By Dr Zeenath Fatima (RD)

During the fasting month, your metabolism will slow down due to long hours without food and drinks. To keep a balance, your diet should have less than the normal amount of food, yet enough to keep you healthy and active. For those of you who are planning on losing some weight, this month is the perfect time to start by making healthier food choices and to learn portion control says Dr Zeenath Fatima (RD) Chief Dietician, Continental Hospitals, Hyderabad

Iftar

To replenish your body with fluid and also a quick burst of energy., this meal should be small snack just enough to bring low blood sugar levels to normal levels.

Dates are the best choice for breaking the fast. These are jam-packed superfood with positive vitamins, minerals , antioxidants which contribute to many health benefits.

Fruits are the best for detoxification and weight loss. Most fruits contain fiber, vitamin C, potassium, folate and large amounts of antioxidants. Fiber helps you lower cholesterol and it can regulate your bowel movements. Antioxidants limit the production of free radicals so it helps protect your skin and fight off illness.

Mangos are high in folate, and potassium which supports blood pressure, cardiovascular health, bone strength, and muscle strength, while apples, pears are very high in dietary fiber. Oranges and strawberries contain tons of vitamin C helps improve the immune system and also promotes teeth and gum health.

Haleem

The meat present in haleem makes it high on protein thereby adding the sumptuous dish's health benefits. Presence of protein rich lentils, haleem is the perfect post-work out snack, as it helps rebuild muscle and tissue. Loaded with carbohydrates ,haleem aids in replenishing depleted energy levels, helping you stay sharp and focused, making it a wholesome and healthy meal.

For dinner, Have a balanced meal consisting of: ● Complex Carbs ● Protein● Vegetables● Dairy● Healthy Fats

Complex carbs are food that will help release energy slowly, hence providing your body with energy throughout the day. Complex crabs are food that will help release energy slowly, hence providing your body with energy throughout the day. Healthy choices: Rice, Chapati, Barley, Oats, Jowar roti.

Protein Because protein takes much longer for the body to breakdown, it will keep you satisfied for much longer, which can also help to keep cravings under control. Healthy choices: Baked, grilled or steamed chicken such as tandoori, eggs, fish.

Vegetables are extremely low in calories and high in fibre, hence they will fill you up and it is hard to overeat them. If you want to watch your weight during the fasting month, then pack your plate with lots of vegetables. Healthy examples: Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, lady finger, cucumber, carrots, cauliflower .

Healthy Fats is for your heart health, but they are very high in calories, so consume in very small amounts.

Healthy fat are usually added as part of your cooking, so for instance lightly stir fry your dish with small amount of olive oil. Sprinkle your salad with small amount of olive oil, seeds or nuts. You can also add more fatty fish into your diet for Omega-3s.

Remember!!! that your dinner should remain a meal, not a feast!

After dinner, allow time for your body to digest and register the feeling of fullness. It takes 20 minutes for your body and mind to know that you are full. So don’t rush your dinner and finish the entire meal in 15 minutes! Instead pace yourself and appreciate the food you have been blest with.

Suhoor

Aim to consume a wholesome, moderate meal high in complex carbs, protein and fibre, which are filling and will provide you enough energy for many hours.

Avoid overeating or consuming heavy meals for Suhoor, as it can make you feel sluggish and lethargic right from the start of the day. And we do not want that.

Water

Aim to drink lots of water, at least 2 – 2.5L between Iftar and Suhoor to avoid dehydration, especially on days when you’re exercising.

Avoid eating or drinking stuff that’ll only make you thirsty such as salty food, sodas or drinks with refined sugar. Aim to drink water in its purest form and remember, keep drinking plenty of water!

Foods to Avoid

Fast food and heavily processed foods such chips, deep-fried samosas bhajiyas, mirchies, dahivada or fried chicken.

Foods high in refined carbs, such as white flour.

● Too much fatty and high sugar food, such as oily curries, anything deep fried, cakes, biscuits, pastries, chocolate, traditional sweets etc.

● avoid spicy food as it may cause indigestion, bloating and discomfort to the stomach.

● avoid or reduce on your caffeine intake, such as coffee, tea or coke, as they contain diuretic properties, which may stimulate faster water loss through urination.

Also Read: Why Muslims Eat Dates In Ramadan