During Ramadan, most people expect to lose weight because they are fasting. However this for most of us because we tend to overeat or indulge in foods that cause us to gain weight.
1. Opt for lemonade. Sodas for iftar top everyone’s list but unfortunately they are not good for you, especially on an empty stomach. Lemonade is ideal because it helps hydrate your body, and if you add pink salt, it replenishes electrolytes.
Sweeten your lemonade with honey, date syrup, brown sugar or gurr and not sugar. Other healthy drinks worth considering include sattu (lemon barley) and kairi (raw mango) sherbet.
2. Keep the fruit chaat. Fruits such as apples, bananas and watermelon are an excellent way to replenish energy. This is because energy (sugar) from fruit is released slowly thus preventing a sudden rise and fall in energy after iftar.
Furthermore, fruit are high in fibre, which ensures that you do not feel lethargic after iftar and keeps your digestive systems working well.
3. Give friend foods a miss. Everyone loves friend food, but the truth is that they make you feel tired, and contain an excessive amount of ‘bad’ calories. Consider baking samosas, investing in an air fryer, or shallow frying Samosa and pakoras in coconut oil or ghee which are relatively healthy.
4. Say yes to chickpeas. Chana chaat, be it with white or black chickpeas, is a great source of protein, fibre and healthy carbs that give you energy. Make sure that your tamarind chutney is mildly sweetened with dates and not sugar. If you get tired of chaat, salad with chickpeas or beans.
Say no to desserts. High sugar desserts such as mithai and jalebis have absolutely no nutritional value and can cause a massive dip in blood sugar levels. If you must indulge your sweet tooth, opt for dates, fruit, grandola bars or a silver of dark chocolate.
By Nazish Chagla. The Writer is a holistic nutritionist.