Dieting on Shabbos

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    My friend and I are trying to lose weight together by keeping food journals and paying each other for each day we don’t. How should we do it on Shabbos, though?

    I’d say to just “be careful”, but in every diet I’ve tried before, Shabbos was always my undoing.

    Any advice?


    Make sure to eat healthier on Shabbos. Eat smaller portions then you normally would and eat more salads then meat. Also you can skip desert or eat fruit.

    Shopping613 🌠

    Its awfully hard, any other advice???? Im not supposed to have sweet drinks but on shabbos there is WAY too much cola to ignore!


    Shopping613 – if you feel you MUST drink cola, at least make it Diet Coke. I drink Diet Peach Snapple or water on Shabbos,and mostly water during the week. If you are trying to lose weight, water is your friend. Sugary cola is not. Not only is it a diuretic that dehydrates you (the caffeine does it), but it has absolutely no nutritional value.

    When you load up regular cola, you are adding useless calories, when for the same money you could drink it sugar and CALORIE free. The taste IMO is better (or maybe I just got used to it). You might ask your family/friends to help you by cutting down on the amount of “way too much cola to ignore” that is around, and substituting either the diet drinks or water for some of it.

    Try getting into water – it is so much better for you than soda. Vegetable juices (like V-8) are also low calorie AND have the added bonus of giving you some servings of vegetables and fiber, which is helpful to dieting. Fruit juices OTOH, are heavily loaded with calories, so though they are very healthful, it’s actually much better for you to just eat the piece of fruit, rather than drink the juice (though the juice is still better for you than cola).

    In the end, this is your personal yetzer hara, and you need to find the way to overcome it on Shabbos (and every day). I speak from experience. Good luck.


    Dear Oomis does it still count as water if you add powdered or liquid flavor enhancers? ( crystal light, mio etc.)

    Working Mom

    I find challah to be my undoing. Try very hard to limit yourself to one slice (or else you pay that same friend). Even that didn’t work for me so I just stopped eating it altogether. I ate one bite from the lechem mishna and then had a slice or two of low calorie bread. I found that really helped because it freed up lots of carbs and calories for the meal itself.

    Good luck!


    One large study found that people who drank artificially sweetened soda were more likely to experience weight gain than those who drank non-diet soda. Others found those who drank diet soda had twice the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, often a precursor to cardiovascular disease, than those who abstained. in other words, regular soda is better for you than the diet version.


    Goq, the flavor enhancers you mention contain a lot of artificial sweeteners. These can actually do more harm than good if your goal is to lose weight. I”ll leave it to you to look up the relevant studies. If this is your only alternative to loading up on sugary sodas and juices then use them. But your best bet is always plain water or seltzer. Try dropping in an ice cube and a slice of lime, lemon, or orange.


    As long as it is not caffeinated or has some other diuretic, why not? the idea is to hydrate, not hydrate temporarily with something that will cause it to get lost too quickly. Water is still best, though, ot seltzer, IMO, though many people do poorly with carbonated drinks.


    Have only enough challah and wine to satisfy the requirements. Limit liquor, meat, desserts, & stay away from salads w/mayo.


    No reason to diet on Shabbos. Just enjoy Shabbos for the sake of Shabbos. But really do it for Shabbos.


    That is great advice, chochom-i !

    But how many of us can really truly say we’re enjoying just for the sake of Shabbos ?


    chochom-ibber: I had a neighbor who had diabetes and who decided that he was not going to watch himself over Shabbos. He was a Rav and confident that Hashem would take care of him. Unfortunately, he died from his diabetes.

    So, I don’t want to take that route.



    Enjoying Shabbos and maintaining a healthy diet is not a contradiction. On the contrary. An individual who makes an effort to maintain healthy eating habits throughout the week and loses it on Shabbos may become really upset.

    Additionally, if you gain even only 2 pounds on Shabbos, you’re busy trying to knock off those 2 pounds all week and get stuck on the same 2 pounds over and over again.

    Burnt Steak

    You can diet the whole week and have a “cheat” day (Shabbos).

    Do what others suggested and try not to drink pop. Try alternatives such as, water with citrus in it (I find lemons work best, but limes and even oranges also work fine). Try to limit portion sizes. Eat the cake but take a smaller size.

    Shabbos is meant for us to enjoy, not gorge ourselves. Try not to eat the delicious food when you are full. Also eat slower and savor each bite. Think how much eating the food enhances your Shabbos.


    I have lost 50 lbs over the past year, So I feel that I can offer some practical advice from personal experience.

    I recommend that you do not diet on Shabbos. I say this from a Torah perspective and also from a dieting one. Shabbos is mean to be a break, a day of pleasure and holiness. It should be different from the rest of the week. It’s ok to have a piece of challah or two at meals, a reasonable piece of kugel at Kiddush, or cake for dessert as long as you are disciplined during the week. Also, it will help to elevate your eating, as a way of honoring Shabbos. As a matter of fact, once you elevate you eating to the point where you are eating for energy to serve Hashem, rather than pleasure, you will be able to maintain discipline in eating without having to pay “fines” to each other for breaking the diet. Also, I do recommend diet soda. It has helped me. It’s not a good thing everyday, but it can help you not to overload on too many empty calories during Shabbos meals.


    Also, I have not heard exercise mentioned. That’s a real key in losing weight. Regular exercise increases your metabolism. Plus, if you have more muscle, you will burn more calories when you are active.


    You can eat healthy on shabbos. i don’t know who cooks in your house, but prepare healthy food, buy the smallest amount of challah possible and tell the other person to remove it once you’ve had a bite. You can eat salmon, salad, matbucha, hummus, grilled chicken, grilled meat is fine too, don’t use unhealthy or sweet sauces and dressings, fill up on quinoa. No temptation = no fail.

    I eat rather minimally and healthy during the week, and then on shabbos I can be totally undone, half a challah, kugels, cookies, cake. Comeplete abstinence is what works best for me, but if you find you must indulge, indulge Shabbos day and ONLY at the meal and wait two hours before taking a nap. Good luck.


    You should definitely allow yourself some sort of “treats” on shabbos that you don’t have during the week. There are two ways of doing this: either do as some have suggested and give yourself free rein on shabbos, which I don’t think will ruin your diet if you are following it strictly during the week, or set certain parameters. I am not familiar with your particular diet, so I don’t know what parameters are right for you, but for instance, some have mentioned soda. Let’s say you don’t drink soda at all during the week, but you can allow yourself one cup of soda per shabbos meal. Just leaving it vague at “I’ll be careful” will not do you any good. Either decide to eat whatever you want, or set guidelines. Just make sure you are differentiating what you eat on shabbos from what you eat on weekdays. Hatzlacha!


    To clarify about the “free rein” on Shabbos. I don’t agree. When I did that, I stopped losing weight and merely maintained the level I had already achieved. That is not desirable if you need to lose more weight. As you lose, you end up reaching a plateau, as it is, at some point, and that is a time when you need to be extra careful. Bulk up on salads and lean proteins, with some healthy complex carbs.


    The OP writes that a food journal is being kept. Obviously you cannot write in the journal ON Shabbos but you can write before Shabbos. Here’s the idea…PLAN in advance what you will eat. Write it down and refer back to it over Shabbos.

    Stick to what you write. If you end up with something different than what you wrote you can correct it after Shabbos.

    Planning meals is very helpful for dieting. Good Luck!


    HELP! I gained a ton of weight over Rosh Hashanah! It’s impossible to diet on Shabbos/Yom Tov because I have no clue what everything is worth. Zuccini kugel? Sugarless apple muffins? I just don’t know!


    Portion control is key. If you limit your intake, this will help you even if you don’t know the nutritional value of the foods you are eating.


    This coming Shabbos & again on Shabbos in 56 weeks from today, I shall be on a very severe diet.

    As for the 54 intervening Shabbosses, I pray at a Hashkomo, whence I am home by 8.30 AM. This being a normal breakfast time, so I make Motzi and eat in moderation as I am not in starvation mode as would be case by noon, when many people are so famished that they go on an eating rampage at a Kiddush.

    As for myself, I again eat lightly at lunchtime this being my Seudo Shlishis, and then have an appetite for a Melava Malka.

    I thus have cut out total starvation in the mornings, leading to 3 meals [reception followed by Seudo Shenis & Shelishis] in very close vicinity, especially during the winter.


    I am a firm believer that different diets work for different people. You need to figure out what works best for you! Some people do well with a day of vacation, some people can eat unhealthy in moderation, while others need abstinence from anything unhealthy.

    It seems like you are from the abstinence crowd. Anything not dietetic is trief! Use w/w challah. Buy the small bilkelach (or matzah).

    Fill up on fish and soup. I like chickpeas in my soup along with lots of veggies.

    Shabbos day you can have a bean and chicken cholent; and enjoy your salads!

    Desserts are for people who can tolerate moderation; I’m not one of them! Only fresh fruit (& Tums!)


    For those on a low carb diet, can you tell me what bread you eat for hamotzei?


    Challa is addictive and full of carbs, instead have one board of whole wheat matzo per meal.

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