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23 May 2017Last updated
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Ask the expert: I tend to gain weight while fasting

Intermittent fasting is scientifically proven to bring down all that stubborn fat stored in your body

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21 Jun 2016 | 12:30 pm

I tend to gain weight during Ramadan, which, in turn, makes me feel extremely lethargic. Can you suggest some simple tips for healthy eating?

Intermittent fasting is scientifically proven to bring down all that stubborn fat stored in your body. The deciding factor here is the type and quantity of food consumed during this period.

When deciding what to eat, remember that iftar and suhoor meals should help sustain your fast the following day, so consuming nutrient-dense healthy foods is very important. To strike the right balance is crucial, as overeating may lead to weight gain and undereating to loss of muscle, and weakness.

Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, should be wholesome and moderate, providing you enough energy for many hours. Opt for slow-digesting foods filled with complex carbohydrates, proteins and good fats. Have a protein shake with a handful of nuts, or Arabian bread with a vegetable omelet and milk. Keep the spice content low to avoid heartburn and indigestion, and don’t overeat. Try to have a balanced meal with a fair amount of fluids to prevent dehydration.

Iftar is the meal that ends the day’s fast, so rather than having one big meal at once, eat three to four small meals before you sleep. The first meal can be dates, rice, vegetables and meat. Take a break, then have a handful of nuts with dark chocolate. Before you go to bed, have a small meal that’s high in proteins and fat like an avocado with a whole egg. Keep drinking liquids to maintain your electrolyte balance. I’m sure you will feel more active and satisfied with this diet.

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Rashi Chowdhary

is a nutritionist, an inch-loss expert and a certified diabetic educator. She can be contacted on 050 181 5030.