hari raya

5 Tips to Avoid Hari Raya Weight Gain

Hari Raya Puasa is also known as the festival that marks the end of Ramadan, a month long of fasting. When you visit the homes of Muslims during this festive period, you can expect to taste a wide variety of cookies, pastries, drinks, and delicious dishes. Savoury foods served like lontong, lemang, serunding, rendang, and other home-cooked delicacies can tempt anyone to overindulge. As a result, these mouth-watering delights can pose a dietary challenge to anyone, not just to those living with diabetes.

Most of the delicacies are rich in fat especially saturated fat, sugar and salt, and over-eating may result in weight gain and cause a spike in your blood glucose.

So here are 5 tips to help you avoid the Hari Raya festive weight gain:

1. Never Start with Desserts

my healthy plate

  • Always start with a proper balanced meal. As a guide, use the plate concept – fill ½ your plate with vegetables, ¼ with protein foods (e.g. fish, meat, tofu), ¼ with starchy foods (e.g. brown rice), and include 1 serving of fruit.
  • Desserts are often high in sugars and fats which in excess can lead to weight gain. Consume in moderation.

2. It’s OK to Say “No”

just-say-no

  • “I’ve had enough, thank you” – It might seem rude not to eat food offered to you but politely refusing when you have had too much will reduce unnecessary caloric intake.

3. Drink Water or Unsweetened Drinks

choose water

  • Limit or avoid sugar-sweetened drinks like syrup, soft drinks and fruit juice as they raise blood sugar levels quickly and increase caloric intake.
  • Water can increase feelings of fullness to avoid overeating at a meal.

4. Pace Yourself at Open Houses

pace yourself

  • Each open house you visit will offer a large variety of food, snacks and desserts. Eat slowly, drink smart and refuse extra helpings. Enjoy a variety of food in moderation.

5. Aim or 150 Minutes of Physical Activity Every Week

Muslim women exercising

  • Doing household chores after your relatives have left, taking the stairs to an open house, or brisk walking back home after a day of visitation are a few ways to increase your exercise time a bit every day.