Not the joy, but the tension.. Why do we eat so much on Eid?



Well, it’s Eid, and it doesn’t just mean a lot of meat, with dishes full of delicious pasta and rice and various kinds of soup, or maybe pizza and sandwiches, but it also means a huge amount of sweets, in fact if we decided to call our holidays “candy feasts” we wouldn’t be Wrong, to understand it, let us ask you to compare a picture of you today with another from six or nine years ago, for example, do you notice a significant increase in your weight?

Numerous studies confirm that what we gain over the years of excess weight often accumulates during the feasts and holidays, so simply a few kilograms each year on the holiday is what makes this huge inflation in our weight over the years, and the question that arises is: What happens to us in Holidays to gobble up so much food? Although some of us may be committed to a healthy diet during the year, it does not manage to stick to it during the holidays! (1), (2)

It’s not the joy of Eid… it’s the tension

Let’s start from stress, a study conducted at the German University of Konstanz indicates that the negative effects of social stress are reflected in the amount of food we eat. to eat when stressed, and although they were offered the same food when they became more relaxed, their appetites were significantly lower. (3)

At first glance, it is assumed that our response to stress and tension is not wanting to eat, because of the hormones that the brain produces that reduce appetite, but the persistence of stress and stress levels at a high level for long periods leads to the secretion of cortisol (an appetite-stimulating hormone that comes out of the adrenal glands), and remains This hormone is high as long as we feel stressed, and thus our desire to eat continues. (4)

The so-called emotional eating is then one of the most important reasons for craving holidays and holidays, although they are originally happy days, they often bring a measure of stress, loneliness and boredom, so most of us resort to food to overcome this feeling, nutritionist Timmy Gustafson believes that holidays and holidays are not happy Exactly for many, as they find themselves burdened with many additional tasks and obligations, they wish their daily lives continued as usual to be able to accomplish all these tasks, so sources of stress abound, add to this the lack of exercise and lack of sleep that occurs due to the interruption of our usual daily program, and so increases Stress increases appetite and we gain weight. (5)

On the other hand, some research indicates that there is a gender difference in stress coping behavior, as women are more likely to resort to food while men tend to alcohol or smoking, and thus obesity is associated with stress in women more than men. (6) The effect of this is exacerbated by the fact that the so-called comfort foods, which play an effective role in relieving our feelings of stress, are those foods that are full of fat, sugar and salt, which means that they cause us to gain more weight. (7)

With sharing, we eat more

But stress alone doesn’t explain holiday cravings, at which point David Katz, author of The Way to Eat and chair of the Center for Prevention Research at Yale University School of Medicine, points out three possible reasons for our festive cravings. The first is that everyone does this in front of us, and leniency in diets – as you know – loves companionship, and the second is that it provides opportunity, we are surrounded by many foods, and exposure to them breeds indulgence, and finally our feeling that holidays are an exception, and that we will make up for all this tomorrow, but we do not We do, and you know it so well! (8)

In the presence of others, you are more likely to double the amount of food you eat, and this is likely to affect our choices as well, so you choose food similar to what they eat, a study from the University of Birmingham, UK, indicates that social norms related to eating have a strong influence on choosing the type of food and how much we eat And that following these rules and norms makes sharing food with others more enjoyable, which is why we tend to do the same. (9)

All this food is in front of us.. so who can resist?

The holiday season feels like a marathon; Lots of meat, pies, sweets, cakes and crackers, a tempting table is constantly in front of you even at non-meal times, who can withstand it? On the other hand, trying to diet during this time seems to make matters worse, when the amount of calories you eat is less than the normal amount, your brain will send continuous signals that it is time to eat, and this happens while you are already sitting with starchy dishes and sweets, so you will eat them In the end for sure.

All over the world food is present in festivities, even nutritionists allow their patients to indulge in the holidays so that they do not feel isolated in the midst of a wave of excessive consumption of all dishes, drinks and sweets. In this case, it looks like a reward for a long past commitment. (10)


On the other hand, the festive atmosphere makes us expect large quantities of food, and this association between times, smells and images activates our memory, so that our bodies begin to yearn for specific foods we know, often full of sugars and fats, just like the famous experiment of Russian physiologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov​ (Pavlov was serving the dog food preceded by a small bell next to him, and with this repeat for several days he noticed that the dog began to salivate before he was offered food only by hearing the sound of the bell.) (11)

This craving seems easy to arouse, and at the same time it is difficult to get rid of it, our bodies expect these foods at this time and wait for them, deprivation here is one of the biggest problems for those who follow a diet, skipping meals and feeling very hungry is what causes gluttony, and one of the ways to reduce binge eating is to stay away For motivation in the first place. (12)

Variety doesn’t let you get satiated easily

Well, the reasons for the holiday binge are not over yet. You may know this feeling, when you eat something, your appetite for it gradually decreases, if this is the only food on your plate and you will feel full quickly, but try to have another food next to it; An appetizer or a plate of salad, for example, will make you feel like eating again, and if you keep adding new foods and flavor boosters you will keep eating. (13)

In a study dating back to 1980, researchers in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford compared the speed of feeling full in two groups, the first ate sandwiches with one filling, while the second group ate a variety of sandwiches with different fillings, to find that the second group ate more sandwiches, and was late in declaring the feeling of satiety. . (14)

Well, the first few bites of food always taste the best, after chewing the same food for some time it seems to lose its delicious flavor, and your desire to eat more of it decreases, this has nothing to do with what your stomach absorbs of food, it is sensory_specific satiety, which means The taste and smell of what you eat is no longer new, so you feel full then, but you regain your desire when you prepare another type or even when you add a new spice to the food, for example.

This is exactly why you feel full at lunch, you can’t take another small bite, but seconds later you may ask eagerly: Where is the dessert? What happened is that candy a new stimulus woke up your appetite again. (15th)

If your tire is punctured, do not puncture the other three

In view of all these reasons, what can we do to reduce the damage of this desire to eat more food on the holidays? Katz says that no matter how skilled you are at driving, for example, if you drive a long distance, one of your tires will get punctured, so what do you do then? Are you going to get out of the car and get a knife to punch the other three tires? This is what happens to most of us when we go on a diet for a long time, and on the occasions when that system goes awry and instead of fixing it and getting back on track, we do something like puncture the other three tires.

Trying to ignore the cravings seems futile here and only leads to a feeling of deprivation. Managing this craving by enjoying small quantities works. For example, you can satisfy your craving for chocolate with a small piece of dark chocolate, eat it in 10 or 15 minutes, to feel this event .

It is also recommended to eat nutritious snacks to avoid extreme hunger, and carry a snack box of dried fruits, nuts, some vegetables or yogurt with you, to face all the foods that will surround you. You go out in the rain without an umbrella and expect not to get wet.

Finally, whether we break our diet with just one meal or for a week or even during a month’s vacation, we should not try to compensate with a punitive regime of harsh nutrition and exercise, it means that we will break the system at the first opportunity. It’s like a tale of the tortoise and the hare, when on a diet we all want to be the hare, but who wins this race? (16)



  1. The Effect of Holiday Weight Gain on Body Weight.
  2. The Real Reason People Overeat During the Holidays
  3. The Bright Side of Stress-Induced Eating: Eating More When Stressed but Less When Pleased
  4. The Real Reason People Overeat During the Holidays
  5. Why do we binge eat during the holidays?
  6. Why stress causes people to overeat
  7. The Real Reason People Overeat During the Holidays
  8. Stop Me Before I Binge Again!
  9. Social norms and their influence on eating behaviour
  10. Why do we binge eat during the holidays?
  11. ¿Qué le pasa realmente a tu cuerpo cuando comes mucho?
  12. Stop Me Before I Binge Again!
  13. Sensory-Specific Satiety: How Lots of Food Variety Causes You to Eat More
  14. Variety in a meal enhances food intake in man
  15. Sensory-Specific Satiety: How Lots of Food Variety Causes You to Eat More
  16. Stop Me Before I Binge Again!



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