It is Ramadan, the Holy Month and while some of you have been fasting for years, others are fasting for the first or second time this year. If you are fasting for the first time, like me, or you just have a little trouble keeping away from food during day, have a look at these 10 ways in which you can avoid temptation and make sure you don’t break your fast before sunset.
1. Keep the kitchen door closed!
If the kitchen door and the gate to all good food in your house is closed, it may help you fight temptation. You would only open the kitchen door for the purpose of preparing food or getting snacks. So why open it? Keep it shut, so you don’t accidentally walk into the temptation.
2. Cover all food out
Great, you’ve made it into the kitchen, even though the door was closed. If you are hungry you might wander about the house and all of the sudden you find yourself in the room you tried avoiding the most; THE KITCHEN. But there is no food to see, because the fruit, vegetables, candy or other food you keep outside cupboard and fridge is covered with small tablecloths or other things. It does not only keep you from staring at the food, but can also look quite decorative.
3. Have a little clock on refrigerator and cupboard
What are you still doing in the kitchen? When all that does not work and you make your way towards the fridge or the cupboard where your favorite food might await you, put a little clock on the doors of them. On the clock you can mark the first and last time you can eat before the fast with a white board marker. Then it is much easier to tell yourself that it is not long until you can eat again, because you can count the hours and minutes on the clock. See, ONLY 5 hours to go!
4. Use non- transparent containers for your leftovers in the fridge.
You have left overs in the fridge and they are easy and quick to eat, even though it’s not time yet. In order to keep you from seeing or smelling the food from the night before that is in the fridge, place it in non-transparent Tupperware instead of cling or aluminum foil. This will not only help you resist, but is also more eco-friendly, because you can reuse it.
5. Go out!
Because you keep walking into the kitchen and have opened the fridge for the 50th time, why don’t you take a break and go out? Meet some friends and do something fun, this will get your mind off the food and once you get home, it might be time for Iftar already. But don’t talk to your friends about fasting and food too much, even if they fast as well, because that will again defeat the purpose of getting distraction.
6. But don’t come near cafés.
Going out is fun, whether it is a sport activity, seeing an exhibition or going to the mall. But be aware that there are some cafés that will still have their sandwiches, tarts, cupcakes and chocolates out for sale. So if you do spot one, RUN!
7. Don’t go grocery shopping in day light hours.
If you think it’s a good idea to get the last ingredients for your Iftar during the day, you are wrong. You will need a lot of discipline to keep yourself from buying things you don’t actually need but look delicious. Also once you bought them and go home, it is very hard store the food without trying a piece first. So walk past the cookie shelf and out of Carrefour.
8. Treat yourself
Because fasting can be challenging, you should reward yourself after Sunset with something small. Not every day, and not with something big, but have a candy bar or your favorite lemonade that will anticipate and be grateful, if you’re not breaking the fast too early.
9. Literally ‘hide’ your food
Play a game with a family member where you get the other person's favorite snack and hide it in the house. Draw a map or write a riddle for the each other, that you will only exchange at sunset. This could be a fun game to play that you can look forward to during the day.
10. No food channels on TV
Make a list of your usual TV channels and add them to your favorites on the menu. Leave out all food channels so that you won’t get an appetite after being strong for hours. Watch master chef when you’ve had Iftar, when there’s no risk of breaking the fast too soon. But watch out, they don’t censor the food in movies or TV series, and since this is also a time to be spiritual and to educate yourself, pick up an interesting book or the Qur’an, and you are safe from food!
Writer: Sarah Schroeder
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