Weight gain during a festive period is pretty common and could be a source of concern for many people.
The excess of meat (goat, ram or even cow), rice and several other varieties of food may encourage you to eat more than you normally would. The sedentary behaviour that is also associated with the holiday period can further be a cause of weight gain during the Sallah celebration.
So how can you celebrate Sallah (whether as a Muslim or as a neighbour expecting plates of rice and fried meat) without regaining the extra kilograms you have struggled to shed this last half of the year?
Be mindful of your portion sizes
With the availability and variety of enjoyable meals during this period, it is very easy and tempting to keep filling up your plate and going for an extra plate even when full.
People who eat larger portions generally tend to gain more weight than people who eat less.
Try using smaller plates to serve your food. You can also offer to only have a taste if served a different dish after you have had your fill (especially in cases when you can’t decline the offer).
Help around the house with major or minor tasks. It could be as little as offering to do the dishes or even assisting in the killing of the ram!
Perform tasks you enjoy with family and loved ones so it wouldn’t distract you from enjoying Salah while ensuring to stay active.
You can also wake early to have your daily jog or stretch before beginning the activities of the day.
Mind the snacks
Snacks, snacks, snacks!
There are three things to note about snacks during this period: they are sweet, they are calorie-packed and lastly they are abundant.
Everywhere you look during Sallah, there is something to snack or munch on. It could be tiny peppered pieces of meat or even the conventional puff-puff, doughnut or chocolate packs brought over as gifts.
Be very mindful of letting yourself go during this period and filling up on snacks that could easily ruin your weight loss/ maintenance plan.
Don’t forget the fruits and vegetables
During Sallah, it’s very easy to have rice and goat meat in the morning, afternoon and night for 3 days till the rice cooler becomes empty.
Remember to stock your fridge with fruits and vegetables while buying foodstuff this period. You could also prepare a salad bowl and fruit slices to be served alongside each dish.
Be very mindful of eating healthy and incorporating fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables into every meal you prepare.
Beware of your soda intake
If you have been on a “no soda diet” from the beginning of the year, seeing all the cold bottles of soft drinks in the fridge this period can be tempting enough to make you want to take a break.
The high amount of sugar in these drinks can bring your weight loss/maintenance plan to nought and cause weight gain.
Be mindful of how many bottles of drink you take a day. Also, If you do not intend to break your “no soda diet”, you could firmly request sparkling water each time you’re offered a drink.
Spending the first half of the year monitoring your meals, counting calories and eating healthy might have been a daunting task. It is normal to feel the need to take a break and let yourself go during this festive period.
However, it is possible to follow the above tips without being too hard on yourself and still sticking to your healthy weight plans.
Keep the above tips in mind and watch your weight loss/ maintenance plan scale through Sallah unshaken.