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Cairo Guide to Ramadan: Last Chance to Avoid the Weight Gain

Cairo Guide to Ramadan: Last Chance to Avoid the Weight Gain
written by
Cairo 360

The end of Ramadan is drawing near and most of
us are probably feeling the effects of late-night konafa feasts. Although most people associate fasting with
weight-loss, we in Egypt
know better and the yearly Ramadan weight gain seems inevitable. If you’re
starting to notice the emergence of a Ramadan jiggle; don’t fret: there is
still time for damage control before the Eid holiday.

After so many hours of fasting, try starting
each fetar with a bowl of soup to ease your way into putting food in your
system. Lentil soup is high in protein,
iron and fibre, and the occasional addition of carrots and onions to this soup
packs in the vitamins. Many shy away from drinking too much water at fetar
time, as it can fill up your stomach and leave less room for food, but if
weight loss is your goal, then water is key. Every night, you should drink the
recommended amount of eight glasses of water. Pace yourself so as not to feel
sick; but make sure you will be well-hydrated for the next day.

For fetar, it is important to eat well-balanced,
high-nutrient foods. Eat as much salad
as you can get your hands on. Fatoush is
a great option for the vitamins in the raw vegetables and the light dressing
that packs a lot of flavour without excessive calories. While you’re on a vegetable kick, molokheya is
extremely low in calories and fats but packed with vitamin A.

Make the switch to brown rice and whole grain
to get more from your carbs. These grains take longer to digest and are
high in fibre– essential for healthy weight-loss. As for your proteins, opt for
grilled rather than stewed meats. Grilled meats glean flavour from marinades
and charcoal, without the extra fat and calories that stewed meats use for

Portion control is also a big part of Ramadan
weight woes. When face to face with a home-cooked food or restaurant buffet, you are
likely to want lots of everything in sight.   However, a little goes a long way for many of these rich foods. A serving
size of meat is about the size of a deck of cards, and a serving of rice is
half of a cup. Keeping portions in check also allows a bit of room for treating
yourself. A modest amount of fat such as a small bowl of white cheese and
tomato salad will actually be beneficial as it takes almost twice as long to
digest fats as it does carbs. This will help you feel fuller longer– just don’t
use that logic as an excuse to fill up on loads of sweets.

Speaking of sweets, it’s time to give them up,
especially if you’ve been enjoying them all month long. Dried fruits and nuts provide protein,
vitamins and minerals. Tamr hindi juice, one of the popular Ramadan beverages,
is sticky sweet and a natural laxative more powerful than prunes, making it one
of the greatest options for Ramadan sweet cravings.

In case you’ve been neglecting the gym during
Ramadan, it’s time to jump back into a fitness routine. A light workout about
an hour before fetar will give your metabolism a boost. Your metabolism slows
dramatically when you don’t consume food for a long time, so working out just
before you eat will help kick it back into gear and digest your fetar more
effectively. Shy away from intensive cardio-vascular regimes and opt for thirty
minutes of yoga. Yes, stretching is exercise; yoga is great for increased
circulation and vitality, cleansing your organs, and boosting your mental

If yoga doesn’t appeal to you, swim laps at the
pool. Swimming is a great workout for your whole body and is easy on your
joints. The water is also a great way to cool down if your nerves are shot from
a long afternoon of heat, traffic and self-control. Just remember to take it
easy in the pool; there’s no need to try to beat your personal records

When sohour rolls around, avoid all fried foods
this late at night. Rather than taameya; eat foul, which is high in fibre, carbohydrates
and plant protein, and will leave you feeling full for some time. An ideal sohour should include yogurt and
fruit as well. Yoghurt’s pro-biotic bacteria are excellent for digestive health,
while non-acidic fruits such as figs and dates, are also gentle on the stomach,.

Our gentle reminders for managing your weight
during the final stretch of Ramadan may seem like a drag, but you’ll be
thankful in a few weeks when you’re back on the beach looking and feeling
healthy. The sooner you start these
practices, the quicker you’ll be back on track to your pre-Ramadan physique; so
resist the konafa and congratulate yourself on your keen foresight.