27 October 2016Last updated

Features | People

Ask the expert: I put on weight during Ramadan

I suggest you eat wise, and never skip suhour

28 Jun 2016 | 10:42 am

I accumulate fat around my belly every year during Ramadan, even though I eat very carefully throughout the month, sometimes even skipping my suhour.

Many people falsely believe that weight loss is all about consuming minimum calories.

During Ramadan, some people tend to eat less after fasting for long hours, in the hope of losing weight. But the fat loss here can be tricky, and can work quite the opposite.

When your body is starved of nutrients, it resists weight loss. It goes into starvation mode and instead accumulates the fat because fat is a very reliable, long-term source of energy for our body.

The fat stores are shifted to your belly region, further leading to inflammation and insulin resistance. It does not stop there – gradually your hormone signals to shift healthy visceral fat to unhealthy abdominal fat, which is exactly what is happening to you.

I suggest you eat wise, and never skip suhour – this meal needs to be balanced with food macros accompanied by hydrating fluids such as coconut water, herbal teas or just water. This will fuel your body throughout the day, will maintain your energy levels and ensure your body does not enter starvation mode. If you can’t wake up for suhour, then make sure you eat a late-night snack before you hit the bed.

At iftar and post iftar, do not skimp on calories, and make sure you eat clean, keep your sugar intake minimal and consume enough high-quality protein from grilled meats, fish, chicken and eggs.

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Rashi Chowdhary

is a nutritionist, an inch-loss expert and a certified diabetic educator. She can be contacted on 050 181 5030.