Ramadan Kareem in advance to all Muslims! may the almighty accept your act of Ibadah. Ramadan brings such amazing memories for me. From when I made the decision to start fasting when I was 9 ( I only lasted 2 days. lol), to fasting in boarding school where they actually kept our lunch from the previous day to feed us for Suhoor 🙁
During the 2 years I spent at home after highschool, I made Suhoor meals for the entire house. As soon as daddy was fed, I would run up to watch all the early morning shows. I honestly cant remember what the shows were called now but most of the Major channels in Lagos had a version; they would ask questions and people who called in with the right answer would win so much stuff. I used to be so envious of those who actually got through.
You see the irony, envy is a very anti ramadan sentiment 🙁
One major thing I always hoped to achieve with fasting was weight loss.. I know hen… very bad. Secretly though, I always thought since I would not be eating as much then weight loss was inevitable. Iro patata.. 🙁 every Ramadan was the same, I never did lose any weight.
I didn’t understand why I wasn’t losing any weight during Ramadan until I started my weightloss and Nutrition certification program in writing my weigtloss cookbook Lose it Nigerian. I was taught that metabolism played a big role in weight loss. Fasting all day dramatically slows your metabolism which means your Basal Metabolic Rate (i.e resting calorie burn ) is reduced. What this means is that your body burns less calories that it typically would.
This means fasting for 12-20 hours/day does not automatically equate weight loss. If you are trying to be generally healthy or lose weight, here are my top 7 useful healthy tips:
If you grew up in a household that was anything like mine, we ate pap with moimoi or akara almost everyday during Ramadan. Peeling beans on a daily basis was so tasking. Try to peel a big batch of beans and freeze for future use. Better still, try unpeeled beans akara or moimoi, you will get more fiber which will keep you fuller longer. Also instead of deep fried Akara, try a pan fried version like the one HERE
Akamu/Ogi/pap is also a tradition however pap is vold of high satiety fiber that keeps you full. Try replacing pap with oatmeal or better yet ferment whole grains like Acha, finger millet etc instead of corn. You can also ferment whole corn in form of Cornmal as shown in this recipe Here
Choose high fiber options like those presented in the LIN cookbook for Suhoor. You will be less lethargic during the day and your Basal Rate will not reduce as much.
Don’t eat everything you see as soon as you break your fast. Eat fresh fruits & Vegetables that are high in water and low in calories especially sugar calories. Great options are watermelon, cucumber, berries, grapefruit, pawpaw, melon etc
Remember what I mentioned earlier in the post about metabolism, it’s very important. Dont double the portion you would typically eat, you dont have room to make up for “lost meals”. If the goal is weightloss, cook using low calorie techniques used in the LIN cookbook and stick to recommended portions.
Hydration is a good way to keep yourself from overeating. Drink lots of water with your healthy fruits. This will help signal the brain that the stomach is full faster.
Planning is key to your success. Even if you do not get to cook your food ahead of time, make sure you plan your meals. When you know what you have to eat, you are less likely to eat the wrong type of food .
If you need guidelines and healthy recipes, Get a copy of the Lose it Nigerian cookbook by clicking here. all the recipes in the book are weightloss friendly and high fiber for slow release carbohydrates which keeps your metabolism steady.