Terry Crews (right) & Hugh Jackman (left)
Ramadan & Fitness
Recent research has been pretty clear that intermittent fasting works, and celebrities like Hugh Jackman, known for his role as Wolverine of the X-men and Terry Crews, known for his role as Sergeant Terry Jeffards of the 99th precinct from Brooklyn Nine-Nine use it to stay in amazing shape. This year, let’s take advantage of Ramadan and use it to get fit.
Muslims have been fasting in Ramadan for over a thousand years now but not many are able to get the same physical results from it as these celebrities. Let’s explore a few of the mistakes we make and go through some hacks to help you get the most out of this holy month.
Hormonal Changes During a Fast
Whenever we eat, it causes our blood sugar to increase. Your body releases a hormone called insulin to bring the blood sugar down by storing it as either glycogen or fat. During a fast, the blood sugar can start to drop. Your body then releases insulin’s arch nemesis, glucagon, which has the exact opposite effect of insulin. It converts glycogen and fat to glucose.
Where do we go Wrong?
In theory, reduced insulin production and increased glucagon production during Ramadan should help us lose fat, but many people don’t. So what’s the deal? The answer lies in the total amount of calories we consume. It is a fixed rule that no diet plan can help you lose weight unless you are on a calorie deficit, which means you burn more calories than you consume.
1) Eat Slower
Iftar time is probably the most difficult time to apply this one. You tend to eat faster when you’re hungry and this can lead to overeating. Eat slow when you break your fast, and you’ll end up eating less without feeling any less full.
2) Get Enough Water
The time between Iftar and Sehri is critical as far as hydration is concerned. Depending on your climate and activity level, you’ll need between 7 to 12 glasses of water between that time period. Getting enough water boosts your metabolism and can help you lose that stubborn fat.
3) Get Enough Rest
Sleep is essential for losing fat. Having to wake up for Sehri can disturb your sleep and you may have to change your routine a bit to make sure you get enough. Chronically getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night can lead to weight gain.
4) Get Some Exercise
You don’t have to train as hard as you do when you’re not fasting, but getting some exercise in Ramadan will help towards achieving your fitness goals and can help preserve muscle loss through the month. However, it is not recommended to do any intense cardio during the day as that can lead to dehydration. The ideal time to work out would be 2 hours after iftar.
Without question, intermittent fasting is one of the most popular diets today.
Your article tells you everything you need to know about this subject, one detail that many question is the relationship of intermittent fasting and its effects on your muscles.
Do you lose muscle when you practice fasting?
There are 2 main factors that influence muscles during fasting. The overall calories you consume and the amount of protein you get. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should be on a calorie deficit. Unfortunately, you lose both fat and muscle. However, muscle loss can be minimized by hitting the gym and getting 30-40% of your calories from protein. If you’re looking to gain muscle, you should be on a caloric excess, lift heavy weights & get enough protein.
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