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Losing Weight During Ramadan

What Do You Eat

Vitamin B complex vitamins can help people deal with stress. There are also many herbs that can help with stress.

Eating new foods also increases the chance you may be allergic to something you are eating. The Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said, “The stomach is the pool of the body and the veins lead to it. When the stomach is healthy, the veins convey health from it: When the stomach is ill, the veins convey illness.”

Foods you are allergic to can make your stomach ill, resulting in asthma attacks, hives, and weight gain. There is now scientific proof that allergies or food sensitivities can cause weight gain.

Many people have lost enormous amounts of weight by discovering their allergies and eliminating those foods from their diets. Common allergens are eggs, peanuts, milk, wheat, soy, and many others.

The types of food you chose to eat during Ramadan can also defeat your efforts to lose weight. If you eat too many salty foods your body will retain water and cause you to feel bloated.

At the same time, a lack of water in the body causes the body to retain fat and other toxins more readily, as it doesn’t have enough fluid to “flush” toxins out of the body.

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The Qu’an clearly states, “Ye people eat of what is on earth, lawful and wholesome” (Surat Al-Baqarah: 2:168). If you eat too many un-wholesome foods, such as processed breads and sweets, you will gain weight.

These processed and sugary foods are “trigger foods”. These foods also leach nutrients from your body and thus cause your body to crave more food in general because it feels very unsatisfied.

Eating too many bread and starches can also cause weight gain. Ramadan is often the time when women like to display and share their cooking abilities.

Bread are usually considered the mark of a good cook and the way to display an inviting table to your guests.

However, not everyone considers bread to be the height of good cooking.Ramadan Iftar

The books The Zone Diet by Barry Sears and the McDougall Plan by Dr. McDougall explains in great detail how starches and grains contribute to weight gain.

The book Your Health…Your Choice by Ted Morter, MD goes into even more detail about bread, including how most grains and legumes, along with milk and meat, contribute to the acid environment in our body which promotes overall bad health.

The best way to solve the problem of eating too many starches is to make sure you eat the right proportions from the various food groups to ensure weight loss.

Imagine that you are preparing your plate with only vegetables and you are only allowed to use meat, milk, and grains as the condiments.

Limit yourself to one cup of any given grain per meal and use meat and milk products as condiments.

Start thinking of celery as something to spread peanut butter on instead of bread, think of carrot sticks with hummus instead of pita bread, and try a lettuce leaf instead of tortilla shells.

Don’t give up eating bread and meat, just de-emphasize them and save them for special dishes only.

Your goal should be to consume about 70% vegetables (and fruits, but less of them) and 30% grains, beans, milk products, and meat.

There is also an entire category of foods that contribute to weight loss because they are “bitters” or contain a high percentage of water. As a rule, any herb or food that is bitter helps move fats through the system faster and more efficiently.

You must still eat these foods in moderation and correct proportion. They aren’t foods you can eat unlimited amounts of.

Bitter and watery foods include amaranth, quinoa, oats, corn, rye, adzuki beans, cucumber, zucchini, summer squash, sweet potatoes, celery, asparagus, kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and other sprouts.

You can also cook with spices that help speed your metabolism. These spices include cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger.

Discontinuing exercise can also cause weight gain during Ramadan. Most people reduce their workloads in some way stating “It’s Ramadan so I should rest.”

For most people, this is untrue. If you have an unstable health condition the stress of fasting may mean that you should be careful.

However, if you are so unhealthy that you cannot lead a normal life during Ramadan then you should not be fasting anyway. We need to exercise to pump blood and lymph through our bodies.

Month of Fasting or Feasting?

Take Care While Fasting

Losing Weight During RamadanThe heart pumps blood but the feet and legs pump the lymph, and the lymph glands are what help us process and get rid of excess fats and toxins in the system. To really get the lymph flowing you need to have a good twenty minutes of non-stop brisk walking.

However, remember that exercise alone may not help some people lose weight so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t help you.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t overwork and that moderate exercise will at least help you keep up your motivation to do the other therapies!

The increase of social coffee and tea drinking also contributes to weight gain during Ramadan. Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and even decaffeinated teas and coffees) can cause weight gain in people.

This is because carbonated beverages and caffeine leach calcium from your system, which means that you will feel less full all the time and tend to eat the wrong or more things.

Using some herbal teas instead of coffee and tea can also assist in weight loss. I recommend using “single” mixtures or weight loss mixtures that have been tested for hundreds of years and are still in use.

Many herbal weight loss formulas on the market have been tested thoroughly, but only for short periods of time.

There is a growing pressure to create new formulas all the time, so as a result of many weight loss formulas on the market now have not been tested for long-term effects to organ systems; many contain shocking mixtures of various herbs that do not combine well.

Secondly, each person is unique depending on their physiological type as well as their lifestyle and their unique allergies or health conditions.

A tea which may help one person lose weight may cause another to gain weight.

A professional herbalist, when creating a program for you will consider the herbs of oat straw, dandelion, alfalfa, fennel, fenugreek, milk thistle, and other herbs that cleanse the liver or lymphatic system.

The herbalist may also recommend using some essential oils in a bath or massage such as juniper, bergamot, citrus oil, rosemary, or sage oil.

Surprisingly, lack of sleep can also cause weight gain in people. And it is common in Ramadan for people to not get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can put excess stress on the body, which can trigger weight gain.

Not eating enough can also be a surprising cause of weight gain. Not eating Suhur triggers a starvation response in your body, which actually slows down your metabolism for the rest of the day.

This is like putting all that food you are eating on “slow motion” instead of “fast”. If you skip breakfast your food will metabolize sluggishly in your system and contribute to your weight gain.

Taking vitamins during Ramadan may also cause weight gain. Vitamin D supplements or Multi-vitamins contribute to weight gain. Many people think that since they aren’t eating the foods they are used to during Ramadan that they should take a vitamin “just in case”.

Vitamins should never be taken for that reason and should always be recommended by a health care professional. Vitamins can cause damage to organs, malnutrition or other health problems when taken inappropriately.

Last, but not least, remember that Ramadan does not have to be the time of year to lose weight. Don’t focus on losing weight this Ramadan.

Focus on the meaning of Ramadan, follow the tenants of good health recommended by our Prophet and you will find the weight will come off.

This article is from Science’s archive and we’ve originally published it on an earlier date.

Preparing Your Body for Ramadan

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