Expert offers advice on a healthy Ramadan experience

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By Annalisa Lewis

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH – People fasting during the day in Ramadan should eat Iftar and Suhoor meals slowly to avoid overeating and gaining weight, something known to happen during the Holy Month, faculty and staff heard during a Feb. 21 presentation.

Ghina Lawand, a dietician and obesity patient educator from Novo Nordisk, also advised the audience that Suhoor, usually eaten between 3 and 4 a.m., shouldn’t be skipped during Ramadan, as it’s the most important meal of the day. 

One tip an eater can use to distract themself during any meal, she said, is to drink a large amount of water. Lawand said this can trick someone’s body into thinking it’s satisfied, and help reduce any cravings.  

She suggested keeping a food diary. Studies show people who keep dietary records lose two-to-three times more weight than those who don’t, according to Lawand. Another tip she gave was to walk for at least 150 minutes per week. She advised audience members to reduce sugar, salt and fat intake, and to add more vegetables to their meals.