It was frustrating how my weight kept increasing month after month. Every time, I stood on the weighing scale, an excess of 1-2 kilos stared back at me. How do I tend to put on so much weight in such little time? The same question that many of us ask ourselves – with the same answer – overeating.
Until then, I never looked at overeating as a problem. It never occurred to me how harmful this habit is to my body. Until I realized it, I had gained an excess of 10 kilos and was still counting. So, how do I lose these 10 kilos and make sure this never happens again?
Exercising or getting a gym membership wasn’t possible. I have two kids – an infant and a toddler – and hence no time for self-care. The only option remaining was to diet, which I tried earlier and it didn’t help. I would eat all healthy meals for first few days and then once that week or month was over, I could not help but give into my cravings.
The Prophet said: “No man fills a vessel worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back straight are sufficient for the son of Adam. If he has to [increase], he should keep a third [of his stomach] for food, one third for drink and one third for breathing.” [At-Tirmithi]
This hadeeth is the best health advise one can receive. It wasn’t easy, this whole concept of eating less. My body was used to consuming more than required and as I began to control it, I constantly felt hungry.
With patience, persistence and lot of ‘dua’ to keep me steadfast, I started following these measures:
- I reduced my food in-take severely: It is important to mention here that I never stopped consuming any particular type of food. Be it chocolates, fast food, fruits, salads, meat etc; I consumed it all. What I did, was to eat less than my usual quantity. For example, if I was used to eating 2 eggs for breakfast, I reduced it to one. If I ate a plate full of rice, I reduced it to half and obviously began with ‘Bismillah’ (In the name of Allah). In two months, my appetite was under my control. I noticed that I wasn’t constantly hungry anymore. My body had got used to small portions of meal and I didn’t just stop putting on weight, I actually managed to reduce 2 kilos. Alhamdulilah!
‘O ye people! Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good.’ (Surah Baqarah, Verse 168)
- I stopped skipping meals and eating in-between meals – I started eating only during proper meal times and kept a strict diet schedule. This helped my body to expect a meal only during proper meal times. I have to mention, eating right has a lot to do with sleeping right as well. Hence, I had breakfast at 7am, lunch at 1pm, a mild snack (a beverage and two biscuits) at 4pm and finally dinner at 6.30pm. I kept dinner as my lightest meal, because I had to get in bed by 8:30pm. I never skipped any meal and I also made sure not to eat in-between these specified times.
- Drink lots of water – I start my day with a glass of water. Having two glasses is even better. I also keep a water bottle on my desk while working and keep sipping from it. This helps me from feeling hungry all the time and also keeps me hydrated. “Then let mankind look at his food. How We poured down water in torrents,” (Surah Abasa)
- Following the above methods while Fasting – The month of Ramadan had started and I started losing weight quicker than ever. Due to reduction in consumption of food, Ramadan worked wonders for me. ‘No wonder I never lost weight during Ramadan earlier’ I thought to myself. I was glad this Ramadan was different. With light ‘suhoor’ and an even lighter ‘iftar’, fasting does help reduce weight. But it’s important not to forget that the primary intention is to seek Allah’s pleasure.
The Prophet said: “The food of a single person is sufficient for two and the food of two is sufficient for three and the food of three is sufficient for four.”
- I purchased a weighing scale – I checked my weight every week to make sure that I am achieving my goal. One aspect to note in this regard is to never check it before the week is over. Our weight tends to fluctuate from time to time. So, I always check during weekends and this time I was smiling, as the figures kept decreasing from the last time I stood on it.
It took me two months to control my appetite and about 8 months to shed the extra calories I had. In about a year, I had lost 10 kilos and I was no longer over weight. But more importantly, I had managed to reduce my overall in-take which will make sure that I never gain unnecessary weight again. In Sha Allah!
‘Urwah (RA) reported: Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: Verily, the first trial to occur in this nation after the passing of its Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was people eating to their fill. For when people fill their stomachs, their bodies are fattened, their hearts are hardened, and their desires are uncontrollable. (Al-Jū’ li-Ibn Abī Dunyā 22)