Al Mizan is a support group famous for dedicating its time and resources in facilitating health awareness campaigns, enforcing fitness programs and promoting a healthy lifestyle in Saudi Arabia.
Rayan Karkadan, health coach and co-founder of Mizan Health Group, told Saudi Gazette, “We are helping people in this program by supporting them and answering their questions on twitter via the hashtag #ميزان and Facebook group Mizan Health.
You can find hundreds of Saudis posting their Iftar and Suhoor ideas and exercise routines on our Facebook page along with supporting and motivating each other.
The founders of Al Mizan have monthly group meetings and regularly host debates over the Internet via their social networking pages with people across the country, citing issues and guiding people to participate in building a balanced life.
Many fasters interviewed by the Saudi Gazette said that Ramadan is more about feasting than fasting, admitting that they gain more weight during the holy month as compared to any other time of the year.
Asked Karkadan why people gain weight in Ramadan, he said: “I think it is purely related to habits. We associate certain habits and foods with Ramadan — a false association that only the companies benefit from. We buy large amounts of foods, even more than we buy on regular days. Foods such as the fried sambosa, “Toot” drink and fried and sweetened treats have grown to become part of Ramadan. Unfortunately, it is a part that is affecting our health more than giving us joy. Other habits such as the intake of large amounts of food in one go is also a big contributor to expanding waistlines, in addition to less physical activity,” adding, that Ramadan could be a great opportunity to shape up and fit into those Eid jeans.
Karkadan and his partner Obai Al Bashir have designed a program for Ramadan that Karkadan claimed “is based on using the advantage of fasting to the body, and using that physiology to promote health and weight loss.” Karkadan said last year the same program was used by 43 people in Saudi Arabia and they lost a total of 132 kilos. The program has been successful running for three consecutive years now.
Fasting helps in the depletion of sugar and glycogen stores in the body. After at least eight hours of fasting the body is ready to burn fat. Health experts said that fasters should take advantage of this and indulge themselves into more physical activity like walking, jogging or swimming for 20-30 minutes every day before breaking their fast as a means of burning fat. The effect of which is four times more than that of exercising on regular days.
On the call for the Maghrib prayer, health experts said, drink water and eat dates only and avoid eating anything else until performing the prayer. This gives the body a chance to digest and feel full before getting stuffed with food. After two or three hours, eat another meal and workout once more at night before Suhoor. Thus, at the end of a day a perosn should consume three light meals and indulge in two short workout sessions. For more details on the program log on to www.mizanh.com.
Karkadan and Al Bashir have recently teamed up with U-Turn Productions to produce a reality show on youtube. “Two guys from Jeddah, Emad Al Husseini and Adel Radwan, have participated in the program this Ramadan. We have trained them and motivated them to adopt healthy habits and exercises that were needed to change their lives for good.”
Talking about Al Mizan, Karkadan said it was an upgrade from what they previously used to do as a group named McJigger. They are more organized as now they have monthly support meetings. Karkadan was also the ambassador of Food Revolution Day in May which he hosted and celebrated with vigor. “We are still providing consultation services to everyone on our social media pages.”