Ramadan is a month in which Muslims all over the world undergo a daily fast – one in which food, drink, and smoking are all forbidden between sunrise and sunset.
However, many non-Muslims are learning of the physical benefits to be attained through the struggles of hunger.
Founder of the Chiron Clinic, Dr. Lanalle Dunn said that many of her non-Muslim clients were undertaking the popular 5:2 diet around the time of Ramadan.
“The premise of the diet is five days of the week you eat as you normally would, no restrictions on food, drink, anything. But then on two days of your choice in the week, you consume just 500-600 calories in 24 hours,” she said.
Dr. Lanalle gives her top tips on how to benefit from the 5:2 diet:
Fill up on protein and vegetables
Make sure that you are eating high-quality meat and vegetables on your fasting days. This will help you stay fuller for longer and you can eat a lot of filling vegetables for very few calories. I advise my clients to stick to oily fish, prawns, chicken, turkey, pork, beef, and eggs.
Stick to a low-carbohydrate Mediterranean-style diet, both on the days when you are fasting and when you are not. That means more olive oil and nuts, as well as plenty of eggs, yogurt, oily fish, and vegetables.
Drink plenty of water
It is important that you drink plenty of fluids (although not allowed during Ramadan for fasting Muslims), the 5:2 diet allows for drinking water. Stick to two liters or eight cups a day, also remember that tea and coffee count (minus the milk and sugar).
Empty all of the junk food out of the house
Make sure you get rid of any temptation, it means you are far less likely to cheat on fast days and you are less likely to indulge in other days. Instead, make sure you have healthy snacks that are already prepared that you can snack on if you are hungry. Celery and carrot sticks with hummus are one of my personal favorites.
It’s important that you are still exercising while undertaking the diet if you want to keep the weight off. I would recommend doing muscle building exercises such as press-ups and squats, as well as aerobic exercises such as walking and cycling.