Common knowledge dictates that fasting results in weight loss. From a scientific viewpoint, this assertion is plausible- if you restrict calorie intake for the day, the body will turn to fat metabolism for energy, leading to a reduction in fat reserves, thus weight loss.
Ramadhan is a period of fasting that is characterized by two periods of feeding- before sunset, and after nightfall. Unlike a real fast, Ramadhan allows you a chance to restock on those essential nutrients needed to sustain life. In truth, most people gain weight during Ramadhan. They tend to overindulge themselves during their eating windows and this leads to a caloric surplus. As the daytime fasting forces the body to be conservative with any calories taken in, weight gain is the typical consequence.
Ramadhan and Bodybuilders
Islamic bodybuilders who observe the period do not necessarily have to succumb to this fate. If they continue with their lifting ways, they can actually lose weight (fat) instead.
Generally speaking, fasting does the body a lot of good. Unlike the public perception, fasting doesn’t actually slow metabolism. Activity is the biggest variable as far as basal metabolic rates go. Fasting allows the body a chance to detox and relax.
In a study conducted in 2012, it was discovered that fasting in fact increases HDL cholesterol. It was also concluded that fasting in the case of Ramadhan has no effect on the body mass or composition of bodybuilders. In other words, you are unlikely to lose your gains if you continue to work out.
Eating balanced meals during your eating window will help offset your lack of feeding during the day. Growth hormone production is increased during fasting which accounts for why there are no apparent changes in body mass.
Daytime dehydration is however inevitable. Drinking plenty of fluids during the eating window helps a lot though.
Should You Cut during Ramadhan?
It makes sense to cut during Ramadhan. After all, you are on a restricted meal plan, so why not? However, it is recommended that you actually try cutting after Ramadhan. The period is ideal for muscle mass maintenance instead. This is the path of least resistance.
You might end up losing some fat, but this is inconsequential. It should not persuade you to catalyze this loss by undergoing a cutting routine. Cutting after breaking the fast is best since you will have better control over your diet and training. You can be able to do more cardio, and train more intensively to achieve that defined look that you are going for.
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