How to have a healthy Eid after a month of Ramadan fasting

By David Abousaada, Cardiologist


David Abousaada

February 02, 2019

After a whole month of patient self-discipline, sacrifice, and worship, the holy Ramadan ends with a glorious feast. Eid, the celebration that comes after the long fast is when both our spirit and body have already been purified. Still, going back to our normal routines may cause difficulties. Already used to the special kind of nutrition that Ramadan implies, we are now being presented with a new challenge – to return to our regular diet without exposing ourselves to the dangers of overeating, gaining weight, heartburn, and indigestion. Here’s how to keep healthy while celebrating Eid.

1. Eat to Live Instead of Living to Eat
Once we go back to our pre-Ramadan eating habits, it’s highly likely that our body may experience shock. Bigger portions and more frequent meals that we return to during the holy Eid are in great contrast with the Ramadan fasting regime, and as a consequence of the sudden change, we often become fatigued and sleepy. For that reason, easing gradually into our normal eating habits is paramount. Furthermore, steering clear from fatty food, as well as sweets, will certainly lower the risk of gastric upset and flatulence. Instead of those, opt for healthier ingredient options and lighter meals.

2. Eat Less, but More Frequently
If your organism is having a hard time adjusting to the regular eating times, try easing your way into Eid by eating at similar times of the day as you did during Ramadan. Just as food saturated with fat and sugar may cause disturbance to your digestive system, so can overeating. Instead of indulging your stomach with large portions of your favorite dishes right away, start will smaller plates. If those don’t satisfy your nutrition needs, try eating more frequently, every 3 or 4 hours, in order to trick your cravings and stimulate your metabolism.

3. Keep Your Diet Rich with Fibres
Just because the fast is over, that doesn’t mean you should make your kitchen vegetable free. As much as greens have served well as a substitution for the wholesome meals during Ramadan, they are still an important part of a balanced and healthy diet. Both water and fibers that veggies and fruit are fulsome with will soothe your appetite and keep you hydrated the whole day long. If you haven’t already, remember to include whole grain breakfasts into your nutrition routines as well. Feel free to indulge in hearty meat dishes, but keep them in smaller portions and rethink how you prepare them – to preserve the vitamins, but eliminate fat, try baking and grilling instead of frying and overcooking.

4. Trick Your Stomach
There are a couple of little tricks to help you forget all about your restless stomach. In case physical activity is not a part of your daily routines, try introducing it. Start your day with a short walk before breakfast – in addition to regulating your blood flow and calming your stomach, a morning exercise will make you feel better and, consequently, diminish your cravings. Also, remember to hydrate regularly and to drink a cup or two of water before the meal. When eating, take a moment to savor the food. By chewing longer and properly, you’ll avoid the risk of overeating. Lower your cutlery when feeling “not hungry”, rather than when feeling “full”, and if the juicy taste in your mouth tempts you to have another bite, eliminate it with something refreshing, like minty chewing gum or a mouth wash.

5. Get To Know Your Real Cravings
Nutritious and wholesome, fast-breaking dates are perfect for recharging your energy and avoiding temptations during Ramadan. But once Eid is here, dates can become an excuse to please your desires and keep munching. If not balanced and healthy, snacks will certainly make it difficult not to fall back into your old patterns. Instead of allowing them to lure you, choose a healthier alternative. To make the right choice, it’s important to learn where your cravings come from – for instance, if chocolate is everything you can think of, your organism actually needs magnesium. You can find it in 100% cocoa or dark chocolate, both of which are actually still as tasty, but way better for your organism.

If the holy month of Ramadan should fortify our faith and remind us of the importance of staying humble then Eid is all about celebrating our achievements. To keep modest and healthy, preserve your fasting habits a bit longer and make one change at a time. If, however, sudden transitions in diet cause distress to your body, the specialists in gastroenterology and cardiology at our hospital are always at your disposal.

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