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How to Balance Your Health and Still Have FUN on Eid!

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Ah, Eid time. A beautiful time of happiness, thankfulness, joy and also, a lot of good food! While we definitely should enjoy our food and thank Allah SWT for His blessings, be careful of what lurks around the Eid dinner table! I most certainly don’t want to be the “Grinch of Eid” and tell everyone they can’t eat anything! But, after hours of feasting, many people end up passed out on the couch, a full stomach bloated with food, and feeling nauseous from eating all day long.

What a mess!

We must be careful not to go from controlled and spiritual in Ramadan, to lazy indulgence all day on Eid! Of course, we can enjoy our food, but we must not go so far that you feel like your stomach is about to explode. You should also not gain back any weight you lost during Ramadan, all in a single day of Eid Feasting! I see a lot of poor food choices being made on Eid, that people later regret when they step onto the scale or try on their Eid gift clothing!

I know many people feel that they have gone through all of Ramadan not eating anything, so they “deserve” a day of indulgence. But, again, enjoying your food does NOT mean eating with abandon everything in sight! Islamically, overeating is DISCOURAGED. I find it sad that many people use Eid, a holiday celebrating our obedience to Allah SWT, to engage in actions which are frowned upon in the Sunnah and by our Scholars of Islam, such as overeating, laziness and gluttony.

Imam Shafi’ said:

“I have not filled myself in 16 years because filling oneself makes the body heavy, removes clear understanding, induces sleep and makes one weak for worshiping Allah.” 1

The scholar Al-Hasan al-Basri also said,

“The test of the Prophet Adam, peace be upon him, was food and it is your test until the Day of Judgment. It used to be said, ‘Whoever takes control of his stomach gets control of all good deeds.’ 2

It is also important to remember that Islam and our Sunnah promote BALANCE and MODERATION in all things, including our food! Let’s not turn Eid into a negative day of overeating! With a little bit of preparation, it doesn’t have to be this way!

Here re my top 5 tips so we can all our favorite foods, without sabotaging our health! vertical-donation-half-hladd

 1 – Have a light nutritious breakfast

I know most people wake up on Eid and the idea of eating is so exciting after log days of fasting, that everyone charges into the kitchen to grab a snack. This will usually contain sugary cereal, or even some leftover sweets from Ramadan. My advice: Don’t start off on the wrong foot!

We all know you’re going to be having a heavy dinner and probably a party lunch, too. There’s going to be a LOT of food, and probably a lot of sugar. So make sure you don’t overdose on sugar right from the morning! Try and make your Eid breakfast contain NO SUGAR to compensate for the treats later on. Great examples include:

          – Green smoothie with cashew/almond milk, fruits & yogurt

          – 1 slice whole grain toast with 2 whole eggs

          – Fruits, light crème cheese, olives, whole grain crackers, etc.

          – Foul beans, whole wheat pita,etc.

 Try and eat the very healthiest thing you can imagine first thing in the morning, and don’t fill your whole stomach. There’s a lot of food coming later the day, so let’s keep it light! This is the key to applying BALANCE to Eid and allowing more wiggle room for enjoyment with more calories later on.

2 – SKIP the masjid goodie bag

You know when you’re heading out of the masjid, and a cute little girl tasked with handing out the Masjid “Eid bags” hands you a party bag filled with some treats? Here’s what I’ve found is usually in those bags: dates, hard sugar candies, miscellaneous cultural sugary treats, sugared hard raisins, some nuts or chocolate.

Now, what would you rather have? Your mom’s dessert at home that she spent hours the night before making, OR the hard sugar candies in your Masjid Eid bag? DON’T waste your day’s calories on those hard little sugar pieces! The goal is to keep it light until the feasting begins! If you are feeling peckish, go for any nuts or dates in the bag, and don’t have the rest. If you don’t want to waste… don’t take one at all. And don’t give your kids any, either, if you don’t want them wired on sugar before the day has even begun. I promise the fun stuff is coming later in the day, so why add a little bag of sugar that doesn’t even taste too good? Health_3

3 – The “Rule of One” for parties

I get that there will be a lot of decadent food waiting for you on Eid! And, all things can be enjoyed in moderation. But stay in control by using my favorite RULE OF ONE: you an only have ONE of each delicacy on your plate. And, you can only fill ONE plate! So that adds some portion control without you having to think about it. One samosa, or one pakora, or one baklava. This will prevent you from taking multiple pieces of these very high calorie foods – samosas can be up to 600-800 calories a pop, so beyond one piece is just not acceptable! If you want to try a variety of everything, turn this into a RULE OF HALVES and take a half a piece of all the foods you want to enjoy. You will get to taste everything, without regretting it later!

4 – Share a dessert plate with a friend

I know you want to enjoy your id deserts. But beware – Eid desserts are a force to be reckoned with and can stash thousands of calories in small portions! Many traditional desserts especially are EXTREMELY heavy so you need to be disciplined to make this work! Save yourself from going overboard by sharing a dessert plate with a friend, so you can both stay in control while still tasting everything. Remember the rule of one STILL applies – one piece of baklava on the plate means you both get to taste and enjoy HALF. That’s a perfectly reasonable way to have your cake and eat it, too!

Remember, Abu Hurayrah RAunarrates that the Prophet SAWS said:

“The food for two persons is sufficient for three, and the food of three persons is sufficient for four persons.” 3

 5 – Get in touch with what you really want

Remember, you CAN enjoy all foods n moderation. But too many people take Eid as an excuse to pig out all day, and they start eating JUST BECAUSE they are not fasting, and they have permission to eat all day. Put on the breaks. Stay in touch with your bodies needs. Ask yourself if you are really hungry and if you’re not, wait a few hours before you resume feasting! Many people eat all day but drink nothing. It’s easy to confuse THIRST for hunger! Keep a water bottle with you and make sure to stay hydrated by SIPPING WATER throughout the day. This will help you better understand what your body really wants!

Finally, remember that Eid is a day of thanking Allah SWT for allowing us to complete Ramadan in beautiful worship and Obedience to him. When we scoff down food, we are not appreciating it – we hardly even realize how much we are eating! Slow down, and thank Allah SWT with each bit. Slowing down also allows your mind to understand that you are full and prevents overeating! Don’t forget that family, friends and feasting are all blessing from Allah, and we should show our thankfulness by applying the proper Sunnah of food – MODERATION and BALANCE!

About the Author

Amina Khan is the founder of Amanah Fitness, an organization aimed at education towards a healthier Ummah. Amanah Fitness seeks to improve health and wellness through health, nutrition and exercise programs of the highest quality. Amanah Fitness has prepared a special HEALTHY EATING IN RAMADAN eBook that you can download FREE until the end of Ramadan! You can get your copy HERE at www.ramadanreset.com Be sure to like Amanah Fitness on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amanahfitness for more free health advice!  

 

  1.   Jami’ Uloom wa-al-Hikam
  2.   Jami’ Uloom wa-al-Hikam
  3.   Sahih ul-Bukhari

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If you liked the article, do leave a comment down below

28 Responses

  1. khanquerer5pg@gmail.com'
    Dr. Nawazish Ali khan

    S. A. I think Ramadan is a practice for what should be followed in next 11months though on a moderate level coz we don’t fast all throughout year, but remembrance and training of Ramadan must be continued throughout year by keeping fast on Mondays, as for taqwa acquired during Ramadan it must be maintained throughout life else whole purpose of Ramadan training is lost!, as for eid day it must be simple celebration n moderate food and not 10course lavish meals, besides that it’s very common UNFORTUNATELY N SADLY that most of Muslims take eid as end of some sort of prison! Iam sorry but this is the truth about current Muslim society which just follows superficiality of religion but far far away from it’s REAL essence or message, they go to such extent as watching movies in cinema halls! This is very common in Indian subcontinent, it’s the duty of ulemas n specially imams of masajids to correct this wrong concept of ummah at large who are mostly ignorant as imams of masajids have biggest opportunity to disseminate real Islam to people as they gather in juma prayers, I hope we don’t act as if everything is hunky n dory rather situation is bleak, may ALLAH SWT help us all

  2. wiftikhar45@gmail.com'
    Iftikhar-ul-islam

    it may prove fruitful for a person who has been fasting through out Ramadan I think the Muslim ummah should follow this.If you see on the the day of Eid most of the illness are related with stomach problems because of over eating.So be careful enjoy ur meals
    EID MUBARAK

    1. amina.the.khan@gmail.com'

      You are absolutely right! So many illnesses in our communities which inshAllah we can start working on via HEALTHY EATING! 🙂

      Thank you for your support! 🙂
      Visit us at facebook.com/amanahfitness!

  3. farry@tstt.net.tt'
    Farry

    Assalamualaikum. while I agree with the article, i must say that on Eid morning we should try our best to stick to the sunnah and just have a date or two and a glass of water( although I find one date to be quite rich and satisfying) before going to the Masjid. I still find that the recommended breakfast is rather a lot. I am sure if one had practice the intake of light food for Sehri during Ramadhan ,on Eid morning one would not be craving a huge breakfast. May we continue to practice moderation and restriction appropriately. Eid Mubarak! May Allah accept all our efforts during the month of Ramadhan and help us to continue to strive on the right part for the rest of our lives..

    1. As you said Farry, dates and water would be a great breakfast – nice and light, we definitely agree! 🙂
      Many people are used to eating a huge breakfast, but with practice, we can work on making our stomachs used to less food inshAllah!

    1. amina.the.khan@gmail.com'

      Salam Fatima! Thank you for your comment! I find that if you take a small amount of food onto your plate and eat it VERY slowly throughout the party, the host will be happy that there is something on your plate and leave you be! As long as you don’t eat it too quickly and make it disappear! 🙂

      Facebook.com/amanahfitness

  4. ummi_yousuf@yahoo.com'
    ummi

    it was a good article but i feel sorry for the “cute little girl “whose goody bags everyone is supposed to refuse….anything the masjid offers should b received with love and appreciation

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