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
- 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”
- “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
- 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
- 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
- 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.