In general, do moslems experience weight changes during Ramadan?

During Ramadan, moslems fast from sunup to sundown and partake in a feast shortly after sunset. I realize that there are some people that probably gain weight during this time, some that lose weight, and a great many that have no change. But on average, are there any studies that have shown whether there is a general weight change during Ramadan, and in what direction that weight change is?

They kind of trick you into believing they are hardcore fasting when they really aren’t fasting at all. I was in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan one year and Kuwait the next and the secret to their “fasting” was…sleep during the day and work/eat/play at night. This way they can still eat as much as they want but still meet the requirement of “fasting” during the day. I remember driving down the highway in Ryhad at 130am and kids were playing soccer on the side of the highway eveyr night during Ramadan.

FWIW though I’m sure this generalization doesn’t apply to every muslim, but it is common practice in Saudi and Kuwait at least.

People often actually put on weight during Ramadan. Only food before dawn and after dusk, but both those meals are real feasts.

In fact, it’s a common practice in Turkey (poss other parts of the Muslim world, but haven’t been there during Ramadan) to go on pre- and post-Ramadan diets.

Other interesting facts gleaned from Turkey - they have drums at 3am or so, a few hours before dawn, to wake up the cooks and get them cooking on the feast. At night, there are often big temporary outdoor restaurants / food stands filled to bursting just before the sun goes down.

I dont gain weight during Ramadan, nor do I lose weight. But I’m pretty sure some of my fellow Muslims here in Malaysia do gain weight since they feast like mad after sunset…which actually defeats the whole point of the fast, really.

What is the point of the fast? I alwasy understood that it was from sun up to sun down and you could eat whatever you wanted when dark. Do you meant hat they should eat sparingly to keep with the whole ‘mood’ of the thing?

Ramadan was explained to me as being ‘Lent.’ Once I was told that, It All Made Sense.

In any case, Ramadan is calculated on the Islamic calendar, so it moves ten or so days a year against the Gregorian system. So while we were doing Ramadan in the winter a decade ago, it will be in October this year (IIRC*) and in the high of summer soon enough.

So the party-all-night system will not be so much fun on another five years or so.

Still, my students all claim to gain weight during the Holy Month.

*Take it easy on me. Everything I type today seems to be wrong.

What I mean is, what is the point of us Muslims fasting during the day when we gorge ourselves like pigs (oh, the irony) after sunset? One of the reasons for the obligatory fast during the month of Ramadhan is for us to be more disciplined and learn self restrain. Stuffing ourselves with food at night in order to make up for lost time is, in my opinion, defeating the purpose of the fast.

I’m not saying that we break the fast by eating sparingly but by eating moderately.

BTW, fasting doesn’t just mean no eating or drinking during the day. No sex, either. No big deal for me. I like to ravage the wife at night anyway :smiley:

You are talking about letter-of-the-law societies, which I find fascinating. As long as the word of God is technically followed (and this bears some interpretation by learned scholars to make sure you’re squared with the Big Bureaucracy in the Sky), you’re cool.

This applies to social norms in a way we have in western society largely in court, at the IRS and your Human Resources department. Once you understand that, interpreting the other stuff that goes on becomes a lot easier.

I should think that among poorer Muslims - the Gulf is atypical in that there’s enough wealth in the society to make ‘guest workers’ keep the society running- that going about your normal business during the day while fasting is quite a strain. And that includes the majority of guest workers in countries like Kuwait etc.