KUALA LUMPUR: Avoid overeating and take the opportunity of the fasting month to practice a balanced diet and lose weight to ensure good health, said a health expert at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
UKM’s Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Dr Suzana Shahar said half of the adult population in the country were obese or overweight.
“In this month of Ramadan, an individual can reduce up to about 500 calories by not eating during the day. Usually, on normal days, we can get 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day with five meals a day compared to the meal time during the fasting month,“ she said when contacted by Bernama.
Dr Suzana said although some were able to lose weight during the fasting month, not many people were able to maintain the weight after that.
“Most important, during the breaking of fast, it is advisable to eat in moderation. This can be controlled by eating some rice rice, a quarter chicken or a slice of fish and some vegetables and fruits. Better still, break the fast with fast release sugar food, such as dates with hot or warm water,” she said.
After that, she said, it would be advisable to perform the Maghrib prayer and have the breaking of fast meal, which normally contained high carbohydrate such as rice, pasta and some other dishes.
“Food poisoning normally occurs during the fasting month. As such, it is advisable to have home-cooked food,” she added.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Malaysian Adult and Childhood Obesity Prevention Organisation, Kevin Zahri advised those fasting to food that contained complex carbohydrate, such as brown bread, oat, brown rice or fiber food.
“These foods will be digest slowly and provide lasting energy. Also because, protein is also filling, while while sugar such as cakes, biscuits, white rice are less filling and supply energy quickly,“ he said.
Kevin, who is well-known fitness teacher on social media, also shared the types of exercises that can be practiced during the fasting month with about 1,000 participants on his “Fit Ramadan” programme to help them lose weight.
He said there were two types of exercise that could be practiced before and after the breaking of fast.
“Before breaking the fast, it is advisable to do a low-intensity exercise that is not harmful, such as walking, while after the breaking of fast, high intensity exercise can be done, for example jump roping, which helps to burn the calories,“ he said.
He advised the public to use the benefits of Ramadan to improve their health, mentally, physically and spiritually.-Bernama