Ramazan ended and you've already unleashed your inner beast on that Eid dinner ─ drizzling that cold, minty raita on top of the steaming orange-gold biryani, gulping down a big sip of chilled 7 Up, followed by the milky relish of savaiyan ─ the Eid binge can be just so difficult to resist!
But now that you have devoured all the roasted goodness, the golden-brown chicken qorma paired with sweet bites of sheermal, its definitely time to resume the fitness regime. And even after Eid, its difficult to avoid the very occasional dawat here and there.
We spoke to nutritionists and physical trainers to share insight on how to help you rewire yourself and get back into your health act. Here are 7 tips to eat clean post-Eid.
1) Food swapping
Certified nutritionist and head trainer at Spartan Fitness, Bilal Munir says that instead of reaching out for the fizzy drinks or the heavily sweetened beverages at gatherings, try going for a fresh juice (if available).
Otherwise, he recommends mixing lemon, mint and water with honey as a sweetener instead of white sugar as it's packed with nutritional benefits unlike its counterpart.
2) Portion control
If there was, for example, a hot, steaming tray of home-cooked biryani in front of you, the likelihood of you staying true to your healthy meal plan were probably slim. However, you can always have things you like in moderation, suggests Munir.
"If you are craving chocolates, you can opt to have a small block from a dark chocolate bar everyday," the fitness guru says.
He also suggested having a portion of rice in moderate amounts is not as bad as people make it out to be.
3) Don't fall for fads
Munir also says that banning a type of food from your diet forever is not a sensible thing to do. "The biggest misconception people have is that in order to stay fit you need to stop having carbohydrates permanently," he said.
"But that is completely not true." Munir said.
"There's a way to go about it which is called carb-cutting, but cutting things off permanently is unnatural to the body."
Munir says that calorie-counting is another popular method of losing weight but it doesn't take into account the nutritional value of the food you're eating (basically, saying a calorie of sugar is not equal in effects as to one calorie of protein).
4) Balance it out
Rameesha Shahid, fitness instructor at K7 Fitness and Kickboxing Academy, suggests that if you have dawat coming up where you're likely to binge, focus on having a healthy breakfast and lunch ahead of it to balance it out.
Working out the next day can also help you not linger over the cheat meal from before; keeping you motivated and helping you stay on track.
5) Ease into your workout
Aniqah Sheikh, fitness instructor at Health Act, suggests that instead of diving into an intense workout session after the Eid binge and then experiencing a burn-out, "Ease yourself into it, and then get back to your usual routine."
Sheikh says that doing the opposite will put unnecessarily load on your body and won't be a good start to a sustainable regime.
6) Manage your water intake
Don't gulp down a huge amount of water after a large lunch or dinner. "That will prove to be very heavy for your digestive system," says Munir.
Rather, have a glass of water 20-30 minutes before a meal to help you manage your appetite and avoid the bloated-feeling.
7) Develop a post-Eid meal plan
Finally, instead of following a "diet plan", focus on making a "meal plan that is sustainable", one which is according to your body type and fitness requirements. Incorporate things that you like to have ─ be it burgers or pastas ─ but make sure you have the healthier variety, for instance, an open faced burger or whole wheat pasta.
The greens, salads and fresh fruits will have to be factored in a major way but you can always try new recipes using natural ingredients.
Here's hoping these tips can help you in some way. Remember, every unhealthy calorie counts. Good luck to your future dawat endeavors!