There are lot of fasting myths regarding fitness and maintaining the Muscle & Strength. There is no such reason that people whole are into any kind of fitness program cannot continue to get stronger, leaner, and gain muscle during Ramadan. In many ways, its actually the perfect opportunity to get leaner and stronger. To backtrack a bit, for those who don’t know what Ramadan is, its a time for spiritual reflection and it is the most sacred month for Muslims. Between Fajr, the first prayer time of the day which is a few hours before sunrise, and Maghrib, the fourth prayer time of the day (around sunset), we do not eat nor drink anything and there other restrictions as well.
Common Mistakes that people do during Ramadan
Lack of planning is the biggest mistake you can do during Ramadan. We need to make a plan for your diet, training, job, sleep according to our Ramadan timings. Some of the common mistakes that people do during fasting (Ramadan):
Stopping Working Out: You won’t lose much muscle & strength if you stop weight lifting during Ramadan. But people will tend to stick to their diet less and as a result of this they can experience muscle/strength loss and fat gains than not lifting.
Eating Unhealthy: Lots of people gain fat during Ramadan. As there are some of the Ramadan foods such as harira soup, served with bread/dates etc. which are high in sugars & fats. So we should avoid eating food high in sugars and eat a lot of fruits instead.
Eating Less: Fasting during Ramadan does not mean we should eat less than normal, instead we need to consume more food than we consume during our normal days. As food is the main source of energy, so if you don’t eat enough you’ll lack energy at the gym and won’t recover well. You must focus on caloric dense foods to get the most out of your feeding window.
Insufficient Sleep: This is also one of the common mistakes that people do during fasting, they keep themselves involved in watching TV, playing with their mobile phones during night time and what happens is they miss the sleep, which results in various health issues.
Popular Fasting Myths
There are lot of myths about training (exercise) and dieting during Ramadan. I have listed some of the popular ones as:
Muscle & Strength Loss: Fasting doesn’t cause muscle loss, instead you’ll most likely feel stronger & more aggressive training fasted and with proper diet and exercise you can maintain the same muscle mass and strength.
Metabolism Slows Down: There is no change in your metabolism during Ramadan. There are a number of studies which have shown that fasting doesn’t decrease your metabolism at all.
Energy Deficiency: If we eat enough during our feeding window, we will never feel energy deficient. Instead productivity will increase as we are not wasting time on food.
When To Train During Ramadan
The best time to train during Ramadan is 2 to 2.5 hours before you break your fast. In this way you can eat several times post workout to help recovery. You can also maximize your feeding window since you don’t spend it training.
You should feel stronger and more aggressive training fasted. If you are not feeling so, that means you’re not eating enough food during the feed time.