The Ramadan Nutrition and Workout Plan for Success: Women and Men


By Rehan Jalali, C.S.N.

2541659162_e116cbbbf7_bI am frequently asked, “How can I workout and eat properly while fasting?” Most people see the blessed month of Ramadan as a time when they will lose strength and muscle mass; some think they can only “maintain” themselves during this month, while many women actually gain weight! If you use some of the strategies I am about to share with you, you can make some of your best gains during Ramadan. It’s all about maximizing nutrient uptake, maintaining proper hydration, and modifying key fat-burning and muscle-building hormones in your favor–and of course PREPARATION — if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail! Plus, how can you truly maximize this month spiritually if your body is sick, tired, and your mind isn’t sharp?

First of all, let’s look at what happens to your body during Ramadan. While you are fasting, you become more dehydrated at rest – but actually less than if you had exercised aerobically for over an hour (so exercise causes greater dehydration for that time period versus fasting). Your main metabolic fuel source for bodily function during fasting is mainly fat, which is a good thing. So the goals during Ramadan are to maximize metabolism (even though your metabolism will slow down due to less frequent meals); preserve and enhance as much lean muscle mass as possible (which will inherently increase metabolic rate and allow you to burn more calories at rest); and maximize your workout (both cardio and weight training). During Ramadan, depending on your goals, I really recommend that you limit cardio to 2 days a week at the most. This is again to preserve as much lean muscle tissue as possible. There is actually research showing the health benefits of fasting. It is truly a physical purification. According to a study published in the reputable European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers concluded “no detrimental effects on health have as yet been directly attributed to negative water balance at the levels that may be produced in Ramadan.” Other research has actually shown cardiovascular benefits of fasting during Ramadan — that is, IF you can avoid the IBS. No, that’s not irritable bowel syndrome – it’s the dreaded Iftar Binging Syndrome! It is vital to eat moderate to small meals even after iftar.

Training Times

Ok, enough of the background, let’s get to the meat of it! I am going to set the record straight here.  The best time to do a weight-training workout is NOT while fasting. This can create way too much muscle breakdown and cause a significant rise in the catabolic hormone cortisol. Training while in a state of dehydration can decrease strength significantly. In fact, research indicates that dehydrating a muscle by as little as 3% can cause a 12% loss in strength. Training while you are fasting can actually be more detrimental than beneficial! The best time to weight train during Ramadan is after taraweeh prayers at night. This will ensure that you will have several meals and plenty of water in your system before going to the gym. This will also allow you to consume your all-important post workout meal or shake which is essential muscle growth which leads to fat loss. If this is too late then the next best time to weight train is about 1 hour after iftar before tarawih prayer. You could do a short but intense 30 minute workout. The best time to do cardio work for maximum fat loss is before suhur – yep, that’s the truth. Of course, most people I know will not want to get up at around 3:30am and do cardio! If you CAN pull this off then the best thing to do is get up and drink plenty of water with a cup of coffee, green tea, or oolong tea, wait 30 minutes and perform 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio work like a brisk walk on a treadmill. If this is out of the question for you, then the next best time to do cardio is approximately 30-45 minutes after a “light” iftar (I will define this shortly). Short, high intensity cardio like sprinting is actually great to do during Ramadan.  It takes less than 10 minutes and provides maximum benefit in terms of fat burning and lean muscle preservation! This isn’t “driving Miss Daisy” cardio – it’s very intensive: an example would be sprinting for 20-30 seconds at full speed (like a crazy dog is chasing you!) and then walking for one minute. Do 4-5 cycles like that and you’re good! Start slow, of course, and work your way up.

So now you know when to train, it’s time to learn what to eat and drink (think water, water, and more water!

 

Suhoor (The Pre-Dawn Meal)

For suhoor, it is imperative to drink plenty of water, eat a good blend of protein, carbohydrates, and essential fat. That’s right, “good fats” have many fat-burning and muscle-building properties, and their importance is even greater during Ramadan. Some good suhoor foods include:

  • Egg whites (1 yolk)
  • Chicken breast
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of wheat
  • Protein shake
  • Cinnamon
  • Bananas
  • Raw, dark Honey
  • Raisins or dates
  • Fibrous vegetables –This will help increase the feeling of fullness as well.
  • All natural peanut butter
  • Flax seed oil – A great and tasty brand is Omega Swirl from Barleans –There’s a version for Women as well. (www.barleans.com)
  • Olive oil – preferably extra virgin (which means it’s cold processed and the essential fatty acids are preserved)
  • Plenty of water

It is important to take a solid multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement with suhoor as well to make sure daily minimum requirements of key nutrients are met. One good source for women is the Women’s Blend by Super Nutrition and a good one for men is Opti-Pack by Super Nutrition. Taking extra vitamin C and vitamin E can also be helpful. A great product is Emergen-C from Alacer. It is very important to watch your sodium intake at this time as high sodium can cause greater dehydration plus increase thirst during the day – not good for fasters. Avoid high sodium foods like soups, sauces, condiments, gravies, high sodium bread products, and canned meats. Of course eating fried foods and heavy oil items can cause heartburn and problems for you all day so it is best to avoid those if possible!

Iftar (Sunset Meal)

This is a key time for rehydration. The wisdom in Islam is never ending. We break our fast with dates and water but if you investigate this nutritionally, you will see that dates are very unique in their nutrient content. They contain very high levels of potassium (much more than a banana), a key re-hydration mineral and a special carbohydrate blend that enhances hydration above and beyond water alone. They contain a special blend of glucose and fructose for short and long term energy. They also have a special nutrient called beta D-glucan that is a soluble fiber that can enhance satiety and digestive health. So basically when you eat a date and water for iftar your body gets hydrated again much faster than with water alone (this is a complex topic but I don’t want to bore you with the details – You can think of dates and water as a very advanced form of Gatorade®).  In fact, clinical research published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition entitled “The fruit of the date palm: its possible use as the best food for the future?” concluded that “dates may be considered as an almost ideal food, providing a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefits.”

You should also eat some quality protein at iftar time as well. I would first recommend three dates. For men, I recommend a meal replacement protein powder like Protein Rush from VPX Sports, Lean Body by Labrada, or Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori and for women, one scoop of a protein powder like Pro-Blend 55, Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori, and Low Carb protein from MRM. Of course, drink plenty of water – in fact, keep a water bottle with you at all times after sunset! Then 1-1.5 hours later have a food meal (or follow the schedule above for cardio). Then during taraweeh, depending if you pray 8 or 20 rak`at, have a protein bar (like Power Crunch) or ready-to-drink protein shake in the middle (not while you are praying of course!); or you can have another small protein and complex carbohydrate meal after the 8 rak`at. If you have a protein bar, drink plenty of water and then go train for about 30-45 minutes. For women, you can actually do 20 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of weight training at this time. For men, you can take a BCAA (branched chain amino acid) product like BCAA-G from MRM before, during and right after the workout to preserve lean muscle. After the workout, also have another nutrition shake with plenty of water. Eating small meals at night can trick your body into speeding up metabolic rate (not to mention increase nutrient absorption and stabilize insulin and blood sugar levels). Your body loves homeostasis and wants to maintain a certain balance – you literally have to shock it constantly to lose fat and gain muscle over the long run! There is so much wisdom in “Eat and drink but not to excess” and we should try and follow that especially during Ramadan.

Sample Ramadan Meal Plan for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain

*This plan is for a 170 lb MALE, please adjust amounts for bodyweight

 

Suhoor:

  • Eat 6-8 egg whites (with one yolk)
  • One bowl of plain oatmeal w/cinnamon, raisins and a banana
  • 1 teaspoon all-natural peanut butter or olive oil or flax seed oil (1 tablespoon Barlean’s Omega Swirl)
  • Plenty of water (16-24 oz.)
  • Opti-pack by Super Nutrition (one pack) multi-vitamin/mineral

Iftar:

  • Three Dates and a Nutrition Shake (Protein Rush from VPX Sports, Lean Body by Labrada, or Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori)
  • Plenty of water

Sample Ramadan Meal Plan for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain

*This plan is for a 130 lb FEMALE, please adjust amounts for bodyweight)

 

Suhoor:

  • Eat 3-4 egg whites (with one yolk)
  • ½ cup of plain oatmeal w/ cinammon, raisins and a small banana
  • 1 teaspoon all-natural peanut butter, almond butter or olive oil or flax seed oil (1 tablespoon Barlean’s Omega Swirl)
  • Plenty of water (16-24 oz.)
  • Women’s blend: 2 pills of multi-vitamin/multi-mineral

Iftar:

  • Three Dates and a Nutrition Shake-1 scoop w/12 oz water (Pro-Blend 55, Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori, and Low Carb protein from MRM)
  • Plenty of water

 

For cardio workouts: Do cardio 45 minutes after this meal for 30-45 minutes at a moderate pace or do a sprint workout if you have less time and then have the next meal before taraweeh. Have a cup of green tea, Oolong tea, or coffee with iftar on cardio days.

For weight training days: Eat another food meal before taraweeh like chicken breast (or baked salmon), brown rice and some veggies OR baked fish (salmon, tuna, orange roughy, or mahi mahi), sweet potato, and a garden salad or some steamed vegetables.

Drink plenty of water during taraweeh. Go to the gym after taraweeh. (If you pray 20 rak`at, have a protein bar in the middle of prayer). Drink plenty of water during the workout. For men, you can even have Accelerade or Powerade™ or another sports drink during the workout.

After the workout, have another Nutrition Shake and lots of water of course. Then sleep 45 minutes later or stay up all night eating and working like I do!

Following these simple workout and nutrition tips can really help you make great gains during this blessed month. May Allah help give us patience and strength in this month and throughout the year and make us strong mentally, internally, spiritually, and physically!

Top 5 Healthy Foods to eat During Ramadan

  1. Dates – They contain a unique blend of glucose and fructose and have a very high potassium content (about 64% more than bananas). They have a nutrient called beta-D-glucan which is a soluble fiber that has health benefits and can increase the feeling of fullness.
  2. Raw, Unfiltered Honey – This contains many phytochemicals and flavonoids that can enhance health. Honey is very good for increasing energy. It is an excellent source of antioxidants. In fact, ORAC tests show it has the highest level of antioxidants of virtually any natural food on earth! It even has anti-bacterial effects. Take 1-2 tablespoons daily.
  3. Fish – Eating fish regularly can have positive effects on health. The fish oils EPA and DHA have been shown to improve brain function, enhance cardiovascular health, and reduce inflammation among other things. Some of the best fish are cold water wild salmon, orange roughy, deep sea cod, sea bass, ahi tuna, mahi mahi, and tilapia.
  4. Figs – They contain key mineral such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. They are also a great source of fiber and can support healthy blood sugar levels. Figs are an alkaline food which means they help balance the Ph of the body making it less acidic.
  5. Olive Oil - Contains omega 9 or oleic fatty acids. It has been shown to increase the good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering bad cholesterol (LDL). It also seems to have some antioxidant effects. Look for extra virgin olive oil (cold-pressed). Cooking with it can lower some of its benefits. Add it to food after it is cooked!

Happy Healthy Ramadan!

*The content of this article is for information purposes only. Please consult a physician before starting any nutrition, training, or supplementation program.

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135 Comments

  1. Moaz says:

    assalaamu’aliakum

    3 things he left out:

    1. one spoon full of honey (sunnah for health)
    2. a multivitamin tablet
    3. and a du’a before and after fasting

    oh and zamzem is highly recommended.

    • Shibli Zaman says:

      Brother Moaz, he did not leave those things out. Ctrl-F is your friend :)

      1) “Raw, Dark Honey”
      2) “It is important to take a solid Multi-Vitamin/ multi-mineral supplement with suhur as well to make sure daily minimum requirements of key nutrients are met.”
      3) The aim of this article was maintaining good health during Ramadan. For the supplications for Suhur and Iftar, anyone can refer to Hisn al-Muslim for that.

      Jazakumullahu khayran.

  2. M says:

    This has been very informative, though it differs somewhat from what my doctors/personal trainer have advised for me. However, I think it is very well reasoned, and I especially appreciate the food recommendations.

    • Shibli Zaman says:

      This is a very well written article, ma sha’ Allah, but in spite of that you should always refer all fitness advice to your personal physician.

  3. zfnd says:

    Just what the brothers needed,

    Jazakallakhair

  4. Hamid says:

    Rehan Jalali is a great guy, I remember watching him give a nutrition lecture last Ramadan at an Afghan event and I thought he was v. funny and informative.

    If your reading this, keep up the great work!

  5. Zain says:

    This is amazing!!! thank you!!!!

  6. Faiez says:

    JazakAllahu khayr, this is what I was looking for.

    Is cardio after taraweeh a good idea?

  7. Dawud Israel says:

    Yeah this is excellent bro. Really appreciate it.

    I like to eat less now more and more so I can focus on my ibadah so one issue is getting high protein into my diet. This is not just ramadan but on a regular basis. Any tips?

    :)

  8. seemal says:

    Can u please suggest a meal plan for women?
    thank you

  9. Aisha says:

    Shukran khtir…

    The information is very useful. I have heard of training (cardio) 30-40 mins before iftar??? Any thoughts on this…i know you said not to strength train but what about 20 mins of cardio before hand– to really shock da system and da fat from da body???

    I like to exercise after tarawee prayers…it’s going to be tough this time around because they dont have 24 hours gyms for females.

  10. Aisha says:

    @Faiez

    Of course cardio after tarwee is fantastic…actually you could even do strength training — you have no restrictions. Only problem is if you not careful about what you are eating, if the food is too heavy and not nutritional you will feel sluggish and not want to exercise, or if you haven’t eaten anything in which case you wont have the energy to do anything.

    I like the food suggestions here, only thing I would say is to listen to your body’s needs and not just eat everything recommended in the plan, it might be too much for some as we are not the same body size or have the same muscle amount or the same gender but I see no difference between the male/female diet plans whilst training.

    One thing I do even when not fasting is to take something to drink or eat during training, especially if your session goes over 1.5 hours–if you dont take something you won’t have fuel to complete your program.

    Bi Tawfeeq inshallah

  11. Andrew Luvert, Jr. says:

    Please use wisdom and discernment if you read this article. “There is a time and place for all things”. Perhaps during a time that is designated to increase ones spirituality one might want to simply focus on the nutritional aspect and energy conservation…. this way one can really appreciate the spiritual benefits! Just my thoughts…Just my thoughts…. there will be time enough for working out when done.

    • Anon says:

      Im on board with Andrew. With such a short time between iftar and taraweeh, our concern is our physical appearance, when if anything Allah swt is our provider and sustainer. We are willing to waste these precious moments over exercise?! When our predecessors used to give up everything and worship solely on Allah swt this month. Just look at the scene around us – people are dying in a flood, they will not be fortunate to see Ramadan and reap its rewards. What losers we are if we cannot see how in a blessed state Allah swt has placed us in, Astagfirullah. All one needs to do is to caution before eating, all the food will be available for you, but if u are really a fitness enthusiast know that the results are 80% dependent on what you eat and how you eat. Be mindful before your meals, Restrain yourselves and think of your ibadah. May Allah swt grant us the ability to recognise and remove our wordly distractions – its only one month in the whole year.

      • Suhaib Webb says:

        Asalamu alaykum,
        Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        The Prophet (sa) said, “The strong believer is more dear and beloved to Allah.” (sahih).
        Instead of having a bad perception of your brothers and sisters by saying that they are concerned with their”Physical appearance,” it would be better to harbor a good suspicion and assume that they just want to stay fit.

        My experience is that working out tends to really help me with my worship since the blood is oxygenated and the muscles are moving. Also, such acts, like working out, are a form of worship that is praiseworthy in nature. Mashallah, most of the brothers I know who did it, keep their tariwh and qiyam prayers better than those who are bent over because they are out of shape and struggling with the Samosa bar at the local Masjid.

        Suhaib

        • winterrocks678 says:

          You honestly think anyone is going to do this during Ramadan? The time between iftar and taraweeh is too crammed. I don’t think this plan is realistic.

        • Ruqiyyah says:

          I’ve got to say I’m on board with Br. Suhaib on this one.
          If anyone thinks they aren’t get enough spirituality in there, they could always switch on some Islamic lectures on their ipod!

        • Faisal says:

          +1 @ Suhaib

          Being unfortunate enough have lapsed, I am relearning my religion and this information is very useful as I would like to maintain my fitness regime. But trust me the spiritual aspects are impressed upon me all day. The trick is for me to manage my time incorporating my usual activities but focusing in my soul at this time.

      • Chrysalis says:

        There are people who work-out everyday, why should they stop during Ramadhan?

        A good Muslim is a productive Muslim and manages time well, if you plan than inshAllah you shall have ample time for Ibaadah, Work and even exercise. Infact any act done with good intentions becomes ibaadah, even work-outs can be ibadaah [looking good for your spouse, being fit for ibaadah etc]. While you are exercising, nothing is stopping you from doing tasbeeh, dhikr or listening to Qur’an.

        Infact it is even more important to work-out during Ramadhan because many people feel listless and lazy.. exercise helps you bring up your energy levels.

        I think it was a very good article! JazakAllah Khair to the author for penning it. Articles like these are good service to the Ummah. May Allah give us tawfiq to stay fit muslims.

  12. SisterGymRat says:

    Any recommendations for nutrition during Ramadan for sisters – specifically sisters that are around 5’3 and 117lbs? I love the gym and workout 5 to 6 days a week for 1 to 2 hours. Since the days are getting longer, it’s going to be harder to work out after iftar during Ramadan. Also, any recommendations on types of exercises to do? I typically do high intensity cardio for 30min to an hour, and then alternate between yoga and weight training. This might be a little too intense for Ramadan, but I’d love to see a similar article written for sisters since women have different exercise and nutrition needs.

    • Umm Ameenah says:

      As salaamu alaikum,

      Sister it is better to do cardio pilates and weight training. During Ramadan I have lost between 15-20 pounds(postnatal) and 5 pounds when in good shape. Before suhoor and after tarawih (30 minutes each time is best).

      Also for all I would recommend coconut water over any energy drink as it is 100% natural and more accessible than zamzam water.

  13. Mustafa G says:

    Great meal and workout plan! Definitely going to use this during Ramadan inshallah.

  14. Abdallah Jadallah says:

    Jazak Allah khair, great information!

  15. Salams Suhail,

    I really appreciate this article. I am a Cardiologist and specialize in nutrition and weight loss and agree with the majority of your article. Like yourself, I also am into body building and keep myself busy playing football, basketball, and soccer with most of my free time. This is a great article for young Muslim men to read.

    I agree with the vast majority of your article with the following clarifications:

    1. You can’t lose just fat. When people are losing weight they do lose both fat and muscle. Your plan above helps minimize muscle loss, but it will still happen.

    2. I am not a big fan of multivitamin pills. You are just paying for expensive urine. Multivitamins contain very little of what they say they contain and it’s usually unusable. Americans are not deficient in anything (other than Vit D), we don’t need extra supplements. Taking a pill and thinking you are “covered” for your daily requirements is a bad idea. Our diet is never deficient in anything. The only thing we need to supplement is Vitamin D… we don’t get enough. And by taking a multivitamin you are getting 20-30 different “vitamins”, but you are missing out on the over 200 vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other good stuff in an apple, date or in an orange.

    3. As a Cardiologist, I am not against eating egg yellows. People should eat the yolks. Eating cholesterol has not been shown to raise your cholesterol. In fact, overfeeding people cholesterol has been shown to raise your good cholesterol and not affect your other numbers by much. What people should avoid is saturated fat. Any fat that is solid at room temperature (butter, cheese, steak fat, chicken skin, etc). That is what raises cholesterol. Use liquid fats (olive oil, veggie oil, etc)

    4. Vitamins E and C have not shown to be useful in most large trials. In fact, taking antioxidants in pill form has been shown to be dangerous and increase cardiac death and mortality. People should not be encouraged to take “antioxidant” pills, but rather eat the real sources of antioxidants (fruits, dates, tea, honey, peanuts, etc), which you also suggest.

    5. Flaxseed oil is a great source of Omega 3s. But it’s the wrong Omega 3s. You want EPA and DHA…. flaxseed doesn’t have as much of those. Fish oil has tons of DHA and EPA…. that’s the Omega 3 you should be taking. I have an entire section on supplements on my diet website:
    http://www.alodiet.com/book/AloDiet/Supplements.aspx

    If you’d like to actually lose weight during Ramadan, check out my other article:
    http://toledomuslims.com/Criterion/Article.asp?ID=170

    Feel free to visit my website to read up on nutrition, metabolism, resetting your body, and how you can lose weight. It’s totally free! No subscriptions, no registration, no fees… nothing! I just want people to lose weight.

    Thank you once again for this very useful article. I will be referring people to this often.
    Dr. Mohammed Alo
    Internal Medicine
    Cardiovascular Medicine

  16. anon says:

    asalaamu alaykum,
    maybe it is just me, but unless you’re unwell and or particularly weak, i don’t get all the food replacement this and protein that. on the one hand this article talks about good food then it talks about sports shakes.

    why not just eat good food? or is that too simple. i am no scholar but i can’t imagine people from the past sitting down and scientificaly working out how much powder of this and that to take. yes-the body can digest liquids more efficiently than foods, but we are designed to eat food for a reason. surely.
    also there are alot of fads that go around these days bennifitting certain companies-there is no harm in eating egg yolks everything in modderation of course, but i mean its ramadhan, and yes you can just by egg whites, but why not just buy, or keep chickens and use a fresh egg and eat it all? throwing away an egg yolk, at any time but especially in ramadhan, is not a practice for me.
    6 egg whites-i understand this is written for people who are engaged in extensive training but 6? for me that is some what excessive, i’d rather have two full eggs.

    i think the food suggestions as i say are very good-but then along side the shakes it becomes abit contradictory for me.

    “” miss out the shake, actually eat, and you will have enough fullness.

    “You should also eat some quality protein at iftar time as well. I would first recommend three dates. For men, I recommend a meal replacement protein powder
    like
    Protein Rush from VPX Sports,
    Lean Body by
    Labrada,
    or Eat-Smart MRP from
    iSatori
    and for women, one scoop of a protein powder like
    Pro-Blend 55,”
    again note the word eat, followed by drink this and that protein shake….

    no offensive meant….
    wa alaykum asalaam

  17. shah says:

    man i need to lose weight man i need to

  18. StreetFighterSK says:

    Salaam,

    This is kind of weird, but working out during ramadan will give you a freakish strength. I mean unbelievalbe strength, strength beyond strength.

    In high school, during ramadan, i would participate in the early morning wresting conditioning. At noon i would be in footbal strength and conditioning, and then in the evening i would be in wrestling practice. Wallahi, i was unbeatable. iman translated into strength.

    Whats even crazier is that towards the middle of ramadan, the whole team gave up water breaks until the end of ramadan.

    ws

  19. Samosa boy says:

    Yahooooo, alright, point me to the nearest samosa stand and Ill be alright. ahah. Samosas

  20. Fakhre Alam Baig says:

    Thanks a lot for the very informative article/s. I am a 70 years of age. Previous Ramadan I did do the cardio and light weight in the afternoon i e after Dohar prayers and experienced an excellent result …. Thanks once again.

    Baig

  21. shameem says:

    Sheikh Suhaib, keep the ramadan podcasts coming please, they’re great.

  22. Salam

    Jizak Allah for this excellent article. Just what I was looking for.

    Just to add, Tesco sells the goodness protein shake, which is ready made, low in carbs and high in protein, costs only £1.49. Calorie is about 283.

    Yamin

  23. ehsan says:

    just a quick query about the consumption of fish oil supplements, as majority or most of the fish oil supplements in the market comes in a “softgel” capsule, any idea if they are made of pork based gelatin or halal animal ?

    • Anon says:

      If you ask the people behind the counter, oftentimes they are nice enough to call the company and find out for you, if they don’t already know.

  24. Island girl says:

    I was wondering if you had any tips for those who are trying NOT to lose weight during ramadhan? The focus everywhere is usually on how to lose weight so it’s really hard for those of us that are underweight to find help on how to gain it. Jazak Allah khair for the article, though. I was able to pick up a number of tips on good eating habits.

  25. amir says:

    wellcome ramadan karim is the month of kind is the month of no eatling ramadan has 3 thinks the first ten has kind second tnth 4gives the last tenth is protecting to the hell of fire soo plz protect your self

  26. Zafar says:

    Mashallah Very well written article. I always felt bad for leaving workout during ramadaan.
    I would HIGHLY recommend you to write an article for all of us brothers and sisters on different workout plans after the month of ramadaan.
    By different i mean :
    Weight Loss
    Fat Burn
    Weight Training
    Fat Burn + Weight Training (for people like me :p)

    May allah bless us all in this sacred month. Dua Dua and Dua.

  27. Dhulfiqar says:

    Salaamun ‘Alaikum,

    At first I thought this was a joke. But then I realized the writer was serious :-)

    I didn’t realize the Month of Ramadhan was also the Month of Israf. I understand, the fast will last well over 12 hours but that doesn’t mean you eat a carton of eggs and gallon of water in the morning.

    Israf in any form is forbidden. And it’s unfortunate that during the Month of Ramadhan, so many Muslims turn their stomachs into graveyards by turning their mouths in trash compactors. Either it’s fatty trash or “nutrition” trash it’s trash nonetheless.

    We must feel hungry throughout the day and throughout the night, eating only just enough. This month is of reflection through physical and spiritual purification. The idea is to reach the state of Fitr, of re-birth.

    Israf will pull you away from Fitr. The diet dictated has more to do with the material ego than spiritual cleansing. Eating during Tarawih? If tarawih is so strenuous that your stomach is rambling and find yourself looking at your watch — its better that you don’t do Tarawih. You are not ready for it. Work on the wajibat, and then once you’ve perfected the obligatory acts of worship move to the mustahabat.

    Thank you but from the stand point of the essence of Ramadhan, these advices are far from it.

    Wa Salaam,
    Dhulfiqar

    • What a very strange response. Having a lot of eggs and water for suhoor is israf (extravagance)? How about compared to having a fancy curry + roti + biryani, etc, etc..?

      I think we shouldn’t look only at the quantity of food but rather the quality and the simplicity of the meal planthat he is suggesting.

      WAllahu alem

      • Dhulfiqar says:

        Walaikum Salaam,

        I don’t think I suggested we should eat fancy curry + roti + biryani — either. The ‘aimmah did iftar with a piece of bread and a pinch of salt. There’s wisdom in that. We need to reflect on it.

        • Asim says:

          Can you provide some substantiation for this from any authentic source, especially considering the Quran praises not poverty, but moderation, has countless verses on the blessings God has granted through the variety of foods, from dates, to grapes, to meats of animals of all different kinds, grains as well, and so on?

          Fasting is to gain taqwa to apply in the moral realm, not to gain asceticism for the sake of it. That is a Christian and Hindu virtue.

  28. adeel says:

    the healthy guide to ramadan

    1. biryani
    2. chicken jalfrezi
    3. samosa
    4. dahi bara
    5. roohafza

  29. sal says:

    add a kheema samosa to the meal plan and im game!

    jazakallah khairan. great advice.

  30. Shazad says:

    AMAZING!

    subhanAllah

  31. Food Lover says:

    assalam alaikum,

    This sister (who practices raw diet), she has an alternative world view about what to eat and not :)

    http://islamicholisticliving.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/do-you-have-a-diet-plan-in-ramadan-check-out-mine/

  32. Socks says:

    really informative and helpful tips for me…

  33. Noor E. says:

    Beautiful plan, great for keeping sound mind and body during Ramadan. But I don’t do suhoor… so I wonder if the fat loss will be as potent just after iftar…

  34. NoOneCares says:

    Honestly, some one is offering some constructive advice. Someone who by the way is a health expert and so many of you come out of the woodwork to attack his contribution for no reason.

    This sounds like what’s wrong with the ummah right here. There’s always those who would nitpick at someone else’s efforts to better themselves or their situation.

    If you dont agree, dont look at it, dont do it, but certainly don’t ruin the mood of people who want to make themselves better.

  35. Amina says:

    I have a question re: the recommendation for women
    Iftar:
    Three Dates and a Nutrition Shake-1 scoop w/12 oz water (Pro-Blend 55, Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori, and Low Carb protein from MRM)

    the 1-scoop – is it 1 scoop of each Pro-Blend 55, the MRP & the protein from MRM? or is it 1-scoop total of each?
    Thank you.

  36. ladoo says:

    The exercise suggestions part of this article are totally unrealistic. If you get up early for suhoor you should be focused on reading Qur’an or praying. Outside of Ramadan no one really gets up this early to exercise or for any other reason, so why would you waste the benefits Ramadan by exercising at this time?

    Of course people should look out for their health during Ramadan, but not exercising for a month is not going cause significant problems for most people.

    The advice needs to be realistic, otherwise it’s just not very useful.

  37. haleemah says:

    really i think this article is great! i was overweight but when i started working out and lost weight. it actually helped me with my iman and ihsan. a strong beleiver is better than a weak beleiver.

  38. ahmed says:

    thanks for the article. but the heavy advertisement on supplements was really not needed. Forget protein shakes, eat real food. That’s what any pro bodybuilder will tell you also and my cousin is and IFBB pro bodybuilder…

  39. MsFatimaa says:

    As a sister already mentioned, what if someone is looking to gain weight (in muscle mass) during Ramadan. I think working out and heading to the gym (between iftaar and tarwih) will be difficult for me during Ramadan but are there any exercises recommended that we could do at home?

  40. ammar says:

    Brother, MashAllah! I was looking for this information all over and I was asking trainers all over my gym, but i wasnt satisfied. But all of this information is pretty informative. I really appreciate for that for putting this here. JazakhAllah.

  41. Fahad says:

    salam to all my brothers and sisters
    before reading this topic i was stressing out about what and how should i plan my workout plans.
    after reading this i realised i was stressing for no reason
    thank you and
    RAMADAN MUBARAK to all in advance :)

  42. Nousheen Denath says:

    slmz.

    while reading your diet plan, u have written that fish is good during ramadaan. i’v heard that fish dehydrates a fasting person. is this true?

    jazakallah in advance.
    ramadaan mubaruk.
    wslm

  43. Rumysa says:

    Salam alaykum,
    I was in dire need of something like this. Absolutely loved it! jazak’Allah khair for all your efforts and Ramadan Mubarak.

  44. Ahmad says:

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU SINCERELY for making this plan. Its a little old but the information does not change and I look forward to following this in order to have a productive and successful Ramadan.

    Jazak’Allah Khair
    Ramadan Mubarak

  45. Jay says:

    Why so much negativity people? The mans trying to help; Ramadan or not, we should treat our bodies with respect and take care of them as they are God’s gift (one of many) to us. Like one brother said, we should assume the positive. The preachers want to preach and put others down forgetting that we should also try be nicer to one another during this month. May God guide us all.

    Thanks again for the article bro.

  46. Sikandar says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this out! I was looking for something exactly like this to guide me through the month. It’s always frustrating when you can FEEL yourself becoming weak and unhealthy over the course of the month, and you have to work around taraweeh as the only realistic work out time.

    Time to go grocery shopping. :)

  47. Saba says:

    What a great article — informative, well-written, with lots in it that most of us who live in overfed and under-active countries should probably think about. Ramadan emphasizes spiritual strength, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t still live in our bodies during the month and beyond it. Weak bodies often lead to weak spirits, too, and working on both would benefit most people in life and in worship, I imagine. I’m grateful for the recommendations and suggestions in this article. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

  48. A says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! Ive tried several things to eat prior to running, but nothing works. Just to hydrate I practicing drinking a few sips of coconut water and electrolyte replacement water. I will try your suggestions.

  49. TIK says:

    People, relax and remember this religion is based on mercy.

    Quit hating on people who are finding creative ways to stay in shape during this blessed month.

    Shame on all Muslims here who’ve grown up in the States and should know better than to hate on Muslims for not being religious enough.

    Ya Lateef!

  50. Hassan says:

    Unfortunately, some of this information is based in conventional wisdom.

    What proof do you have that muscle breakdown occurs when training while fasted?

    There is empirical and anecdotal evidence that proves the complete opposite. Additionally, I fasted every day for 6 weeks and trained fasted exclusively which include 6 days a week of walking 30-90 minutes as well as 3-5 days of high intensity strength training. I’ve lost weight and my relative strength is above what it used to be when calculating one-rep maxes in relation to body weight.

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