First week of Ramzan is almost over. We have all filled ourselves with crispy pakoras, varieties of samosa and roll fillings, sugary drinks and many other mouthwatering dishes. However, the downside of this food ecstasy, is the guilt of compromising on a healthy diet for the satisfaction of the taste buds. Yet fear not, for all is not lost! For those of you who want to maintain being physical fit or are simply looking for an opportunity to switch to the other side, there are still three weeks in which this month of blessings can be a golden opportunity for you to make a lifestyle change. There is no doubt that fitness requires unfettered dedication, with a combination of a balanced diet with physical exercise yet the same may seem intimidating for some and a tough row to hoe especially while fasting. This herculean task can be made quite easy by simply replacing some bad eating habits with new ones.
- EATING SUGAR? NO PAPA
Sugars are normal consumed by a person in the form of carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Adding processed sugars to your diet would amount to excessive consumption, making one susceptible to diabetes, heart diseases and weight gain, as the excess sugar gets deposited in the body as fat. Reducing sugar intake and saying no to sugary drinks can have a huge positive impact on your overall health. Having plain water with fruits during aftar and sehri is the best way to go this Ramadan, as it would make you fresher and more active. Having plain yogurt during seher is a great way to keep the thirst levels minimized throughout the day and would prevent you from reaching out to that jug of Rooh Afza.
- OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE
It is time we all accepted that the religious consumption of fried food during this month is not doing us any good and this one needs to go permanently. There is no denying that an excessive consumption of fried food is detrimental to one’s physical being and replenish the nutrient levels from long, hot day of fasting. Instead of deep-frying vegetables in oils, there are healthier alternative available now in the form of air frying and baking. However, the ideal strategy would be to avoid fried food altogether, but this one goes for people who cannot live without their batter fried pockets of joy.
- MAKE THAT DINNER RESERVATION!
A common habit practiced by many during Ramadan is to fill our stomachs at the iftar table and then have food at sehar. Eating large quantities of food at one sitting can deteriorate digestion quality and can cause blood pressure issues. This can be avoided by breaking the fast lightly and having dinner after some time. Breaking the meal into two halves reduces the pressure on the stomach and improves digestion quality and not only keeps the gut healthy, but leaves you feeling much more active.
- REAP THE FRUITS OF PATIENCE!
Adding more fruits to your diet, gives you that essential fibers, gives the necessary hydration and makes you feel full, leaving less room to munch on other calorie rich dishes at the table. Fruits provide you with the necessary vitamins and replenishes the lowering stocks of nutrients within your body instantly. Adding dates to the mix would be a wise decision too.
- WORK IT OUT!
Just because its Ramadan, does not mean that exercise does completely out of the window. Many fitness experts highly recommend light exercise during Ramadan as it stimulates the metabolism and is a great way to shed that extra fat. Brisk walking and yoga before iftari, completing 8000-9000 steps for optimal non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) progress and dividing working out on specific muscle groups throughout the week instead of doing several groups on a single day is a great way to keep the progress going.