Ramadan diet: Shed those extra pounds!

Fasting helps us realise our true body needs and also strengthens the belief that less food is better for our minds and body


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sat 30 Apr 2022, 12:23 AM

Ramadan is the best time to bring about balance in our health and spiritual life. However, weight loss has always been difficult during Ramadan fasting owing to the fact that the dinner tables are loaded with fried stuff, sugary drinks and high fat meals. Although the patience exercised during the 16 hours of fasting should lead to wonderful health benefits, due to “psychological hunger” and cravings at Iftar time, one’s whole effort to lose weight goes to waste.

Fasting helps us realise our true body needs and also strengthens the belief that less food is better for our minds and body to perform optimally. Hence, Ramadan is the perfect time to provide the body what it needs rather than simply what it wants. Also, fasting combined with improved physical activity may help achieve sustainable weight loss goals.

To simplify the journey of weight loss in Ramadan fasting, it is essential to scrutinise or screen our dietary habits for bringing about a positive change. One should pay attention to the fat and sugar content in foods as they are the calorie-dense culprits that slow down the entire weight-loss process. Appetite control can be exercised through foods which fill you up; some examples are whole grains, leafy vegetables, lean meat, and healthy fats such as avocado, flax seeds, nuts as well as low caloric fluids such as infused water, lemonade and buttermilk.

Portion control is a very important tool in bringing about an enormous change in caloric deficit. Using small bowls and plates leads to illusion of a filled up serving compared to a larger plate. Chewing foods well, slowing down on eating pattern as well as dividing your meals between Iftar and Suhoor helps avoid overeating and an avalanche of caloric intake.

Sample weight-loss plan

Suhoor: Oatmeal and peach smoothie made with low fat milk, added with little honey, flaxseeds powder and cinnamon, and a few almonds or walnuts.

Iftar: 1 medium date with plain water, egg drop vegetable broth soup and watermelon cubes.

Post-prayer snack: Chana (chicpea) chaat topped with sumac powder and low fat yoghurt; Chia lemonade with little honey.

Dinner: Wholewheat pasta with meat balls and steamed broccoli and spinach; strawberries and pineapple salad.

Night cap: Low fat laban or thin buttermilk

Fahmida Jafri, clinical dietitian, Thumbay University Hospital

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