Dear Basya,

My question is about Shavuos. I have been sticking to a balanced food plan successfully since Pesach and I really don’t want to mess it up now. However, cheesecake is my downfall! It is one of the hardest things for me to resist, and to be honest, it really won’t feel like yom tov if I don’t have my cheesecake. Please advise!


Cheesecake Lover

Dear Cheesecake Lover,

Thank you so much for your question! Here are some of my top tips for staying on track. Keep in mind that the more prepared you are, the better you will do.

1. Make sure you drink enough, especially if the weather is very hot. Many of our clients forget to drink over yom tov and Shabbos even if they are great about their water intake all week long.

2. Have a snack before you are faced with temptation. For example, if you are having a milchig Kiddush or meal, make sure to have a yogurt and a fruit before you go, so you don’t go hungry.

3. Most people gain weight on Shavuos not from the small dairy delicacies, but from overdoing it with challah, kugel, and heavy meals. Because the night meals of Shavuos are particularly late, we highly recommend choosing matzah rather than challah, even whole-wheat or spelt challah. Stick to a half or whole matzah, protein, and vegetables at each meal.

4. Because the meals are very late, you might want to have a few ounces of protein late in the afternoon, when you would normally be having dinner. “Borrow” this protein from the night meal by eating a few ounces less at night. The meal is so late that you may actually find it easier than expected to cut out those few extra ounces of protein at night.

5. Make sure to have enough cooked and raw vegetables to fill you up so you can avoid starchy, fatty kugels.

6. Take long walks, prepare enjoyable reading material, and enjoy the family. Remind yourself that there are other sources of pleasure than food.

Enjoy the yom tov and the feeling of staying healthy and in control.

Have a wonderful Yom Tov!


Basya Kovacs is a nutrition counselor and manager of the Monsey and Monroe Nutrition by Tanya offices.


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