Ramadan Special: Overeating Resolved!

[big_title]Ramadan Special: Overeating Resolved![/big_title]

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[dropcap1]A[/dropcap1]s special as is the month of Ramadan in terms of sacredness for us Muslims around the world, it is so too in the rituals of suhoor and iftar; and not to mention, the delicacies that accompany them. Just a few minutes before iftar, we are all well in control of our hunger despite the dishes laid out in front of us, but with the first hint of Maghrib being heard from a nearby mosque, all hell breaks loose and we indulge into the most common health issue during Ramadan among the well-off: Overeating.

Surprisingly enough, many people end up in the E.R, apart from due to dehydration and food poisoning, simply because of indigestion, abdominal pains, vomiting and diarrhea, which doctors identify as a result of overeating. Why do we tend to overeat? Are we compensating for restraining from eating the entire day, trying to catch up on the lost energy, or just surrendering to the temptation of delicious food?

In fact, overeating is a direct consequence of eating too fast. As it’s often heard, it takes the brain around 20 minutes to signal a full stomach. Meanwhile, we load ourselves with twice, or perhaps more, the amount of food one would comfortably consume in that time. This is especially dangerous while breaking the fast, since intake of food after a long period should be slow and gentle. Let’s not only look at a few tips to avoid overeating, but follow them too to save ourselves the discomfort.

[icon name=”arrow-right-14″ size=”14px” link=””] Start eating with light food, preferably just dates and water. These should lower your hunger level enough for you to not splurge into food uncontrollably as well as hydrate the body.

[icon name=”arrow-right-14″ size=”14px” link=””] Replace juices or drinks with high sugar content with water or those with low levels of sugar. You are then less likely to gulp down liquid too fast and cause indigestion. Also, opt for mild dairy products to soothe your insides first before moving to food with high acidity levels.

[icon name=”arrow-right-14″ size=”14px” link=””] Do not immediately start a full scale meal. Wait for at least 10 minutes before eating more after breaking the fast. On a side note, take the time to join the congregational prayer well in time in the true spirit of worship.

[icon name=”arrow-right-14″ size=”14px” link=””] Try to serve iftar individually instead of laying out dishes piled with food. Take small portions in a single serving and feel satisfied after finishing it. Being able to serve yourself repeatedly provokes unnecessarily excessive helpings.

[icon name=”arrow-right-14″ size=”14px” link=””] Eat everything, but in moderation. It’s definitely not easy, and as some would agree, abnormal, to completely avoid fried high-calorie items. Leave them just for satisfying your taste buds, not for fulfilling your hunger. The first and last bite will taste the same anyway.

[icon name=”arrow-right-14″ size=”14px” link=””] Lastly, and most importantly, exercise what you had practicing the entire day at the time of iftar too: self-control. Learn and reflect patience; accomplish the true purpose of Ramadan. In this blessed month and always, do not take your health, a great blessing in itself, for granted, but be grateful and care for it.

Nimrah Mustafa. (Consultant and Editor int3ger)

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