DUBAI: The holy month is coming to an end and if you’ve been fasting every day, regardless of whether you’ve been overindulging at iftar, it can be difficult to return to regular eating patterns. Devinder Bains, personal trainer and nutrition coach at Fit Squad DXB, eases you back into normal life with the following tips.
Change your eating now
Don’t wait to combat binges and unhealthy eating once Ramadan is over. Rather, introduce healthy eating habits now. Swap sugary desserts at iftar for fruit platters, stop ordering fatty fast food and start cooking healthy meals. Reduce portion size by thinking of iftar and sahoor as simply dinner and breakfast rather than all-you-can-eat buffet meals.
This is advisable for at least two weeks after Ramadan, when you’re most susceptible to binge eating during daytime hours. Prepare three meals a day that combine protein-rich foods, such as chicken, beans and lentils, with slow-release carbs, like wholegrain pasta and brown rice, to stay full. Prepare these meals on the last day of fasting or straight after Eid if you want to wait.
Clear the cupboards of treats
If it’s not there, then you can’t eat it. On the last week of fasting, make sure you don’t replenish any sugary treats, and on the last day, throw out or give away any that are left. If you really need something sweet, opt for a piece of fruit.
Up your exercise regime
Counter any extra calories coming in by increasing your movement. As you’re no longer fasting, you can return to a tougher exercise regime or start a new one if you weren’t previously training. Add a 30-minute walk in addition to your usual workout as you return to a healthy eating pattern.
Manage your hunger cues
This is vital for returning to regular eating and sleeping patterns. Hunger is likely to come early in the morning. You can manage this by eating a little later every day until you’re back to eating at your normal (pre-Ramadan) breakfast time. This will allow you to wait that little bit longer for lunch.