Health, Diet & Family

The Post-Raya Diet

by Keeta B. Photography FriedChillies on Wed, September 30, 2009

Has the Raya eating frenzy left you bloated, lacking energy and feeling downright useless? Kick the ketupat bulge with few motivational tips to help you kick start your way to good health!

Loving yourself for who you are is good, but don't use it as an excuse to not improve yourself

The fasting month is long gone, but we’re still making up for it by eating to absolutely excess! With all the Raya goodies like Rendang, Ketupat and those sinfully delicious Raya cookies and cakes, only a fool would not have gained a pound or two, although in most cases it’s probably more! So if you’re starting to feel sluggish and a little guilty about all that eating, here are a few tips to whip yourself back into shape…

Make a conscious decision

If you’ve decided to go on a little post-holiday diet, decide exactly when you want to start, how long you want to do it and what are the goals you’re hoping to achieve. It could be something as simple as cutting out junk food or red meat for 1 or 2 weeks, to more hardcore options like a total body detox. By setting a schedule for yourself you’re more likely to stick with it because you have an end goal.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

If you’ve never been the type to diet, don’t get over ambitious and start out on a ‘fruit-only’ fast; you’ll end up quitting before the day is through! People have been known to lose over 5kgs a year by simply cutting down on their cola intake, so this means that every little bit counts. Motivate yourself to achieve things that are not so difficult to do, and think about how good you’ll feel because you are able to stick to it.

Examine your eating habits

If you hate veggies, don’t plan to go on a salad diet. Yes, you want to make up for the Raya binge-ing, but that doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself up in lettuce hell and throw away the key! If you hate veggies, make a point to take supplements that give you veggie nutrients, and opt to cut out processed or sugary foods instead. If you love fish, try going on a fish only diet. Work around your eating habits so that you still enjoy food even though you’re on a diet.

Think lean and green

If breakfast is usually sugary cornflakes, change to wheat-bran or muesli. If lunch is usually fried chicken, opt for roast chicken instead. Love chocolate? Dark chocolate is low in calories and still tastes great! Think about the healthier alternatives to your everyday foods and go with that. This is the best way to see results without having to veer too far away from your comfort zone.

Use a cheat

If you’re planning to turn this post-Raya diet into something more long-term, allow yourself a ‘cheat-day’ once a week, so you don’t feel depraved. Maybe every Sunday you can enjoy your favourite meal, or an ice cream cone. But remember, it’s a cheat-day, not the last supper, so don’t overdo it!

Add and subtract

Can’t quit smoking? Then just cut down. Hate exercise? Then go out shopping more. No time to eat fruits? Then get some effervescent Vitamin C. Eliminating bad habits are hard to do cold-turkey, so rather than not doing it at all, try to cut back on the bad and add a little more of the good. At the end of the day, it’s better than not trying at all.

Get support

Tell your friends or family that you plan to go on a post-Raya diet, share your goals and plans with them. Chances are they’re probably feeling as bloated and sluggish as you are and could use a ‘diet-buddy’ too. And even if you’re the only one who wants to go through with it, letting them know your plans will help them help you avoid temptations. Iced latte anyone? Let’s all go out for an iced green tea instead!

Those scales LIE

Stop weighing yourself every hour, it’s only going to disappoint you. Let your body tell you when you’re doing things right. If your clothes start to fit a little better and you feel a little lighter, you’ll know you’re on the right track.

Research, research

Stop super-poking people and log on for some useful information instead! There are so many sites that give great diet stories, recipes and advice. You’ll be amazed at some of the solutions and methods other people have been using and it’ll keep you inspired as well! If you have a blog, share your own methods with other people, you might just change somebody’s life! (Ok, I know that’s a bit far-fetched, but you might at least give someone a great new recipe for a tofu stir-fry)

Don’t let people bring you down

Have model-thin friends who can eat a whole cow for Raya and still not gain an ounce? And who constantly pretend to complain about it? Fret not. To each his own battle, and while yours might be weight, they probably have their own insecurities too, even though they’re not telling you. Loving yourself the way you are is good because when you love yourself, you make it easier for other people to love you too. But don’t use it as an excuse to not try to improve yourself; after all, being healthy will make you feel better, so this is all about you, not about what other people think.

So there you have it, some “perk-me-up” tips meant to inspire a brand new you. Now put those cookies away and start planning your diet, before the next festive season shows up! Good Luck!

PS : And yes, I will also be joining you on this quest to remedy the shameless indulging I have been doing over this past week! Wish me luck too, I’m going to need it!