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Small steps towards healthy Ramadan
Fasting in summer isn’t easy. Fasting hours are long and the heat tires us out. But fasting doesn’t mean we can’t go on with our everyday life just as efficiently. With some minor changes in lifestyle, you can stay energetic from Sehri to Iftar and give your hundred percent at work.
The easiest step you can do for a healthier Ramadan is to eat well. Our body needs to cope with starvation we put it through and here is how we can negate the bad effects.
1. Skip Sehri: This is a very common phenomenon, especially in attempt to lose weight. But ironically, if we skip meals, our body tends to store up the food for the starvation period, resulting in weight gain. Skipping Sehri also means, your body is missing out on important nutrients. A strategic Sehri will keep you going through the day.
2. Eat Sehri at the last moment: Don’t wait till the very last moment and then gulp down your meal with minutes to spare. Let your body adjust to the early morning meal. Spare yourself enough time after eating Sehri to drink enough water and maybe a cup of tea or coffee.
3. Spicy food: We all love our curries. But for the sake of a healthier fasting we need to let go of it. Spicy food at Sehri is a big no. It fills you up faster so you will be hungry by the noon. Spicy food also makes you thirsty. So it is best to avoid spicy food at Sehri. If you really like spice then have some at Iftar but make sure you are eating a balanced healthy Iftar as well.
4. Heavy food: You don’t have to eat a lot to stay full all day. You have to eat right. Over-eating at Sehri will make you feel heavy and bloated at work. Over eating at Iftar will make you crash. Try to make the best out of these two meals.
5. Simple carbs: Simple carbs like white rice won’t keep you full for longer. You won’t get enough energy from white carbs either.
6. Excess sugar: Our traditional Iftar fare is an abundance of sugar. Iftar is without lemon sorbet and syrupy jilapi is unthinkable. Moderation is the key in this case. If you have a sweet-tooth then don’t give up your sugar. But don’t over over-do it either. Skip dessert at Sehri and eat one dessert item at Iftar.
1. Hydrate: This cannot be emphasized enough. An adult needs at least 2liters of water a day. Drink a glass of water every hour from Iftar till you go to bed. Drink enough water at Sehri. Try to add fruits like watermelon, oranges etc to your Iftar. Avoid sugary drinks and drink water, fresh fruit juice etc instead.
2. Eat right: Lean protein, complex carbs and healthy fats are the basics of healthy eating. Make a balanced meal with a portion of lean protein (eggs, chicken, beans etc), complex carbs (brown rice, wholegrain bread, oats, quinoa, etc) and lots of veggies. Incorporate healthy fats in your meals too.
3. Keep your electrolytes balanced: Mineral rich foods help maintaining the balance of electrolytes in our system. Banana is rich in potassium and so is sweet potato. Nuts, prunes and dates are also great sources of minerals. If you still feel dehydrated then drink some orsaline at Iftar.
4. Drink a smoothie: Smoothies are easy nutrition. Eat Sehri an hour before Fazr and a drink a smoothie right before. Smoothies with banana, dates, nuts will keep full and hydrated all day. A green smoothie at Iftar, on the other hand will provide you with the necessary vitamins.
5. Stay active: Just because you are fasting doesn’t mean you should rest all day. Lethargy hits if you are inactive. If you work at a desk, take 5 minutes off and walk around.
6. Go easy on Iftar: It is easier said than done but not being a glutton at Iftar will do wonders for your health. Eat light and go slow. Eat small servings and take breaks in between.