During Ramadan people always complain about gaining weight!
Starving your body for long periods of time plays with your system and leads to a decreased metabolic rate, an increase in stress hormones, insulin resistance and the breaking down of muscle tissue for energy and fuel.
So here are a few top health and fitness tips you can use after Ramadan that will help keep your metabolism in good shape after a challenging month of fasting.
Tip 1 – Walk like our ancestors and stay lean
Our ancestors were lean and strong as they relied almost exclusively on bipedal locomotion. Simply put, they had to move on two feet, whether for walking or running. Activating key muscles in the body such as the abs (core), mid-back and glutes (butt) will help you burn more calories when used efficiently.
Before you start your walk it is important to stretch and loosen any muscles in the body that are stiff, particularly around the hips which are more prone than other areas because of long periods spent sitting down. Perform some myofascial release to the thighs and hip area.
As you begin your walk try to keep your hips back and your navel drawn in. Remember, breathing is crucial and as you inhale through your nose try to breath into the mid-back. You’ll start to activate this muscle and feel a burning sensation.
As you walk, instead of swinging your arms, keep them at your side. Also, try to allow your chest and thoracic spine to rotate slightly as you take each step – this way you will start to feel your Abs (core) muscles burning. If you don’t feel the latter, reset and try to ensure your hips are back – not forward.
Walk with some pomp: Keep your spine extended and stick your chest out.
Make each step a conscious decision, keep your navel in, and focus on sending the breath to the thoracic spine (mid-back) as you inhale through the nose slowly and deeply.
If you feel any pain in the lower back then stop – it could be that your core muscles aren’t strong enough to support the pelvis while you walk or that certain muscles are still stiff. If this is the case, go back to doing some more myofascial release.
You can walk two to three times a week for about 10 to 30 minutes. Keep in mind that walking outside is a much more natural movement for the body when compared to a treadmill, which pulls your body forward. Try to avoid treadmills.
Tip 2 – Reduce stress by breathing and drop body fat
When the body is stressed it simulates an increase in stress hormones such as “cortisol’ which in turn spike your insulin levels.
Increased insulin gets stored as fat in the mid-area. Whether you are in the gym training hard or even on the best diet, as long as you are stressed, your body will not respond well by reducing fat in this area.
High levels of stress also cause the body to be in a constant catabolic state, which means a physiologic “break down” of your muscles, tissues and bones! If you want to achieve a lean, flat stomach then retaining muscle mass is very important to keep your metabolism active and healthy as well.
Stand with your feet hip distance apart (or you can perform this exercise lying down with your knees bent also). Keep your back extended and your spine neutral. Draw in your navel and keep it in throughout the time you practice this exercise.
First, inhale through you nose slowly and deeply. The focus should be on sending the breath in to your upper abdominals and rib cage, and not to your lower abdominals. After you have breathed in, hold your breath and only let out a 10th of it as you exhale through the nose. Breathe in as much as you can again and only let out a 10th as your exhale. Repeat this step 6 times.
Once you’re done with the six repetitions, exhale slowly. The key point is to breathe intentionally and slowly, thus creating a balance in the body, which helps it relax and calm the nervous system down.
You can repeat this set as many times as you wish until you feel relaxed.
Tip 3 – Use coconut oil in your diet to increase your metabolism
The levels of saturated fat in coconut oil have been shown to support thyroid function and subsequently improve metabolic rate, resulting in weight loss. Coconut oil contains Ketones that simulate your cells to work harder and burn more calories throughout the day. Switching your cooking oils to coconut oil will significantly improve your weight loss in a natural way.
Start by adding 1 table spoon a day to your diet. As coconut oil is a stable fat it is safe to be used for shallow frying or deep-frying for any types of food. You can use coconut oil as a supplement, eating one raw table spoon a day. You can add coconut oil to your tea or coffee. You can add coconut oil as a dressing in salads. If you don’t like the taste of coconut oil then you can also purchase refined Coconut oil, which is odorless and tasteless.SHOW MORE