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Losing the Eid extra weight is easy, says expert

The Eid seasons are invariably weight-gaining extravaganzas. You find yourself losing track of how many meals you had in the houses of friends and families and how many restaurants you invited your wife or friends to over the short, yet digestive-problem plagued, vacation.

You tend to give yourself a couple of days off from your routine sports and workouts. Gyms tend to either reduce working hours or close their doors during the holiday.

By the end of these days, and after your triumphant return to your office, you notice that your favorite work suit doesn’t fit you as it used to. The white shirt that makes you look like a model, you notice, now allows fat rolls to appear right above your waist line. You then start to recollect all the meals you had that were so delicious and sinful.

Losing these extra pounds is, however, easy if you catch yourself before it's too late, and figure out the right routine to revive your perfect shape.

You need to notice, however, that losing the weight of the Adha Season (The Holiday of Sacrifice, or sometimes the Greater Eid) is more difficult than that weight you accumulated during al-Fiter Eid (The End of Ramadan Celebration).

“Al-Fiter Eid is traditionally connected to sweets and sugar,” says Karim Strougo, an Egyptian fitness expert. “While Eid al-Adha is traditionally celebrated by eating all kinds of meat meals.”

Strougo posits sugar is easier burned in the human body than fat, which makes it harder for you to plan your routine after all these recent meals.

But worry not. “If you have just gained a couple of extra pounds, they are easier to get ride of than older extra weight,” the expert says.

According to Strougo, this interesting way of burning fat in the human body has to do with the structure of the fat in human cells. After gaining a certain amount of fat, your body adjusts and the fat becomes harder to rid.

“Imagine that you have a safe box that you are putting your savings in on daily basis,” says Strougo. “If at any moment you need to spend some money you would probably take out the last amount you put inside the safe box, because it’s easier to grab and closer to the surface.”

“People need to realize that the only real way to lose weight on the scale is to force the body to use some of the stored energy in it,” Strougo explains, adding that there are three ways to lose weight regardless of its lifespan in your body. You can eat less than you burn, burn more than you eat or do both techniques together.

Not any exercise, however, can help you lose fat. Certain training methods are better than others in doing the trick. “To make sure [the trainees] are using the stored fat [during their workout], they need to be working on a moderate intensity, which is 60 to 75 percent of their maximum heart rate,” Strougo suggests. “Working on a cardio intensity (75 to 85 percent) would burn mainly sugar.”

To calculate your heart-rate intensity, you can wear a heart-rate monitor–available in the market and helpful in detecting your maximum heart-rate by calculating your weight, your age and your workout intensity. Or you can learn to take your pulse on the radial artery (located at the wrist, exactly at the base of your thumb) or the brachial artery (which can be found on your upper arm near your armpits, between the biceps and triceps on the inner side of your upper arm).

Strougo also suggests a number of activities that would help to shed the weight, such as brisk walking and cycling. “The trainees need to monitor their heart rate at all times to make sure they don’t go above 75 percent intensity,” Strougo adds. “They should focus all the time on breathing, as oxygen is the fire that burns the fat in the human body.”

Strougo also offered some tips to reduce the negative effects of weight gain.

“Instead of eating one big meal during the day when the whole family are together and never eat anything for the rest of the day, try to distribute the food over five or six small meals per day with two and half or three hours intervals,” Strougo explains, pointing out that this will help your metabolism strengthen, allowing the body to burn more fat. “Also, drink plenty of water, which will fill you a little bit and will hydrate you which will make your metabolism working better.”

As a tradition we Arabs eat fruit as a desert, but according to the fitness expert, this will reap less than positive results. “The fruit we eat after our meal oxidates the food in our system, allowing us to get only the empty calories of the food with minimum value," Strougo says. "You should eat the fruits as a separate meal or even half an hour before your actual meal.”

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