Ramadan month is the holiest month and Muslims all over the world do fasting (Roza).
Ramadan fasting depends upon the sunrise & sunset time of the country. But here I’ll be specifically talking according to the time zone of India.
Ramzan fasting is just like Intermittent fasting but it’s not. In I.F usually, the fasting state is around 16 hrs and the eating window is approximately 8 hrs. But during Ramzan fast one can’t even drink water – forget tea or coffee.
So what? A holy month definitely shouldn’t be a reason to stay away from your fitness regime being a fitness enthusiast!
Losing Muscle Mass or Low-Energy Levels?
Fasting has numerous health benefits including the boost in HGH when it comes to fat loss or bodybuilding.
But still, the biggest complaint amongst gym freaks during this period is losing their muscle mass and having low energy levels. They say they lose a lot of muscle and have low energy during Ramadan.
Technically it’s true, but only when your nutrition isn’t proper.
This can be avoided big time if you follow a Healthy Ramadan Diet Plan along with some exercise. Religious rituals can definitely go along with fitness.
Just to help you with this, I have come up with this FREE Healthy Ramadan diet plan – Nutrition, Workout, & Supplementation tips for you all.
Ideal Fitness Goal during this time?
Many people utilize this Ramadan period for fat loss, but personally, I believe this one month’s time you shouldn’t be focusing on losing weight or muscle growth.
Instead, the goal should be to preserve your hard-earned muscles & strength as much as you can.
You may lose some of it if your workout and nutrition regime isn’t proper, so preserving muscles & strength should be more of a concern for you.
Ramadan Diet Plan
Everybody is different and has a different calorie intake. Also, lifestyle and food preferences vary. So I can’t just randomly give an absolute diet chart to everyone.
But definitely, I can tell you about all the ideal food sources and guidelines so that you can yourself customize your own Ramadan diet plan as per you.
For Protein – Chicken, eggs, fish, meat, pulses, cottage cheese, and yogurt/curd.
Carbs – Fruits, honey, dates, raisins, dry fruits, figs, white rice, brown rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, oats, dalia, quinoa, milk, rotis, etc.
Healthy Fats – Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, peanut butter (unsweetened), avocados, and coconut oil.
- Hydration is very important for bodily functions, muscle growth & maintenance, muscle pumps, fat loss, and weight management. Keep your WATER intake HIGH throughout the eating window.
- Drink 5-15ml of Apple Cider Vinegar in water.
- Portion control is important during Ramadan, so try to put your meals in good portions throughout the eating window.
- Don’t go overboard on foods so that you spoil up your tummy & digestion
- Eat at least 1-2 grams of protein/kg of the body weight.
- Make sure to add some buttermilk & yogurt in your diet. This will reduce acidity, inflammation, and constipation in your body. It will also keep the digestion and body temperature regulated.
- Keep sipping lemon water & coconut water. You can also add Electral/Enerzal/ORS in a big water bottle and keep drinking it. It will provide all the essential electrolytes to your body.
- Avoid sugar, desserts, and too much salty/high sodium foods. They will dehydrate you further and you’ll be more thirsty. Too much sugar will even cause energy crashes & unstable energy levels.
- Avoid too much of tea/coffee. Even they can dehydrate you and trigger thirst.
Workout Guidelines during Ramadan:
- 3-5 days Workout/Week is enough.
- Follow Split-Workouts – 2 to 3 exercises and 3 sets of each is sufficient.
- Decrease the Volume which includes the Frequency/Duration of your Workout & No. of Sets/Reps.
- Do not workout more than 30-45minutes.
- Use Mod-Heavy Weights. No need to go Super-Heavy!
- Focus on COMPOUND MOVEMENTS so that you target more muscles in less time.
- Avoid Cardio – Especially high-intensity cardio.
- Excessive sweating may result in loss of necessary electrolytes – Keep sipping ORS / Electral / Lemon water intra-workout.
Suppose you’re working out 3 days/week, then you design your split as follows:
- Mon: Chest-Shoulder-Biceps
- Wed: Back & Triceps
- Fri: Legs & Traps (any weaker/smaller body part).
Ramadan Diet Plan Blueprint
IFTAR 1 with which you’ll be breaking your fast:
2 to 3 Dates / Raisins / Jaggery + Whey Isolate/Concentrate Protein
You can also add some fruits followed by a protein shake/egg whites. The idea is to have quick releasing carbs & protein.
IFTAR 2 will be your proper solid meal of the day:
(You can add this solid meal as your post-workout meal too depending upon personal preferences)
Rice, Rotis, Chicken / Fish / Eggs / Dal / Potatoes + Avocado, Nuts, Salads, Fruits
+ Multivitamin & Antioxidant
After an hour, you can leave for your workout. If you can’t hit the gym, half an hour of walking would be good enough. But I would personally suggest weight training over cardio especially during Ramadan.
You can take your pre-workout supplement or
a cup of a strong black coffee + 1 tbsp of coconut oil + 1 B-complex capsule. This will help you with low-energy levels.
Immediately after the workout, you’ll be having Vitamin C tab + fruits of your choice + protein shake/egg whites.
(Followed by IFTAR 2 an hour later – If you prefer having that solid meal after working out)
Many even stay awake till their Suhoor but most of them have their jobs/work in the morning. So they can doze off around 12 am.
The ones who stay awake has an opportunity to fully use their eating window. They can add up another meal here.
Pre-hydration is important before suhoor as again you’ll be fasting for 15-16 hrs after Sehri. Make sure you pre-hydrate yourself by drinking lots of water.
Now at Sehri, the idea is to have slow-digesting foods like complex carbs & healthy fats along with protein. This will keep you fuller for a longer time and provide sustained energy.
Oats and Dalia in Milk would be a very good food choice with some healthy fats like Peanuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Peanut Butter, etc. You can also consider eating Brown Rice, Mutton Kheema, Rotis, Red Meat, and Whole Eggs.
#BONUS: Quick Suhoor Recipe for you all –
- Take some oats as per the desired quantity.
- Add milk to it.
- Add some peanut butter & sprinkle some Cinnamon.
- Heat it for around 3 minutes (If you use a microwave).
- Chop some banana in slices and add it. You can add some apples & berries too.
- Add walnuts, figs, raisins, almonds, cashews, etc.
Voila, YUMMY healthy suhoor is ready!!
Enjoy it followed by a slow-digesting casein protein or else you can even try putting a scoop of protein in your cooked oatmeal and mix it. Even you can have your normal protein after having your delicious oatmeal.
*Please Note: No hard & fast rule that you gotta follow this only. This is just an effort to give you all a rough idea so that you can do Roza in a healthy way. Fit in your meals as per the timings of your prayers/namaz.
Supplementation in Ramadan
2) BCAA – as I said in this article that supplementation of BCAA isn’t necessary but you can consider adding it up while Ramadan. Sip it between workouts and throughout the day during the eating window.
If you ask me any particular brand I would definitely recommend “Xtend” – as it tastes super addictive and has all the three i.e BCAAs, Glutamine, and Electrolytes. (To Buy Xtend)
3) Pre-Workout (if required). (Check Preworkout Supplements)
4) Gatorade & Enerzal / Electral / ORS. You can buy it from the medical store.
5) Antioxidants, Multi-vitamins, B-complex, Vitamin C – You can buy it from the medical store.
Just continue with your rituals and don’t think much about muscle growth or weight loss. For that, you have the rest of the 11 months.
In the end, all I want to say is just that enjoy this divine month, spread love, help the needy, be happy, and STAY FIT.
I dedicate this article to all my Muslim brothers, sisters, and friends. Do pass it on.
Happy Fasting & Ramadan Mubarak. Ramadan Kareem. May Allah keep showering his blessings upon you. With lots of love – Hardeep Narula.
Let me know in the COMMENT BOX that what all foods you have during Ramadan? Do you include Supplements? If YES, then which one?