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Weight Gain in Ramadan

Conversations with many of our muslim gym members during Ramadan surprised me. I had, wrongly, assumed that fasting led to weight loss, similar to the way the 16/8 diet or "intermittent fasting" works. The opposite can be true - many muslims do in fact gain weight - often in significant quantities. 

So why is this? 

During Ramadan muslims refrain from eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset. However, what happens between dusk and dawn can include feasting, inactivity and disrupted sleep, none of them good for the waistline! 

The breaking of the fast Iftar meal traditionally begins with fresh dates and lots of water, followed by soups and juices, meat, bread, rice and little cakes and pastries. Often, the feasting continues after dinner as muslims visit family and friends. Special creamy and syrupy desserts may be served throughout the night. The next meal, or sohour, comes just before the morning prayers; there are more sweets to supply fuel through the day’s fast. This is repeated for 30 days. 

Exercise can often take a backseat to the celebrations, although many of our members do take advantage of the 24/7 opening hours. It's not surprising, really, that weight gain can be 5kg or more over the month. 

So, for those of our members celebrating Eid al-Fitr today, enjoy yourselves, and remember that we're here for you once you're ready to get back into the swing of it. Whether that's losing the extra iftar pounds, or committing to a new class, the team at your local 24/7 Fitness gym will be delighted to help and support you. 

Eid Mubarak!