Your guide to healthy eating and weight loss during Ramadan

Allurion Logo
Family Iftar in Ramadan

(updated Feb 2024)

The holy month of Ramadan is observed by Muslims around the world and is the most important month on the Islamic calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. It’s a period of self-reflection, a time for spirituality and family. The holy month provides a unique opportunity to reconnect with the body, mind and faith.  

Weight loss during Ramadan

It can also be a natural starting point for people who want to lead a healthier lifestyle and lose weight. Research shows that many people who are living with excess weight are able to lose weight and fat mass during Ramadan. However, that weight and fat mass loss usually only represents short-term success and is hard to maintain both throughout Ramadan and afterwards. Between 2 and 5 weeks after the end of Ramadan, people often start returning to their pre-Ramadan measurements in both weight and body composition. 

It can also come as a surprise to learn that not everyone loses weight during the holy month, despite fasting. In fact, one survey published in a leading nutrition journal found that almost 60% of people actually put on weight during Ramadan.1  

For example, weight gain can be the result of overindulgence during the pre-dawn suhoor or the evening iftar. Outside of Ramadan, it’s common to have cravings for food, so it’s no surprise that the temptation to overindulge after a full day of fasting can also be high. Paying attention to what is eaten, when it’s eaten and how it’s eaten can make a big difference to weight management during Ramadan. 

Here are our top tips to help you stay healthy – and even lose weight – during Ramadan. 

Your guide to smart eating during suhoor and iftar

Fasting during Ramadan is different from regular or intermittent fasting, which some people practise as part of their weight loss or health journey. Ramadan fasting involves not eating or drinking anything at all between sunrise and sunset, whereas with intermittent fasting, zero-calorie liquids such as water, tea and coffee are usually allowed.  

The strict requirements around Ramadan, therefore, make it even more important to plan ahead and ensure a healthy intake of vitamins and nutrients, as well as enough hydration, during the holy month. 

Good nutrition is important every day – and Ramadan should be no exception. Here are some healthy eating habits that can help to promote health and wellbeing and weight management during Ramadan. 

Ideas for a healthy and nourishing suhoor

Healthy Meal

The first step to a healthy day is to make sure you don’t skip suhoor. This meal provides a wholesome start to your day and helps fuel your body with the energy it needs to power through your daily activities without feeling tired or fatigued.    

Choose foods that provide sustained energy throughout the day. Aim for whole foods and complex carbohydrates to help maintain keep you feeling fuller for longer. Whole foods and complex carbohydrates are broken down more slowly by the body, providing a steadier source of energy throughout the day. In contrast, processed foods and simple carbohydrates are digested and processed more quickly, often leaving you feeling hungry soon after eating.  

Some helpful choices include eggs, beans, lentils and chickpeas, oats, and fruits and vegetables. Try also low-fat dairy products like Greek yogurt and foods that include unsaturated fats – unsalted nuts and salmon are good options. 

Healthy food choices for iftar

Breaking your fast in a thoughtful and intentional way can make all the difference in your weight loss and healthy eating goals during Ramadan. Avoid eating a large iftar right after the Maghrib azan. This could result in over-eating. It’s better to break your eating down into smaller portions to give the body time to properly digest the food. Iftar can always be followed by healthy snacks afterwards if needed


What to eat 

  • Dried fruits are an excellent snack choice that can provide a natural sugar boost and energy. They are also high in iron and antioxidants. For maximum benefit, pair them with a handful of raw nuts. For example, some people choose to break the fast by having a glass of water and a few dates to ease themselves into eating.  
  • A small bowl of warm soup is also a helpful choice before performing the Maghrib prayer and returning for iftar, followed by a small meal or snack after Tarawih prayers.  
  • Incorporate foods that are high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. For example, lean red meats that are baked or grilled (rather than fried), as well as chicken and fish, are excellent sources of protein. 
  • Choose breads made with whole grains, which are a great source of fiber and provide longer-lasting energy.

What to avoid 

Avoid processed or fried foods that tend to have high fat content. 

Walking as exercising


Taking a leisurely evening walk with family and friends after iftar can help aid digestion and is a perfect opportunity to wind down and get some fresh air.

Tips for healthy Ramadan fasting and weight loss

  • Eat slowly and enjoy each meal: It can be easy to eat iftar quickly to ‘catch up’ on meals missed during a day of fasting. However, slow and mindful eating – enjoying every bite and concentrating on finishing a mouthful before taking another – can help prevent overindulgence.  
  • Plan ahead: Try to plan and even prepare meals in advance to ensure a healthy and nourishing intake that’s high in vitamins and minerals, including protein. This can be especially helpful during iftar, when family and friends gather together, often resulting in large meals.  
  • Avoid eating too many salty and sweet foods: As with other times of the year, a balanced diet is best. Too much salt is known to lead to health issues and could lead to dehydration during the daytime if you don’t drink enough fluids. Moderation is key. Sweet foods tend to be high in sugars that are also high in calories, resulting in ‘quick’ energy that doesn’t last long or sustain the body during a fast. 
  • Try and stay hydrated between iftar and suhoor: Drink plenty of water to replace fluids lost during the fast – especially if the weather is warm. Even a small amount of dehydration can have a negative effect on physical and mental health, and lead to headaches, fatigue and a lack of concentration during the fast. When eating in the evening or early in the morning, it’s important to prioritise hydrating foods. For example, watermelon and cucumber have a high water content; fresh fruit can double as a healthy snack and an energy booster. At the other end of the spectrum is caffeine, which can have a dehydrating effect. Avoiding coffee and tea during Ramadan – or at least reduce the amount consumed can help. 
Watermelon as part of diet


Tips for a good night’s sleep

Poor sleep can have a negative impact on day-to-day life, which can make planning and eating healthy meals more challenging. Fatigue can also affect hormones and result in changes in appetite and hunger, which can make fasting even more challenging than usual.  

Getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult during Ramadan, when there are additional family and social events to mark the holy month. Here are some tips to sleep well during the Ramadan month: 

  • Reducing screen time before bed or having a relaxing bedtime routine can help your body and mind wind down and get you ready for bed. Some people aim for a minimum of 4 hours’ sleep after iftar. They then wake for suhoor and fajr before getting a few more hours’ sleep, and then actually starting the day. 
  • Try for a ‘nap’ of 20 or 30 minutes in the afternoon if your work or home life is flexible enough to allow it. 
  • Avoid extremely spicy foods or caffeine during iftar as they might interfere with your sleep. 
  • Practising good eating habits during suhoor and iftar, such as avoiding deep fried foods, can also be beneficial to your digestive system, promoting restful sleep. 

Read more about the importance of a good night’s sleep here, and how it is especially important if you’re looking to lose weight. 

Staying active during Ramadan

Trying to stay active is important at any time of year – and especially so during Ramadan. Daily walks of just 15 to 20 minutes can work wonders for your circulation, digestion, energy levels and mental health. Short sessions of resistance training can also be a good way of fitting in exercise on a busy day.  

Exercising about 2 hours after iftar, meanwhile, can help to aid digestion and ensure you don’t go to bed feeling too full. While activity levels are key to a healthy lifestyle and to maintaining a healthy weight, it’s important to combine it with mindful eating as well. 

Eating Healthy Meal


The Allurion Program during Ramadan

It’s important to make eating healthily and exercising regularly a priority all year round. When it comes to diet, your food should be balanced and varied – and if you’re looking to lose weight, Ramadan can be a great time to start the wheels in motion.  

For extra support, you might like to consider a medical weight-loss program like the Allurion Program. The comprehensive program includes: 

- the Allurion Gastric Balloon 

- Behavioural change and nutrition coaching  

- Allurion smart body composition scale and Allurion app access  

During Ramadan, you may find the Allurion Program helpful in assisting with portion control and healthy eating habits. 

  • Having the Allurion Balloon helps you feel fuller for longer, making it easier to manage your food intake and avoid overeating. With smaller portion sizes, you can feel satisfied while still enjoying your favorite meals during iftar. 
  • Nutritional coaching and support ensure you are getting enough nutrients during iftar as well as guidance on your meal preparations 
  • The Allurion Connected Scale and Allurion App keep you accountable and motivated during Ramadan, for instance, getting your physical activity in and getting enough sleep. 
Allurion App

If you’d like to learn more, Samira, one of our patients, shares her experience with the Allurion Program and how the Allurion Balloon has helped her to manage her food intake and develop healthier eating habits. She also talks about the support she received from the program's nutritional coaching and the Allurion Connected Scale and app, which helped her to stay accountable and motivated. 

Samira Testimonial


Book your free Allurion Program consultation today

With Allurion, you can lose weight safely and successfully. To find out how the Allurion Balloon can work for you, book a free consultation. You can also use our BMI calculator to see if you’re eligible.

If you have any questions, or if you’d like to speak with an Allurion adviser, you can find your nearest clinic here.


  1. Bakhotmah, Balkees Abeed. “The puzzle of self-reported weight gain in a month of fasting (Ramadan) among a cohort of Saudi families in Jeddah, Western Saudi Arabia.” Nutrition Journal, 2011. Nutrition Journal,
  2. Benelam, Bridget. “Hydration and health: a review.” Nutrition Bulletin, vol. 35, no. 2, 2010, p. 191. Wiley Online Library,  
  3. Effect of Ramadan Fasting on Weight and Body Composition in Healthy Non-Athlete Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis:
Allurion Logo