A UAE resident asks: I spend the year working out trying to build muscle, yet during Ramadan I always seem to lose any muscle I have built. Is there any way to prevent this/prepare my body for fasting to minimise muscle loss?
Juliot Vinolia (Clinical Dietician iCARE Clinics) replies: Preparing the body slowly for fasting mode not only prevents muscle loss and a drop in metabolism, but prevents any blood parameter changes that could worsen an existing medical problem.
The best way to kick start fasting is to begin 10 days ahead. The first seven days start by gradually having a heavier breakfast, lunch containing no more than 200 calories (salads), a sandwich for tea time and dinner of just protein and vegetables.
Skip lunch for the next 3 days; gradually getting your body used to Ramadan fasting. Ensure you fit a 30 minute walk at least an hour after dinner.
Post Ramadan: repeat the same and gradually shift to a normal diet over seven days; simultaneously incorporating a 40 minute walk to prevent any relapse of fat associated weight gain.
Disclaimer: This blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of doctors are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.