Alevere and Ramadan

Sticking to a diet takes discipline, and there is never an ideal time to do it.
There will always be a birthday, an invite to dinner, a celebration like Christmas or Easter.
These are difficult enough to negotiate - but our Muslim patients  face a particular challenge during Ramadan, when they fast during daylight hours.
Every year, many of the almost three million Muslims living in the UK will celebrate the festival, which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
This year it began on June 18 and will finish on July 17. For these 30 days,
Muslims can only eat and drink  before dawn and after sunset – and that’s it. No food or liquid is allowed during daylight hours, which is a long time during the summer months.
That sounds tricky for anyone, so we asked one of our Muslim patients how he is coping with the month.
Umran Akram, 35, is on week four of Alevere. He began the diet at 124 kgs (nineteen and a half stones ) and is hoping to reach 95kg (fifteen stones).
The father of three, who works as manager of a meat processing plant, is determined not to allow Ramadan to slow down his weight loss progress. He explained how he is making Alevere work.
He said: “I am not finding it too difficult to observe Ramadan, no more difficult than in previous years when I have not been on the diet, actually.”
Umran spoke to his Alevere doctor before he began fasting about the best way to manage the therapy during Ramadan.
He said: “I was keen to make it work, and I knew it should be possible but she advised me about how best to eat. “
Following his doctor’s advice, Umran breaks his fast with two shakes after sunset, which is around 9.40pm at this time of year. Sunrise is around 4.30am.
He said: “I really like cappuccino, caramel, strawberry and coconut, so I will either combine two of those into a double, or I will have one flavour after the other.”
Umran then waits until around midnight and makes himself a meal using lots of his permitted vegetables.
Then around 2am he will have two more shakes, before going to bed around 2.30am.
He said: Probably the most difficult aspect during Ramadan is the lack of sleep. I get up at 6.30am for work so I am getting about four hours a night.
“But after I have picked up the kids in the evening I allow myself a nap of about an hour then and I find that is enough. As a father of three young children I am used to not getting much sleep anyway.”
Umran says that combing Alevere with the rules of Ramadan has not affected his energy levels.
“I am still able to do everything I need to do.”
Traditionally, the foods that break the daily Ramadan fast are rich and high calorie.
“People will have real feasts with lots of lovely things like samosas , kebabs, pakoras and lots of sweet dishes.
“My wife isn’t cooking these this year but she will bring home lovely things cooked by her mum or my mum and eat them herself, but I am not tempted.
“I used to badly - I would miss breakfast and then I would eat sweet things very late at night, but all that has stopped now.
“I know Alevere works, I saw the results on a colleague of mine, which is why I started the diet. The skin treatments are an important part of it, because people with big weight losses on other diets are often left with saggy skin, which can be as bad as being overweight.
“Ramadan is just one of those things I have to negotiate - and it is perfectly possible. My life is continuing as normal. I feel focused and motivated and I’m enjoying the way I am losing weight so fast.”