"I recommend you definitely slowly transition into your regular eating pattern," said Rahaf Al Bochi
a registered dietician and media spokeswoman for the Academy of
Nutrition and Dietetics in the United States. "Your stomach is going to
be smaller, so you're not going to be able to eat as much right away.
You want to slowly honor your hunger and fullness and eat smaller
portions throughout the day."
Bochi, who is also owner of Olive Tree Nutrition in Atlanta, advises
that starting Eid al-Fitr by drinking water and eating a date, like the
Prophet Muhammad did when breaking a fast, will provide fiber, natural
sugar, potassium, magnesium and the boost of energy the body needs after
, a nutritionist in northern Virginia, typically eats almonds with her dates for an extra dose of protein to break her fast.
"If there's a special dessert that is
traditionally served and you emotionally associate it with the holiday,
have it," Zibdeh said. "But you don't have to have every single thing
that is in front of you. Moderation is going to be really key, listening
to your body and trying to stay in tune with your body."
water is vital in preventing dehydration after an extended period of
fasting, particularly as some observers would have gone up to 17 hours
without quenching their thirst each day.
Experts also highlight the importance of diversifying food intake to get the proper nutrients.
and vegetables, those are going to provide you with minerals you've
missed out on," said Courtney Ferreira, a clinical nutritionist at the
University of Maryland Medical Center. Taking vitamins is unnecessary if
people return to a healthy diet after Eid, she said.
healthy eating strategy is planning to have meals at social gatherings
where food will inevitably be served and taking breaks in between,
Zibdeh said. Taking three- to four-hour breaks between meals will aid
the digestive system in pushing any bacteria or waste from the top of
the gastrointestinal tract to the bottom.
invited to a brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and I know my friend is
going to be serving Pakistani-style brunch. ... I would personally wake
up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, maybe one date, have prayer,"
Zibdeh said. "I'm not going to have breakfast at home because I'm
anticipating this meal and I want to enjoy it with my friends. I have
another party at 6 p.m., and I will make sure I drink water, make sure I
take the kids out, but I probably won't have another meal until the
Going to the grocery store and meal planning can help keep you from reaching for more convenient but unhealthy foods, said Nazima Qureshi
a Toronto-based dietitian. Qureshi also does not place any restrictions
on Eid and bakes cheesecakes infused with traditional flavors like
baklava and gulab jamun to share with family and friends.
that first day of Eid, however, many nutrition experts consider the end
of Ramadan to be a chance to start over and make better dietary
"A lot of people are
surprised to see they've gained weight, but that's because they've been
eating a lot during the non-fasting hours," Qureshi said. "If you
haven't been watching what you eat, you might find yourself feeling very
sluggish and tired. It's a good time to reset and get back into focus."
But instead of feeling bad or
beating yourself up, use this as a starting point, Qureshi said. "Coming
out of Ramadan is a great time to set goals and resolutions to have a