By Rob Seagreen,
Fitness Director at Arena MMA
and Fitness Center
Achieve great results during Ramadan, if you eat properly after breaking fast and train smartly.
Essentially, you should train after iftar.
Breaking your fast first will give you the energy and endurance to have a great workout and enable you to hydrate effectively too.
Don’t make the mistake of overeating and eating food that lacks essential nutrition, such deep-fried foods, high-sugar and high-fat foods and high-fat cooked foods. This will only cause an adverse effect to the training and cause you to become lethargic and lose motivation.
Some people recommend cardio before breaking fast, but I disagree. From experience, I have found that you only end up walking slowly on a treadmill for an hour and burn the calories equivalent to a two finger Kit-Kat (around 100Kcal).
Steady state cardio is, in my eyes, a sure way to waste a lot of time and very little energy.
You can have a more productive workout by doing resistance training intervals at high intensity. Use that hour to prepare better food for your iftar consisting of healthy foods such as chicken, Basmati rice, vegetables and salads (with olive oil).
The rice will give you the energy burst you crave.
Chicken will help with the muscle breakdown and fill you up.
Vegetables and salads will provide you with the balanced vitamins and minerals.
The fat from the olive oil helps absorb vitamins A,D,E and K.
Some Meal Examples
Suhoor: A bowl of shredded wheat or muesli and a pear or orange.
Iftar: Chicken with boiled rice, vegetable curry and mixed salad, followed by fruit salad with single cream.
Suhoor: Cheese, then one teaspoon of jam with crackers or toast and a handful of dried fruits.
Iftar: Pasta cooked with vegetables and chicken or fish, and a slice of plain cake with custard.
Suhoor: A bowl of porridge with milk, one slice of toast and a handful of unsalted nuts.
Iftar: Pita bread with chicken, salad and hummus and one or two pieces of baklava.
To conclude, enjoy the month of Ramadan for what it is and don’t use it as an excuse for being unhealthy. Approach it with thanks for what you have and build on your progression through disciplined fasting – not feasting – and training smart.