By now you should already know that binge eating at night is not going to get you anywhere if you're planning on maintaining your current weight this Ramadan. In fact, the quickest way to pile on the pounds is by overdoing on the sun goes down. So Kenwood brand ambassador and nutritionist, Dr. Lama Al Naeli, has shared her tips for how to stay in good health this Holy Month. Read on to find out why one meal isn't enough and plenty more…
Prepare for Ramadan in the best way
"If you are a coffee drinker, try to reduce your intake two weeks prior to the Holy Month of Ramadan, to avoid headaches and sleepiness."
"As soon as you break your fast, concentrate on getting rehydrated by drinking plenty of water. This will help prevent overeating. Drink at least 8 glasses of water in small quantities to avoid bloating."
Prepare your tummy for a meal
"Start your Iftar meal with a warm soup as this will comfort your stomach after a long day of fasting. This will also replenish your body fluids and prepare your digestive system at the same time."
Break your food intake down
"Moderation is key. Having three meals is still important during the Holy Month: Iftar, a light evening snack, and Suhour."
Don't go overboard…even with healthy food
"Break your fast with no more than 2-3 dates. Remember that dates are high in calories and moderation is required to maintain a healthy weight during Ramadan."
Do a little workout
Do some exercise just before Iftar if you feel up to it - try going for a brisk walk. Exercising before Iftar increases your metabolic rate. Remember to hydrate yourself immediately after and eat slowly to replenish fluid and nutrients. Alternatively, you can exercise after Iftar if you feel more comfortable in doing so."
Avoid foods that will make the next day of fasting tougher
"Limit your intake of sweets - fried and fatty food such as bread and baked items; salty food such as nuts and pickles; as well as canned and processed foods as these will make you thirsty during the fasting period."
Balance your food intake
"Ensure that you eat a balanced meal during Iftar. Eat carbohydrates like brown rice, brown pasta or burghul, accompanied with some form of protein like beef, chicken or fish, along with cooked vegetables."
Cut out unnecessary calories
"Control your intake of appetizers such as Sambosa. This is because deep fried food is high in calories and fat which could increase cholesterol levels in the blood. Instead, stuff them with low fat cheese and bake them!"
Don't skip your last meal of the day
Suhour is an important meal in Ramadan. It gives you strength and vitality for the day, while keeping your fast easy and tolerable. Make sure this meal is rich in slowly absorbed carbohydrates like wholegrain bread along with a good source of protein such as labneh or cheese. Such combinations will ensure you have a stable level of glucose in your blood and won't make you hungry during the day.