I received the following message from a client this week: “My husband has been doing very well with his diet this past week. He already lost five pounds. However, over Shabbos it was extremely difficult for him. Then there was a wedding and a sheva brachos, and he had a trip in March. Then is Pesach, and a few weeks later he is going away again. He suggested that we pause the diet until May 1 because he won’t be traveling again until October. For a guy like him, with so much weight to lose, these are very big challenges, and he is feeling discouraged.”
While I hear her concerns about her husband losing momentum before he can even “get used to” the diet (her words), I strongly disagree with her premise, as I believe that it is quite short-sighted. Say her husband - or the average dieter for that matter - has 30 to 50 pounds to lose. Say they lose at a pace of 1.5-2 pounds per week. This means they will need to stick to a disciplined food plan for approximately six months! While May 1 may seem like a more convenient time to start dieting, there is no way her husband, or anyone, will have a six month stretch to focus on nothing but dieting.
After Pesach comes Shavuos and after Shavuos comes summer. Summer brings with it a lack of routine, more barbecues and longer Shabbos afternoons. After summer comes back-to-school and then Yom Tov season again. This is followed by winter, which seems like a great time to diet - until you factor in that it is wedding/bar mitzvah/Chanukah season. And as soon as that is over, we are gearing up for Purim and Pesach again! There never was, and never will be, an “easy” six month stretch to get into a routine! Additionally, the fact that Shabbos, which comes every week, was discouraging for him confirms for me that the “right time” to diet may never actually arrive.
Ultimately, we consider our plan to be a lifestyle. So really, six months is only the first step in a lifetime of eating on plan despite the challenges that come our way. We specifically design our plan to fit into people’s lifestyles, and help our clients deal with each challenge as it arises. Yom Tov, travel, restaurant meals, and simchas are all manageable on our plan, because our plan factors in real life - it is not a quick fix!
So, my response to the concerned wife is the same as what I tell all my clients: Do not wait until the perfect time to diet. There may be a perfect week or two, which will fool you into thinking that the right time has arrived, but there is never a stretch of six months of quietness, and that is a blessing! We want our lives to be filled with simchos and travel and Shabbos and Yom Tov! And we want to experience all that while still sticking to a healthy eating plan that allows us to enjoy and participate without overeating and gaining weight.
So, if you are waiting until after Pesach, after the move, after the kids get settled in camp, or after the weekend to start eating right, please reconsider. The time is now!
If you have any questions, feel free to email me any time and I’ll be happy to help or direct you to someone who can.
Thank you and have a TAPtastic day
Alice Harrosh is a Nutrition Counselor and Manager at Nutrition by Tanya, with 14 locations, including one on Main street in Queens! Alice knows that making healthy choices is not always easy, as she has been through the struggle herself. As an optimistic person, Alice’s favorite quote is: “It’s never too late to start eating better. If you have a bad morning, make it a better afternoon.” For more information on Nutrition by Tanya or the TAP (Tanya approved products) food line, please visit www.nutritionbytanya.com or call 844-Tanya-Diet (844-826-9234). For daily tips and inspiration, you may follow @nutritionbytanya on Instagram. Our beautiful and healthy new cookbook, Cooking with Tanya, is now available in Judaica stores or through the Menucha Publishing website.