Ramadan can be a difficult time for people, fasting all day then over eating, leaving you feeling sluggish and bloated. Follow these 8 top tips to help you stay slim and healthy during Ramadan:
1. A really great way to end the fasting period is to eat dates and water. This is easier for the digestive system to handle, gives you a little energy and rehydrates you. However, each date contains 23 calories, so be careful not to over indulge. Also a great way to reduce you insulin spike from the sugar found in dates, is to eat a few nuts or drink Laban. As the oils in the nuts slows down the absorption of glucose and adds a few grams of protein, making it a great snack.
2. Eat REAL food instead of processed, junk food. Although fast food is easy and convent, it is full of sugar, salt and additives. Opt for natural food in it’s real state, that way you are guarteed to get all the nutrients and vitamins.
3. Avoid ‘white’ foods, in any form from bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. They are calorie dense and provide less nutrients and fibre compared to its brown counter-parts.
4. Eat foods that hydrate you, such as watermelons, squash, vegetables, stock based soups coconut water and smoothies.
5. Avoid salty fried foods such as the salty spice mix that are sometimes added to rice dishes. Also avoid salty foods around the start of fasting, as this will make you even more thirsty during the fasting period.
6. Try to avoid sugary sweets and if do indulge in the odd dessert, try to make it as natural as possible. So try using fruit, honey, maple syrup and dates to sweeten desserts and puddings instead of white sugar.
7. Go easy on the carbohydrates, they will be converted to sugar and if this glucose is not used as energy it will be stored as fat. If you do eat carbohydrates try to eat it with a source of protein, such as fish, chicken, beef, eggs and dairy products.
8. Ramadan is a season where a lot of sweet desserts are consumed leading to weight gain. So, instead of going totally cold-turkey, why not indulge in 1 SMALL dessert every other day. That way you are not restricting yourself too much and have a little treat to look forward to at the end of the day.