During Ramadan, people are caught up between the wave of either losing or gaining weight because of the long fasting hours, the risk of overeating, inactivity and binging on the delicious desserts. But what about people who want to maintain their muscle mass?
We spoke to Nour El Ganzoury once more, this time to get tips to help you prevent muscle loss and get into the summer of 2021 in good shape.
By: Aliaa ElSherbini
Nour has summarized her tips into three main sections. Let us start with the first one, which is food.
- Make sure you are not in a calorie deficit. Meaning makes sure you are not eating less than what you need to, or you are following a strict food eliminating diet.
- Make sure you are eating calorie-dense foods that will fuel your body and muscles.
- Do not go heavy on the food when breaking your fast. But rather, start with dried fruits for a protein shake until after your workout.
- Eat fast-digesting carbs and proteins during iftar and after the workout.
Fast Digesting Carbs: Fast Digesting Proteins:
- Potatoes Eggs
- Bananas Tuna
- Pineapples Chicken
- Kiwis Salmon
- Berries Animal or plant-based protein powder
- Add Healthy fats to your meals. Do not be afraid of healthy fats as it is actually good for you.
- Don’t skip suhoor, but focus on Casein proteins and complex carbs, such as cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.
- Water isn’t the source of life for no reason, so hydration is key in maintaining muscle mass.
- Aim for 6-8 glasses of water from iftar till suhoor.
- Consume liquid calories such as protein shakes to make sure you’re hiring your caloric needs. Plus, liquid calories are easier to consume when you’re not feeling hungry anymore.
- Don’t workout pre-iftar but keep your workouts post iftar to have some fuel in your body.
- Train regularly, and train right.
- Don’t include a lot of cardio as the goal here is to prevent muscle loss, not to lose weight.
- Do strength workouts at least 3 times a week.
Nour’s Suggested routine is as follows:
Break your fast with a quick-digestion protein and carbohydrates like dried fruits or whey protein shake, then go for a workout, then immediately after, have another round of fast-digesting protein and carbs.