Member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board for Turkey, Assoc. Prof. İsmet Tamer, says that changes to our eating and sleeping patterns during the month of Ramadan affect our body’s biological clock (circadian rhythm).
The expert has recommended some key activities to help avoid weight gain by the end of Ramadhan.
Due to long hours of fasting, the human body slows down metabolism in order to use energy as efficiently as possible. Prof. Tamer advises that if you don’t watch what, when and how much you eat, it is likely you will gain weight.
“If people who usually maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising don’t take the necessary precautions or follow a regular routine during Ramadan, they might do more harm than good to their body, including weight gain at the end of the month,” he said.
As people are not able to eat or drink water during the day, they then binge on food, switch to a lighter workout routine, or quit exercising altogether during Ramadan, causing the excess energy they consume to turn into additional weight. However, if one doesn’t have any underlying health problems, there is no reason not to maintain the exercise routine, even when Ramadan falls during the hot season.
Prof. Tamer points out that it’s important to pay attention to the timing of exercise due to the long hours of fasting during Ramadan. He said,
“People who exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle should use their energy efficiently during the day and exercise one or two hours after iftar, the meal eaten after sunset during Ramadan. This improves digestion and helps burn any excess calories that come from the usual iftar food.”
According to Prof. Tamer many studies suggest that the performance of both professional athletes and sports enthusiasts who reduce their exercise duration by half or who switch to a lower weight are not greatly affected, and that two or three weeks after Ramadan, they are able to get back to their normal routine without any adverse effects.
He again underscores that regardless of how much people exercise, everyone who fasts during Ramadan should drink as much water as their body needs. He says that fluid and electrolyte balance is vital for athletes. Exercising without getting sufficient amount of fluids, especially on hot days, may lead to heat stroke, dehydration or muscular problems due to loss of fluids and electrolytes. This is especially true in Malaysia, a country that is usually hot and humid. He suggests to drink fluids in a balanced way between iftar and sahur (meal consumed early in the morning before fasting), to make sure one reaches the recommended daily fluid intake.
Country Director of Herbalife Nutrition Ghana, Mr. Clarence Amenyah has added his voice to the call on the Muslim community to stay healthy during the season.
“Herbalife Nutrition Ghana wishes the Muslim community a fruitful Ramadan. Herbalife is here to support all Muslims during this prayerful season. Our brand will keep our promise of supporting your everyday needs with our healthy products.”
Ramadan is a special month of self-reflection and worship for millions of Muslims all over the world. There are a lot of temptations that could stop one from safely and effectively progressing through the holy month healthily. Therefore, it is important to adhere to the Prof. Tamer’s advice to maintain a healthy body throughout Ramadan.