5 Tips to survive Ramadan Bazaars!

Marie France Bodyline

It’s the time of the year again for food, festivities, friends and family gatherings. Yes, we’re talking about Hari Raya. And what comes to mind when one tells you Hari Raya is around the corner? Apart from fasting through Ramadan, yes you are right - Ramadan bazaars!

Ramadan Bazaar has become an annual affair; essentially a gathering of food stalls that offers a variety of local scrumptious and mouth-watering delicacies. So much so that every residential area has one now that people across all ages throng to.

Ramadan Bazaar

The variety of affordable and delicious foods could be tempting enough to cause overspending and even overeating when parading along the aisle of food heaven, every Ramadan. It’s always not that easy to control yourself when so much food and drinks are laid out before your eyes at exorbitantly affordable prices. But a lot of us regret so much after having gone to a Ramadan bazaar and burning a hole in our pockets. Worse still, when there is so much leftover in the fridge that we are unable to finish even the next day.

So here are 5 basic tips to remember when heading to a Ramadan bazaar – to which your wallet and your waist will thank you for!

1. One stall at a time

The key to being disciplined is not to be greedy. Don’t forget, Ramadan is for a month, so even if you go to the same bazaar every day, you might have the opportunity to try all the many different foods from many different stalls all month long. So try sticking to one stall or maybe two at most at a time, each day.

One stall at a time

2. Stay within your budget

Bring a definite amount of money instead of bringing your entire wallet out. For instance, you could decide that for the day, you want to limit your expenses to just RM10 so just bring that amount along with you. Knowing what you want to eat makes it even easier to decide on the amount to bring.

Stay within your budget

3. Get an extra workout

Staying healthy is about balancing between what you eat and what you burn through the day. So instead of driving to the bazaar nearby, take a stroll there. Once you are there, take another stroll along the aisles and streets of the bazaar and make your decision once you have reached the end and have seen it all. In a big Ramadan bazaar, all that walking could even help you to burn as much as 100 calories, you never know.

Get an extra workout

4. Listen to your body

It’s always good to listen to your stomach on how much is too much. Eat slowly when breaking fast, taking up to 20 minutes to finish the meal. Enjoy every bite and listen to your body’s reaction. Most importantly, stop eating when you are no longer feeling hungry or you are comfortably full. You have the whole evening to grab some healthy snacks later if you get hungry again.

Listen to your body

5. Pick the best food for iftar

Your body has been deprived of food the whole day; it has been burning the energy from your body fats and even mass. So what you need to supply your body at Iftar is pertinent. Start with the most ideal choice - carbohydrates. Dates are excellent choice of carbohydrates, due to the fairly high sugar content. In fact, a couple of dates are good for about 40-60 grams of carbs that your body needs to quickly recover from the low blood glucose level that you have experienced during the day. Then you may move on to other sources of carbs such as rice or even sweet cakes such as kuih lapis or kuih serimuka. As always, eat everything in moderation and be mindful of the portions.

Pick the best food for iftar

While most people usually lose some weight during the fasting month, there are also some that gain weight during the month. That happens when one overindulges in foods and drinks while breaking fast, which somewhat defeats the whole purpose of having to fast from dawn to dusk. So the moral of the story is to spend and eat moderately, especially if shopping at Ramadan bazaars is your thing. Whenever possible, keep yourself active to burn the extra calories gobbled down during Iftar.

Ramadan Kareem

*As causes for being overweight vary from person to person, weight loss results will also vary from person to person, dependant on various genetic or environmental factors such as food intake, individual rate of metabolism, level of exercise, etc. No individual result should be seen as typical.