid dehydration. Also, make sure that you exercise under neutral thermal conditions.
- Aerobic training could be done either immediately before or at least 2 hours after iftar.
- Aerobic training sessions before iftar should not exceed 30 minutes. This could be increased to 1 hour after iftar.
- Weight training is better practiced after iftar due to the decrease in motor coordination and alertness during fasting. You have to wait for at least 2 hours before exercising.
- Weight training sessions should be 45 minutes to a maximum of one hour.
- Training intensity should be kept to moderate to moderately high for highly-conditioned individuals. Also, training frequency should be decreased to allow better recovery.
Meal Plan During Ramadan:
Break your fast with soup or dates or water
NB: Pray here if possible
Protein= 1 x fist size or 150-200g of protein (chicken, turkey or red meat with the fat removed) and sauce.
Carbs = vegetables, salad, soup (noodle, pasta, cream and potato-free),
and if desired, 1 cup of boiled basmati rice, or 1 small potato, or ½ baladi bread loaf, or 1 cup of pasta
Choose a good fat: Half an avocado, or 2 tablespoons of hummus or labnah, or light yoghurt, or 30g cheese, or 1 handful of olives
- Or protein plus 1 cup of rice, or 1 medium potato, or ½ baladi bread loaf and salad/vegetables.
- Dressing: 1 tablespoon of olive oil with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar are best for fat-burning and aiding in digestion.
After iftar: 1 hour later
1 piece of cake and tea or coffee (or 2 pieces of cake if you don’t eat carbs at iftar or the cheese sandwich), so 2 carbs/sweets per day.
Note– you may snack on fruit anytime after iftar.
3 x 500ml bottles of water and tea across the afternoon before bed
- ½ baladi bread (if no carbs with iftar) + 30g white cheese, or 60g areesh or labnah + 1 fruit.
- Or 2 fruits + 1 cup of low fat natural yoghurt
- Or 1 cup of foul (fava beans) + 2 to 3 tablespoons of light labnah + salads – no bread
- Or watermelon + cheese or labnah
- Or 2 eggs + ½ cup of foul + labnah/yoghurt