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How to Lose Weight on (and After) Purim


Erma Bombeck once said, “I’ve been on a diet for the last two decades.  I’ve lost a total of 789 pounds.  By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet!”  With Purim just around the corner, here are a few tips and tricks to have fun, without all the fat.

As you instinctively reach for a hamentasch on Purim morning, do you find yourself thinking: It’s okay to stray from my eating plan because: "I’m celebrating" or "I really want it, everyone else is eating it" or "it’s only a little piece, I’ll make up for it later.”  The reality is that the food in front of you tempts you to try it and eating generates immediate rewards (and other “gains” as well), while the rewards from watching what you eat might take weeks, months or even years!

This is the classic formula for yo-yo dieting: future benefits vs. our immediate desire to eat.  Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but they can stay imprisoned with a few spoonfuls of chocolate mousse!

So here are a few tips to actually lose weight on Purim!

  • Self-Control - don’t allow yourself to eat everything in sight!
  • If you are going to friends or family for the seudah, bring some of your own food (prepared in a more healthy way) to “help” the host with the preparations and give you some more options.
  • Don’t starve the day of Purim because you are so busy running around with the kids.  Have some low-fat yogurt, cut up fruit or veggies around to grab, instead of  junk.
  • Start your meal with a healthful soup to help fill you up, before you finish a few pieces of challah without even noticing.
  • For the seudah, make some flavorful lighter dishes for everyone to enjoy.  My Easy Szechuan Broccoli is a personal favorite, your guests (especially their thighs) will thank you.
  • Use spray oil and flavored vinegars to season salads.
  • Instead of mayonnaise-based salads, try Crunchy Red Cabbage Slaw.
  • Use Truvia in place of sugar in your coleslaw and cucumber salads.
  • Scrape off some of the extra dressing, sauces or breading -- lots of the extra calories come from the things we add on top of our food.
  • If you are going to make some unhealthy choices, eat smaller portions, and make sure everything fits on ONE plate!
  • Listen to your body signaling you have had enough to eat, it is okay to tell the host how much you enjoyed the food and you can't have another bite!

This time of year there is always more food coming (and coming).  Think how wonderful you will feel going to bed at night knowing you followed your plan when you easily could have consumed thousands of extra calories!  It’s worth forgoing the momentary pleasure of eating foods you didn’t plan to eat so that you can stay in control, be happier with your food choices, AND finally lose the weight you always wanted to.