A Healthpoint metabolic and obesity physician explains common bad habits to avoid during the fasting month
It is possible to maintain or even lose weight during Ramadan by following a careful strategy and avoiding common pitfalls, says Healthpoint’s Head of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery in Abu Dhabi.
Consultant bariatric surgeon Dr. Mohammed Al Hadad explains, “While people expect to lose weight during Ramadan, often the opposite is true. They tend to be less active, overeat after breaking their fast, and choose rich, high-calorie foods.” He suggests, instead, that people prepare their own iftar and suhoor meals at home. “Swap high-calorie meals with healthier home-made ones and cut down on carbohydrates. If you are medically fit, try moderate intensity exercise (brisk walking, jogging or gym) for at least 150 minutes per week.”
Dr. Mohammed’s tips to avoid overeating:
• Stay well hydrated (drink between 1 – 1.5 liters of water between iftar and suhoor) to avoid headaches and lethargy
• Eat a well-balanced suhoor, for example, an egg, low-salt cheese or any other protein sandwich with fruits and water
• Break your fast with dates and water, or low-fat yogurt, and wait for 10 – 15 minutes before your main meal, to give your stomach time to prepare for more food
• Start your meal with protein (fish, meat and chicken) and then vegetables – these are the two most important food groups
• Stop eating immediately when you feel about a half to three-quarters full
• Swap sweets for fruits, and make your own juices rather than the sweetened market variety.
Healthpoint, part of Mubadala’s integrated network of world-class healthcare providers, is a premium hospital with three specialty centers – the Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery Centre, the Dentistry Clinic and Musculoskeletal. Based in Abu Dhabi and accepting patients throughout the UAE and GCC, the hospital provides community care, grounded in the latest internationally recognized medical approaches.
Healthpoint is committed to working with companies within the Mubadala Healthcare Network and with its strategic partners from the world’s best healthcare organizations, as well as other hospitals and clinics locally and regionally. We deliver quality and accessible care and education to everyone, from patients and their families to communities, to achieve better health together. Healthpoint’s innovative care and health programs offer our patients and the community the specific tools they need to make better choices regarding their health and lead healthier, happier, and longer lives.