Given that Ramadan is a month dedicated to abstaining from food, the unsolicited weight that we gain during the holy month can leave us scratching our heads (and bellies) in confusion. Bloating during the month is due to several factors: the slowing down of our metabolism due to prolonged periods of not eating, inactivity and lethargy after iftar, access to copious amounts of sweets at iftar parties, and the most common one—overeating when we break our fast.
Excessive eating, or consuming oily and fatty foods, leaves us feeling bloated, lazy, with stomachaches, and with shame. Since not all of us have the willpower of Nadine Abdel Aziz to workout regularly, here are some easy ways to maintain your weight this Ramadan without heading to the gym:
Have a light, healthy iftar with reasonable food portions.
Avoid: Fried food, such as samosas, pakoras, dumplings, and deep-fried spring rolls. Also avoid fatty meats, fried rice, French fries, fried vegetables, whole milk, whole cream cheese, and other processed food.
Healthy alternatives: Baked samosas and spring rolls, boiled dumplings, grilled fish and chicken, low fat milk-based sweets, baked kibbeh, etc.
Avoid indigestion by chewing food slowly.
Eat soup and salad first—low in calories, they will make you feel full before you dive into the main course.
Drink plenty of water during suhoor. Limit your consumption of coffee and tea, which are very dehydrating.
Eat fiber-rich food during suhoor, such as cereal, bran, and whole-wheat toast, as they make you feel full, digest slowly, and provide energy for many hours.
Save the sweets for Eid. Opt for fresh juices and fruits instead of soft drinks and dessert.