As the old saying goes "Every ending is a new beginning."
Ramadan leads us straight into Eid al-Fitr, a holiday dedicated to feasting with family and celebrating life itself!
After a long and challenging month of fasting, this festival signifies breaking the fast with a formal moon-sighting in the evening. It's the perfect occasion to eat to your heart's content, wear new clothes and make unforgettable memories.
Without further ado, get ready for the gathering that brings together people from all walks of life!
Now now, before you start to dream about all the biscuits, cakes, samosas, pies, tarts and other such "rare indulgences" you're going to eat, let's think of ways to do it just right, without adding on that extra fat quotient.
The real problem is the aftermath when you find that you have 'accidentally' overeaten during Eid. Some of the undesirable side effects include indigestion, lethargy, heartburn, and the much-dreaded weight gain that comes along with it.
Each day matters in this fitness journey, and unfortunately, our digestive system doesn't have the privilege of going on vacation for too long, for it must get back to functioning at factory pace. Bear in mind all the pain your body had to endure during training sessions and ensure that you don't reverse the effects!
During the holy month of Ramadan, your body was slowly getting used to a routine of receiving foods at specific times during the day. Returning to pre-Ramadan food habits may cause a shock to your body's system and may trigger a whole host of unexpected surprises. The first step to help your body gradually adjust is to try eating your main meals during Eid at timings that are close to Ramadan's Iftar and Suhour.
This article seeks to help you gently ease back into your usual routine of eating three regularly timed meals after the change in eating habits during Ramadan. I've curated a few tips and listed them below for you to follow, so you have a happy and healthy Eid this year!
TIP #1 Ditch The Salt and Sugar
The key is to modify recipes and decrease the overall fat content. Even if it means consuming less salt or cutting down on the sugar, Eid will retain its sweetness in spirit!
Before your Fajr prayers, make sure to eat something, like a few dates. Substituting white sugar with honey or dates syrup would enhance overall taste and is a much healthier choice.
Did you know that garnishes like parsley, thyme, rosemary, coriander powder, pepper powder, chilli powder and lemon juice could actually replace the need for excessive salt in almost any recipe? Try it out yourself!
TIP #2 Preventing Problems Of Indigestion And Heartburn
Eating large, heavy meals at one go can create gastric problems.
The trick is to train your body to eat small and frequent meals at regular timings during the day. Monitoring your portion sizes even as you see the spread of treats will decrease the chances of having indigestion and heartburn. Have bits of everything, and control your impulse to overeat from the get-go.
Fresh fruit or leafy greens although seemingly out of place at this party could appear fashionably late onto your plate as appetizers. They would speed up your metabolism and get your digestive system up and running.
Adding some zero-fat yoghurt into the mix is likely to reduce the prospect of indigestion. After prayers, it is recommended to have something light such as Badaam milk or Laban. Your stomach will thank you at the end of the day!
TIP #3 Adjust The Intensity Of Exercise
Gradually ease back into old habits of exercising consistently. Maintain the fitness levels you’ve worked hard to build up at a steady pace.
This can be achieved by listening to your body, and setting realistic challenges for yourself. Get active when your energy levels are high. Otherwise, it can leave you feeling unnecessarily drained, rather than invigorated and refreshed, post-workout. This is why post eid, our training sessions at iTrain are focused around getting you back and ready for for bigger goals you set for yourself this year. You'll actually be amazed at how your muscles adapt so easily and quickly. The come back is phenomenal!
TIP #4 Increase Liquid Intake
Help your digestive system do its job by drinking more fluids in between meals. Drinking coconut water can also help with your fluid balance.
By all means, avoid soda to wash down your food. Do not fall prey to the common myth that fizzy drinks help with digestion. They contain way too much sugar and are extremely unhealthy.
If water is too boring an alternative, drink some lemonade with mint leaves or sip on green tea for a soothing effect.
TIP #5 Self-control
Go house hopping, to different Eid parties to try dishes that are popular with Muslims from various countries and heritages. This gives you extra time to digest the food slowly and can limit your portion size. The idea is that hostesses know that people party-hop, so portions are made smaller. Likewise, going from home to home gives you more time to digest and start fresh conversations, which will also limit how much you eat.
Exercising self-control around a spread of deliciously prepared treats is certainly easier said than done. Shift the focus of Eid from merely being about feasting on food, to an opportunity to make memories with family and friends.
These small adjustments make such a big difference in calorie intake and digestion. The easiest way to make each bite worth it would be to cut down all other sources of oils and fats from your daily intake. This trick won't ensure that you'll be guilt free after giving up and caving into your sweet cravings, but it will certainly lessen the blow on your stomach's recovery.
Armoured with these useful tips, you can feast away on delicately cooked dishes, small treats, and copious amounts of drinks this Eid!
Have a nutritious and healthy Eid!