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Top tips for a healthy Eid after a month of fasting

After a month of fasting from dawn-to-sunset, can you resist indulging?

Racha Adib

Published: Updated:

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. In many homes, a fabulous feast filled with your favorite family recipes is prepared. After a month of fasting from dawn-to-sunset, can you resist indulging?

While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the food at the table, hastily returning to pre-Ramadan food habits may cause a shock to your body's system. Having too much food can leave you feeling bloated, gorged, and bring about feelings of guilt. It can also result in the dreaded weight gain.

The fact is, we easily fall into the pitfalls of social eating. That’s why we’ve come up with some handy tips to help you resist splurging this Eid!

Take a walk in the morning. When you exercise, your body releases “happy” hormones called endorphins that help keep your appetite at bay and positively affects your mood. Who doesn’t feel great after a morning walk? It’ll be harder to indulge and ruin your morning effort.

Drink water before eating. A 2010 study concluded that people that consumed two cups (500 mL) of water right before eating a meal ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories during that meal. It’s an easy way to decrease your intake!

Remember Benjamin. When you’re sitting right in front of a table filled with every tasty delight, it would be the perfect moment to remember Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote, “Eat to live, don't live to eat.” While it’s not revolutionary, it’s not something we think about enough.

Choose your seat wisely. By simply sitting next to the healthier food options, and leaving a safe distance between you the not-so-healthy options, you’ll be having a healthier overall intake. It’s always a hassle to ask for that dish sitting at the other end of the table, right?

Chew well. Not everyone is aware that digestion actually begins not in the stomach, but in the mouth, as you chew. The saliva in your mouth contains enzymes that begin digesting your food before you have even swallowed it. Proper chewing sends signals to your body to get it ready for the rest of the digestion process.

Control your portions. Chat more, eat less is the best approach you can go for to decrease your chances of indigestion. Instead of focusing on eating, keep things social and catch up with the family. Another approach is to avoid second helpings of the same food, even if it means saying no to a nagging relative.

Eat more fruits and vegetables. The water and fiber in fruits and vegetables play a key role in making you feel hydrated and giving you a sense of fullness. When it’s time for dessert begin with fruits before moving on to dessert, although you’re tempted to do the opposite. The sweetness in fruits can satisfy your sugar cravings, and a few bites of dessert is all you’ll need.

Get closure. The aim of eating is to be left feeling “not hungry” instead of “full”. The best way to test that is by standing up. Feeling half-full is your cue for closure; leave the table and change the taste of your mouth with something minty. It could be chewing mint gum, brushing your teeth, or gargling with mouth wash.

Clean up. If you really want to burn some calories, help clean up the table. You’ll also score some brownie points with the family!