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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
    pasta
    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
    taste. 

    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
    health.

    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
    now.  

    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.  

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