Do you find that after Shabbos, you’re back to square one?

By Bina Gottdiener


Shabbos is the most wonderful time of the week. Replete with family time, rest, relaxation and delicious meals, it’s something we look forward to as the days progress. One of the most exciting parts of Shabbos is the menu. Just the traditional Friday night framework is enough to have anyone’s mouth watering. However, lots of our classic Shabbos evening foods contains lots of calories that could challenge even the most healthy of eaters. A lot of people eat very well during the week, only to give it all up on Shabbos. In healthy eating, there’s the common misconception of the “work hard, play hard” concept. Many are strict on themselves the entire week only to binge on Shabbos, going all out on goodies they wouldn’t even dream of having regularly. Sure, Shabbos is all about the oneg, but there are some subtle changes you can make that won’t leave you suffering the consequences once your neshama yeseira leaves for the week. Even a little modification can make a big difference. Here’s a new take on the traditional Shabbos menu without having to sacrifice on the classics.

These are three of my favorite tips for a successful Shabbos:

  1. Even though Fridays are packed with food, it’s usually the day that mothers eat the least. We’re so busy feeding everyone else Erev Shabbos, we forget about ourselves. When the Fridays are very long, the evening seudah could be the first time you’ve eaten the whole day. When we’re ravenous, were much less inclined to make the right choices when it comes to eating. Ensuring that you get some nutrition before Shabbos is a great preventative measure for healthy eating. I like to have vegetables from the chicken soup; I’ll also roast a tray of vegetables, or bake an extra piece of fish to fill me up.

2. Enjoy what you’re eating! Once you make the decision to eat something, savor and enjoy the oneg Shabbos. Whatever you do eat, don’t guilt yourself about it afterwards. You made the decision to eat it, so savor it!


3. Be mindful of what you’re eating. Try not to “chain-eat,” taking whatever whenever just so your mouth is full. Pay attention to what you’re ingesting.


Need ideas for some great diet-friendly Shabbos dishes and tips for every course? See my Great Big List of Healthy Foods to Enjoy on Shabbos.

About Bina:

Bina Gottdiener is a Biology major, aspiring RDN & mommy living in Yerushalayim. She believes that a healthy lifestyle should be fabulous and exciting, without  being to costly or time consuming. For more info, feel free to email



  1. This article addresses the various issues we face erev shabbos/shabbos, causing frustration as we sabotage our weekly discipline. Thank you for your most pragmatic suggestions to counter any deviations and truly enhance our oneg Shabbos. ……….. BRK

  2. Amazing and extremely well written article . Such great tips! Love the idea of not feeling guilty about indulging and being mindful of what one eats . Can’t wait to see the the great big list of Healthy foods to eat !


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