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Dubai's Physique TV serves up host of Ramadan specials

Dubais Physique TV serves up host of Ramadan specials

Eat small meals regularly especially during non-fasting hours from Iftar to Suhoor, advises the channel's resident nutritionist.



By David Light (senior Reporter)

Published: Mon 22 Jun 2015, 8:44 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:47 PM

Fitness can often take a backseat during Ramadan, especially with the prevalence of Iftar buffets stretching well into the night and the impossibility of going outside until it’s dark because of the heat. Physique TV however is attempting to do its part in keeping you trim by airing its Healthy Ramadan Kareem programming.

Shows including Ramadan Health and Fitness Tips, the Ramadan segment on What’s Up? and Shoufi Mafi? and the banner daily broadcast Ramadan Healthy Dishes will illuminate all you need to know about not letting yourself go.

Here we speak to the channel’s resident nutritionist and ‘Fit Chef’ Dana Al-Nemeh who appears on What’s Up? and Shoufi Mafi? for some top tips.

What is the one most important tip you have to stay healthy food-wise during Ramadan?
Eat small meals regularly especially during non-fasting hours from Iftar to Suhoor. Make sure every meal has a lean protein, low glycemic index (GI): whole grain carbohydrates like brown rice, sweet potato or quinoa in small amounts and lots of leafy green vegetables. Stay away from high sugary desserts and drinks - only treat yourself during the weekend.

Do you recommend going to sleep in the evening, waking up and eating and going back to sleep before work, or should people try and sleep through?
Sleeping is very important as our bodies experience more fatigue during Ramadan. Try to sleep early, for example, immediately after Taraweeh so you can get enough rest and can wake up refreshed for Suhoor. Taking a short power nap after Dhuhr prayer will also help you stay energised and engage in ibadah until the end of the fast.

Suhoor is very important and very healthy if you’re eating the right food. It stimulates digestion first thing in the morning, keeps sugar levels stable and delays hunger pangs through the day. Most importantly, if you eat a wholesome meal you can get your daily dose of essential nutrients to avoid lethargy throughout the day.

Do you have any Iftar buffet tips?
• Break your fast with water or high fibrous non-creamy soups (vegetable or lentil soups) and not more than one to two dates as they are high in sugar and in calories.
• Always choose lean protein. Some examples include chicken breast, white fish, salmon, tuna, lean beef, tenderloin, and egg whites.
• Always choose green leafy fibrous vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, zuccini, and spinach.
• Watch your portion of carbohydrates (should not be more than a small cup).
• Avoid breads and fried pastries.
• Avoid traditional Ramadan drinks or have them in moderation it as they’re very high in sugar and calories.
• Stay away from the dessert section as it can be very tempting. Enjoy low fat yoghurt with honey, one or two dates with raw nuts or a bowl of fresh berries instead.

Should people exercise during Ramadan, or is it too dangerous? Would you recommend fasters take a month off?
Absolutely. Exercise is very important as it keeps your metabolism going and it boosts your energy.
Maintain your current exercise routine but just not too intense.
• Endurance, plyometrics, speed and agility training should be avoided completely.
• Stop exercising if you start feeling dizzy or nauseous.

How will your show help those fasting?
In the segment that I am doing for Physique TV shows What’s Up? and Shoufi Mafi?, I will talk about five food related topics popular during Ramadan. In talking about these topics, like dates and Ramadan beverages, I will give viewers information on the recommended amount that they should take when breaking their fast and explain the nutritional value of these foods so they will be equipped to make healthier choices.

In these same shows, there is also the segment called ‘Celebrity Fit’ where Physique TV interviews sports and fitness personalities in the region who still maintain a healthy and active lifestyle while fasting during this month. These personalities can serve as an inspiration for those who are fasting.

Physique TV is available on Arabsat via My-HD platform, and through du channel 409 and Etisalat elife channel 577. For more updates on Physique TV visit www.physique-tv.com

david@khaleejtimes.com 


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