Ramadan brings amazing festivities, warm family gatherings, and a delicious Iftar table loaded with wholesome food at every corner. But keeping up with a healthy eating regimen amid the calorie-rich dishes and tempting desserts can seem like an impossible mission. If you’re trying to keep tabs on your fitness goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle, read the following lines and learn how to enjoy the wholesome blessings of this special month, guiltlessly.
1. Start with soup
Breaking your fast on a warm bowl of soup helps you replenish and hydrate your body after long fasting hours. Preparing your soups with broth instead of cream provides you with plenty of nutrients, balances the level of electrolytes in your body, and maintains water balance.
2. Oven-bake or airfry food
One of the best things about the iftar table is the scrumptious variety of sambousak, katayef, and fried goodies infused with delicious fillings from cheese to minced meat. Many of our fried Ramadan favorites are packed with hundreds of calories and cause a feeling of fullness and fatigue. Recreate a healthier version of your favorite Ramadan appetizers by oven-baking or airfrying them to avoid feeling tired and bloated. You’ll save yourself a significant amount of calories and feel much lighter afterwards.
3. Exercise portion control
It’s very easy to get tempted when everything delicious you’ve ever craved is right in front of you. Don’t deprive yourself from the juicy dishes you crave during Ramadan, just watch out for the portions. Portion control means choosing a healthy and small amount of certain foods without overeating or starving yourself. Eat all your favorite dishes this Ramadan while mindfully exercising portion control to keep the month’s target in front of your eyes.
4. Eat after workouts
If you like to work out after iftar don’t eat till you’re full; but instead eat what will boost your energy for the training then eat the rest of the meal after the workout. This will give your body a chance to digest the food after long fasting hours and avoid feeling dizzy or bloated while doing high intensity training. If you’re planning to work out in daylight hours while fasting, avoid high intensity workouts and try light exercises instead, like stretching, taking a walk, or a short yoga session.
5. Opt for lighter dessert options
No one can resist a delicious piece of konafa stuffed with nuts or cream or a crumbly-rich basbousa. Soaked in syrup and packed with sugar, Ramadan desserts leave us with an instant pleasure, followed by days of guilt. Enjoy a lighter Ramadan by opting for the energy-packed dates that provide us with natural sugars, and dried fruits that improve our bowel movement. If you’re looking for a light and healthy dessert option that boosts your energy, soak oats overnight in yogurt, or milk, then add a handful of goodies, like prunes, dried apricots, unsalted almonds or cashews. You can also add a tablespoon of chia seeds for some added layer of fiber and some dates or a drizzle of honey for an added layer of sweetness. This is a perfect Ramadan-inspired snack that will curb your cravings and satisfy your sweet tooth.
6. Don’t shy away from yameesh
Dried fruits or yameesh are among our favorite Ramadan staples and most purchased items throughout the month, but they’re wrongfully believed to be unhealthy. Eating a moderate amount of yameesh like prunes, dried apricots, or dried figs can give you a good boost of energy, not to mention, improve your bowel movement, thanks to the fibers that exist in the fruits.
7. Plan your cheat meals around gatherings
If you’re looking to follow a healthy diet during Ramadan and you’ve been good at keeping temptations at bay, then you can always plan your cheat meals around your family or friends’ gatherings or on weekends, so you can enjoy and indulge yourself in the dishes and sweets you miss the most. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Share with us in the comments your ideas to enjoy Ramadan without feeling guilty or missing out on the family’s culinary skills!