Rachael Sacerdoti, Founder of It’s SO Simple, debunks myths and weight loss trends that are popular to some of those who are fasting during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Myth # 1: Working out before breaking the fast burns more fats
Although working out before eating can be beneficial, Rachael encourages caution during Ramadan. It is important to be kind to and listen to the body. Doing light exercise before Iftar is fine, but a heavy workout would be better left until just after breaking the fast before the main Iftar meal, which should of course be a balanced light meal. Not only will you not have eaten, but you will be dehydrated and we do not want to overstress our bodies.
Rather than working out after Suhour, she suggests waking a little earlier and doing your workout before you eat Suhour. That way, one can gain the benefit of eating after the workout, and ensure taking on some hydration after the workout and before embarking on the day of fasting.
Rachael suggests not to overdo things and to listen to your body, but don’t let the fasting become an excuse not to train. She has put together a set of routine that one can follow: Ramadan workout
- 20 x Reverse lunge twist hop (10 repetitions per side)
- 10 x Walkouts to 4 shoulder taps
- 12 x Pop squats
- 10 x Jab, jab, hook, hook, knee, knee
- 20 x Oblique crunch (10 repetitions per side)
- 24 x Fire hydrant to kickback (12 repetitions per side)
- 24 x Curtsy lunge pulse (12 repetitions per side)
- 30 x Mountain climbers
- 24 x Crunch opposite toe touch (12 repetitions per leg)
- 30 x Jumping jacks
- 16 x Commandos (8 per arm)
- 15 x Bent leg jackknife
- Repeat 3 circuits with a 30 second break between each set.
Myth #2: Eating one meal at Ramadan can make you lose weight
“I would never encourage anyone to eat one meal per day,” says Rachael. “The key to weight loss is running a calorie deficit, by that we mean consuming fewer calories than we burn. I believe that this should be done by eating light balanced meals and even small snacks. The key to a healthy lifestyle is to find a sustainable way of living, something that we can maintain over a long period of time. Similarly over the fasting period, spread your calorie intake across the time when eating and drinking are permitted.”
For Suhour, Rachael recommends one of It’s SO Simple overnight oats recipes: Apple and Cinnamon Overnight Oats. It is a delicious recipe which is rich in fibre, filled with protein, and keeps you fuller for longer and easy to put together.
- 2/3 cup unsweetened milk
- ½ cup old fashioned oats
- Ground cinnamon
- Diced apple
- In a bowl, mix together milk, vanilla and spices.
- Stir in the oats.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
- Serve with diced apple and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Iftar meals shouldn’t be too heavy and should be filled with vegetables and protein since they have fasted all day. She recommends White Chicken Chili, a light meal filled with vegetables and protein and can be served with brown or cauliflower rice.
- Spray oil
- 1 Onion
- 4 spoons green chili jalapenos
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 5 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp dried coriander
- 2 cans chickpeas
- 5 lbs. chicken thighs/breast
- ¾ tsp salt
- 4 cups chicken broth
- Juice of 1 lime
- Cilantro to garnish
- Heat spray oil in a pan and add onion, green chilis, chili powder, cumin, oregano and coriander.
- Mix and cook until the onion soften.
- Add chickpeas, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove and shred chicken.
- Add the chicken back to the stock, add lime juice and cilantro.
- In a blender, add chickpeas and water. Blitz until smooth. Add to the pot and stir.
- Serve with a side of your choice (i.e. brown rice or cauliflower rice)
“The key with everything and in particular during Ramadan is to pay attention to what your body is telling you,” Rachael concludes.
It’s SO Simple maximises the potential of a short amount of exercise and relies on two fundamental ideas – consuming less calories than you burn whilst increasing muscle mass. Over the course of 12 weeks, participants will be provided with personal consultation, online exercises, nutritional meal plans including grocery shopping list and recipes, progress tracking, and be part of a private group of women going through a fitness journey.
About It’s SO Simple
It’s SO Simple is a 12-week fitness programme for the mind and body featuring online exercises, nutritional meal plans, progress tracking, personal consultation, and a support group. Founded in 2020 by UK-based fitness coach Rachael Sacerdoti, the programme focuses on calorie control and protein intake utilising online tools and techniques that encourage motivation and accountability.