The fault in our iftars: 10 tips to stay healthy this Ramazan
It’s that time of the year again when you binge-eat deep fried pakoras and samosas only to end up looking like one. But don’t worry, we have the key to stay fit this Ramazan!
While fasting has it’s benefits, a lavish iftar can cause more harm than good. You can help yourself stay fit however, with a few changes in your lifestyle.
Here are 10 tips that will help revive your soul, body and spirit this Ramazan.
1. Break your fast with dates
A quick sugar fix is all you need after long hours of fasting. According to Emirates 24/7, dates are rich in sugars and fibers that not only serve as instant energy boosters, but also help prevent constipation.
Dates kick start the digestive process. PHOTO: PINTEREST
2. Keep yourself hydrated
Drink plenty of water at iftar to avoid signs of dehydration. You can continue with your eight glasses of water a day routine throughout the night, in order to stay hydrated during the hot summer days.
Drinking 8 glasses of water helps prevent dehydration. PHOTO: ACEOFLIFEWELLBEING
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3. Eat consciously
After breaking your fast with dates or water, try having a bowl of soup or salad before munching on your main course. A warm bowl of soup comforts your stomach with fluids and prepares the digestive system for your meal.
Take a break if you feel full after soup or salad, as overeating may cause stomach pain and bloating, which is a very common problem that people face during Ramazan.
Lentil soups are one of the favourites during Ramazan. PHOTO: ANEDIBLEMOSAIC
4. Have a balanced diet
Make sure your iftar has all the essential nutrients including proteins, fibers, sugars, carbohydrates and fats.
Choose whole grains, lean meat, chicken breast, fish and olive oil in moderation as well as whole fruits instead of fruit juices. Avoid fried items and the ones high in fat.
Proteins are important for the body as they increase its satiety level, and help reduce sugar cravings. Make sure to include either meat, legumes, eggs or dairy products in your daily routine.
Follow a diet with all the essential nutrients. PHOTO: MARISOLHOTEL
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5. Manage food portions
To ensure a healthy balanced meal, divide your main course into three parts. Have one quarter of the plate filled with complex carbohydrates such as beans, one quarter with lean meat or meat alternatives, and half with vegetables.
Divide your main course in to parts to ensure a balanced diet. PHOTO: JPUPDATES
6. Avoid salty foods
Drinking enough water at sehri won’t help you quench your thirst, but avoiding salty foods surely will. Replace canned or processed foods such as salted nuts and pickles, with fruits and vegetables to prevent feeling thirsty during your roza.
Salty foods make you thirsty. PHOTO: DPSHOTS
7. Avoid desserts
Avoid having sugary treats right after iftar as they will cause bloating and slow down digestion. Our body breaks down sugars faster, and causes fluctuation in the body’s glucose level, leaving you craving more sweet treats.
As appetising as your fruit chaat or jalebis may look, you need to count your calories too. Try having desserts after an interval of 2-3 hours.
Having too much sugar will leave you craving for more. PHOTO: TASTYSPOTS
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8. Avoid caffeine
Reduce your caffeine intake (especially coffee) at least two weeks before Ramazan to avoid headaches and sleepiness.
Caffiene may increase headches and sleepiness during fasting. PHOTO: ARY
9. Change your cooking method
A change in your cooking methods can help you stay fit throughout the month. Try shallow frying instead of deep frying — it won’t affect the taste of food items.
You can also replace the frying process altogether with a much healthier option — grilling or baking, which help retain the original flavour, especially with meats.
Too much oil floating on top of your curries is a big ‘no’. Try reducing the amount of oil slowly to get used to the flavour. Using more onions and tomatoes instead of oil will also make your curries rich in taste.
Replace deep frying with shallow frying and grilling. PHOTO: TASTYINDIANRECIPES
10. Sleep better
Your sleeping patterns have a huge impact on your body. Apart from the number of hours, the quality of sleep is also important to help fight fatigue.
Try going to bed early, to wake up fresh at sehri. Power naps between prayers also help you stay energised throughout the day.