Tell me this, am I the only one who’s so overwhelmed by all these modern dietary trends? Vegetarianism, Veganism, Keto diet, Paleo Diet, and the list goes on. If you are like me, then I think you should give this article a read.

I am gonna be bold and admit that these trends are causing me more confusion and frustration than providing any valuable nutritional guidance. You see, the problem with these diets is that they are extreme.

The Sunnah, on the other hand, is about moderation.

I am not against any of these trends per se, they might actually work for some people. But in a lot of cases what ends up happening is, people become so focused on what NOT to eat that they end up eating almost nothing!

Now even though this article is focused on how we should eat and not on what we should eat, if you combine these 5 habits with sound food choices, I promise you, your life will change inshAllah.

5 Sunnah Eating Habits for Better Health

1- Avoid overeating

Think about it, one of the main causes of death in the world is obesity, which only confirms the perils of overeating.

Say you decided to have a cheat day and you ordered a burger with some fries. Is the food considered nutritious in that case? Absolutely not but what if instead of one burger, you got three or even four with a large-sized fries? That surely triples the negative impact on your health. Allah(SWT) created us to lead an active, non-sedentary life and consume food in moderate portions to live.

Not only does overeating eventually lead to obesity but it leaves you feeling lethargic and sleepy. Eating more means you sit more and sleep more which leaves you unproductive. Therefore, aim to stop eating when you are not full but almost full. So as a start, cut your meal 5 bites short before feeling completely stuffed. Easier said than done, I know. Especially looking at that delicious stuffed turkey with seasoned basmati rice. But we have to try.

2- Eat out of what’s in front of you

وَعَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ ‏- رضى الله عنه ‏- قَالَ : قَالَ اَلنَّبِيُّ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-{ يَا غُلَامُ ! سَمِّ اَللَّهَ , وَكُلْ بِيَمِينِكَ , وَكُلْ مِمَّا يَلِيكَ } مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيْهِ 1‏ .‏

Narrated ‘Umar bin Abu Salamah (RA):Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said to me, “Dear child, mention Allah’s Name, eat with your right hand, and eat from what is next to you.” [Agreed upon].

Eat the food that’s in front of you. Do not grab other people’s food off of their plates unless they want to share with you.

3- Share your food

Sharing your food with the people around your table, or your neighbor, or less fortunate people is highly encouraged by our dear Prophet(ﷺ). He emphasized in the following Hadith the significance of being considerate of others’ needs rather than our own only.

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ كَثِيرٍ، قَالَ‏:‏ أَخْبَرَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الْمَلِكِ بْنِ أَبِي بَشِيرٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ الْمُسَاوِرِ قَالَ‏:‏ سَمِعْتُ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ يُخْبِرُ ابْنَ الزُّبَيْرِ يَقُولُ‏:‏ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ‏:‏ لَيْسَ الْمُؤْمِنُ الَّذِي يَشْبَعُ وَجَارُهُ جَائِعٌ‏.‏

Ibn ‘Abbas informed Ibn az-Zubayr, “I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while his neighbor goes hungry.'”

4- Eat slowly and mindfully

Honestly, I seldom paid any attention to the way I chewed my food. I later noticed that I am swallowing it without savouring which made me eat quicker and in bigger amounts.

Therefore, I now make sure to avoid overloading my spoon and I continue chewing until I feel the bite has lost its texture almost completely before swallowing.

5- Fast twice a week (on Mondays & Thursdays)

Fasting twice a week is proven to get rid of extra weight, regulate the insulin levels in the blood, reduce inflammations, etc. I can enlist 10 more benefits but what’s more important is that it’s Sunnah.

أَخْبَرَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ حَبِيبِ بْنِ الشَّهِيدِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ يَمَانٍ، عَنْ سُفْيَانَ، عَنْ عَاصِمٍ، عَنِ الْمُسَيَّبِ بْنِ رَافِعٍ، عَنْ سَوَاءٍ الْخُزَاعِيِّ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَصُومُ الاِثْنَيْنِ وَالْخَمِيسَ ‏.‏

It was narrated that ‘Aishah said: “The Messenger of Allah used to be keen to fast on Mondays and Thursdays.”

Taking good care of your physical and mental health is an obligation to every Muslim. Make the intention to improve your overall health to worship Allah better and fulfill your life goals inshAllah.

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