“Vinahafochu”—But Not Your Health. A Guide to Getting Through Purim.

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06 Mar 2012

Purim just seems to be fraught with opportunities for overindulgence.

Beginning already with Ta’anit Esther, the fast of Esther – we imagine it’ll be a good way to bank some calories for the coming day. But all too often, we overcompensate pre-fast and binge come break-fast.
If the goodies alone weren’t reason enough, we now have the “well, I already grossly overate anyway” in us to go all out on Purim day.

To increase our joy and do some preemptive damage control, we need to do some serious planning before Purim begins.  We will enjoy the Chag, the food and the drink more if we savor every bite and sip and avoid excess.  Let’s explore some of the potential problems and devise strategies to avoid the food pitfalls of Purim.


Prepping for Ta’anit Esther and breaking it properly go a long way toward keeping things under control.

Twenty-four hours before the fast begins:

To break your fast with moderation:


Ah, the gustatory challenges of Purim day. Must I even elaborate?

Tactics for Purim day:

What about alcohol?

Alcohol is high in calories.  For instance, each 5 ounce glass of red wine is 122 calories.  Whiskey is 105 calories per 1.5 ounces (a shot glass). Add these numbers to the extra food intake and realize that today won’t be a “perfect” eating day. But that’s okay. More on that at the end.

The Seudah

As far as your Seudah (festive meal) goes, it is a mitzvah to eat, but it is never a mitzvah to overeat or gorge yourself.  As a matter of fact, it is assur.


Perhaps the most important advice though is when you wake up the day after Purim, get right back on track—exercise, eat well, drink a lot of water and stay focused. If you resume normal eating habits ASAP, the weight will fall right off.

Then, in another month when Pesach is upon us, you won’t be worried about additional weight gain.  You’ll be back on track and armed with the confidence that you can get through unscathed. (And when the time comes, we’ll help you plan for Pesach too.)

With a sensible and realistic plan, you can experience true Simchat Purim, happiness of the holiday.

Special thanks to Lose it! Nutritionist Elisheva Rosenberg and Dietician Jennifer Raicz for their input into this article.


Alan Freishtat is an A.C.E. CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER and a BEHAVIORAL CHANGE and WELLNESS COACH with over 19 years of professional experience. Alan is the creator and director of the “10 Weeks to Health” program for weight loss. He is available for private coaching sessions, consultations, assessments and personalized workout programs both in his office and by telephone and skype. Alan also lectures and gives seminars and workshops. He can be reached at 02-651-8502 or 050-555-7175, or by email at alan@alanfitness.com Check out the his web site –www.alanfitness.com US Line: 516-568-5027.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.