Now that Ramadan, and all the festivities of Eid are over, we need to get back on track and transition back to our healthy habits. Many of us have gained extra unwanted weight during the past month and have shifted our regular sleeping patterns to adapt to the Ramadan lifestyle; for many, it can be tough to switch back and so this article is to help you do that effectively. In this article you will find a simple program and rules to help during your transition back and to aid in the loss of any unwanted weight you might have gained during Ramadan. Here is how you can lose 5kg in 21 days, the healthy and right way.
To begin, make sure you have a way to keep track of your progress. On a blank piece of paper, hung on the wall, construct 21 boxes which will represent the days in this 21-day program and mark off each day as it is completed. To help you stay motivated and on track, rate your daily performance and level of commitment to the program in each box at the end of the day (0 being no commitment, 5 being somewhat committed, 8 being really committed, while 10 being fully super-duper committed).
Here are the rules for the 21 days program
Rule 1: Do not constantly check your weight!
Only check your weight on days 1, 10, and 21 of the program. Depending on what you eat, you will either gain or lose water which will result in weight figures that does not accurately depict your performance. Our bodies lose and gain water very fast so there is no reason to keep checking your weight on a daily basis because it could be demotivating or even misleading.
Rule 2: Hydration! Hydration! Hydration!
Drink a lot of water (and I mean A LOT!). Proper hydration is important for our overall well-being and health; it will also help spark your metabolism. Without it, our bodies will not be able to function properly. A lack of hydration fatigues your muscles and may cause cramps. Many of us are dehydrated without being aware of it so you need to ensure that your body has the amount of water it needs. Scientific research has proven that a 5 percent reduction in body water leads to a 10 percent reduction in blood thickness** causing negative side effects such as: headaches, fatigue, and a lot more.
Rule 3: What to avoid in your diet.
I am not going to tell you exactly what to eat because I do not believe in strict diets, and this program is not designed to be picky in that area. I will, however, tell you what you should avoid eating and share with you some of the healthy options I have chosen which have helped me lose 50KG and overcome obesity:
– Unfriend foods which are either fried or considered junk such as fast-food restaurants.
– Avoid desserts.
– Substitute skimmed or low fat for your full fat dairy products.
– Eliminate mayonnaise and butter from your diet.
-Reduce dressings (as I always say “DRESS TO IMPRESS”). Just don’t put too much.
If you are still unsure of what to eat, then simply opt for anything not listed above, go wild on veggies, fruits. Control carbs, and pick the right meats (grilled of course).
Note: Have a cheat meal once a week to reward your dedication and increase your motivation. On your cheat day you are free to eat as you please (but with moderation) so grab your favorite burger or indulge in your favorite cheesecake.
Rule 4: Exercise!
Do 20 minutes of cardio when you first wakeup (jogging, swimming, or cycling) on an empty stomach. This will push your body to utilize stored fat as fuel and in consequence you will get leaner. If you chose not to do your cardio on an empty stomach then plan to do it 3 hours after a meal.
To help boost your metabolism do another 40 minutes of cardio later that day. This will ensure that your metabolism is constantly working throughout the day.
I do not recommend heavy weights for this program; instead, use your own body weight to exercise. Focus on calisthenics such as pushups, pull-ups, and weightless squats to increase body strength and benefit cardiovascular fitness. Bodyweight exercises are convenient because they do not necessarily require a trainer to spot you and can fit any busy schedule. No excuses after today.
Rule 5: Sleep enough!
After Ramadan, we find it hard to transition back to our regular sleeping patterns. Be patient, it takes our bodies around two weeks to adjust properly. A tip to help trigger the Melatonin hormone (Also called; The Sleeping Hormone) is to avoid all electronics and displays (TV, phone, iPads, laptop screens) an hour prior to sleeping. And you also need to turn off the lights.
Summary to stick on your fridge:
-Drink a lot of water
-Eat more fruits and vegetables
-Avoid fried and junk food
-Use low fat or skimmed dairy products
-Avoid electronics and displays at least 1 hour before bed time.
Note: This program assumes that you are a healthy individual with no health complications and does not substitute recommendations from your doctor or dietitian. However, I personally recommend that you consult your doctor prior to following this program.
*The 5KG are not promised, but weight loss guaranteed.
**The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).
Yousef AlQanai is a Fitness Expert, Athlete, Speaker and Founder of Aymstrong. For more information on his credentials please visit alqanai.com.