Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Women are most subjected to obesity and weight gain during Ramadan for a number of reasons. They spend long hours cooking and preparing food, which in turn causes them to eat a lot more. They also spend many hours in front of the television, and this lack of exercise leads to an increase in weight.
Maha Al-Hakami is bold enough to admit that putting on a number of kilos in Ramadan is inevitable. She blames the Ramadan gatherings around the dinner table. She says Ramadan is a month of social gatherings which do not usually take place without plates of sweets and Samosas (pastry stuffed with meat or cheese).
Salma Ali explains that her weight gain during Ramadan is due to the variety of dishes available which she cannot resist even when she is full. From another perspective Salma Abdulaziz says that the reason for her weight increase is that she is constantly eating during the permitted hours when we are strongly tempted to relax!
On the other hand, while many women complain of weight gain in Ramadan specifically due to little exercise and relaxing after breaking the fast; another group of women are happy because for them Ramadan is a golden opportunity to adapt their appetites and become accustomed to little food.
Jawharah Abdel Mohsen speaks about her experience of enjoying the food whilst at the same time, watching her weight. She says, "I am not wary of my eating habits during the first half of Ramadan as I enjoy all of the Ramadan goodies. However, as soon as the second half of the holy month begins, I follow a strict diet and lose all the extra weight that I gained in the first half."
Mona Al Mansour also asserts that Ramadan brings good results for her in terms of weight loss. She asserted that Iftar (point of breaking fast) is an ideal time to eat and to ensure that she does not eat again in the evening. She says, "Ramadan is the best time for me to lose weight. I prefer to keep busy with acts of worship in this month rather than by eating excessively."
Dr Rima Sulayman, the nutritional therapist in the Al-Ufuq medical complex, highlighted that most women suffer experience Ramadan. She asserted that there may be several reasons for this, but the main reason is excessive eating. She noted that sporadic eating between Iftar (when the fast ends) and Suhour (when fast begins) is an important factor responsible for the increase in weight. Sulayman warned against the consumption of varied foods such as fats and sugars if taken in large quantities especially in the evenings. She asserted the importance of drinking many fluids especially water to make up for what the body loses during the fasting day. Furthermore, she emphasized avoiding manufactured drinks, the contents of which depend mainly on sugars and preservatives.