Ramadan And Intermittent Fasting: How You Can Lose Weight And Maintain Muscle Gains – MensXP.com

Ramadan has finally started.  For a month our Muslim brothers will be fasting for over 16 hours a day. The eating window will be restricted to about 8 hours.  The struggle here is to keep up their workout and strength levels. While it is a welcome treat for weight watchers, a lot of dudes may be worried about losing their gains. Let’s find out how exactly intermittent fasting in Ramadan affects your workout and how you can effectively manage it. 

Best Time for Weight Loss

How You Can Lose Weight And Maintain Muscle Gains During Ramadan And Intermittent Fasting© Thinkstock

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For people who want to lose a few extra pounds, this may be the best time to do it. Since it is almost 16 hours of fasting, it is long enough to utilize all your excessive glycogen stores. Your fat reserves will also get their turn to burn themselves to provide you with energy. What you need to keep in mind is to avoid all the empty calorie based products that contain sugar in any form. Thesto be used as a fuel.

How To Manage Your Protein Intake

How You Can Lose Weight And Maintain Muscle Gains During Ramadan And Intermittent Fasting© Youtube

The long fasting window can take a toll on your gains. Prolonged fasting is counter-productive to building muscle. To manage this, you need to consume complex carbohydrates so that your body is able to utilize them over a longer period of time. A few good sources of complex carbohydrates are sweet potato, potato, corn and legumes. Since fat takes the longest time to digest, always include good healthy fats in your diet. Best fat sources include nuts, olive oil and coconut oil. Now, protein intake is a tricky game here. First, your total intake of protein matters. Second, the timing of protein consumption is more important. There are studies to support both schools of thought. While there is no second opinion that your body will absorb maximum 30 gms of protein per serving, there is little time in Ramadan to consume various meals with high protein.


Consume foods that contain good quantity of casein in them so that your body gets a constant supply of amino acids for a longer period of time. Natural forms to consume more casein are milk and cottage cheese. Casein supplementation is also a good choice. 

Ramadan and Workout

How You Can Lose Weight And Maintain Muscle Gains During Ramadan And Intermittent Fasting© Youtube

Leaving weight training completely for almost a month would not be a good idea. There’s more muscle atrophy because of not working out. So, when should you workout? Weight training before breaking your fast will almost be impossible. So, plan your workout after you have completed your fast. You may have a few simple carbs before your workout to help you in your training after fasting. Branched chain amino acid supplements (BCAA) will also come in handy before your workout to minimize any muscle loss. Avoid any caffeine or green tea as they are diuretic and may make you feel dehydrated.

Meal Timing and Recovery

You need to plan your meals in advance so that you don’t waste any time in preparation. Try to keep a gap of two hours between your meals. If you feel you don’t get enough time to recover in the night, sleep in the afternoon. Also, if recovery becomes an issue, try to hit the gym on alternate days rather than hitting it daily.

The Final Word

Losing gains is more psychological than factual. The problem is that people get too worried about their gains. Because of this fear, they either lose the track of their diet or training. Don’t worry too much about your present gains in the gym. If you plan your day ahead, you can manage your diet as well as your workout. Successful meal and workout planning is the only solution. Even if at the end of this month you feel that there has been a slight change in your strength levels, you will regain it in few days if you keep your workout and diet on track. If you stop working out completely, it will take you a longer time to get back to the same level. Maintaining consistency is key!

Ramadan Mubarak!

Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer , Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.

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