By Alice Harrosh

School will be back to full swing in a week, so how will you get “back to health”? Here is your adult version of the ABCs to get you back into it if you haven’t already been!

A: Always plan ahead

Take a minute in the evening to plan, either on paper or in your head, what you will be eating the next day. Pack your bag or defrost your chicken, for example, accordingly.

B: Bring your own

Eating out can add at least 25 percent to calories and fat, even when ordering the right options. Whenever possible, bring your own lunch to work or school (Bonus: you’ll save money too).

C: Coffee is OK

Despite the controversial reviews, coffee in moderation is completely fine. Recent research has shown that numerous health benefits have even been linked to coffee. Dieters already cut out so many of their favorites, why cut another?

D: Ditch the D word (diet)

Diet means restriction and a temporary torture. Your eating plan should be exciting and a new way of life, not a diet.

E: Everyone can lose weight!

Barring a complex medical issue, anyone can lose weight. Some just lose it slower than others.

F: Forget about the cheat

Cheated? Move on! People tend to get stuck on their cheat and either continue cheating or get depressed and over analyze it.

G: Give yourself planned cheats

By incorporating planned cheats into your plan, you will be less likely to feel deprived and you (versus the food) will be the one that’s in control.

H: Have a goal

Having a goal helps you stay focused. Make it a small realistic one and reward yourself when you get there.

I: Insist on your specifications when ordering out

Many people become embarrassed to order food the way they need it for their eating plan. Remember that restaurants are all about service and catering to your needs, so don’t be afraid to speak up.

J: Juices aren’t food

Don’t replace a meal with juice. Juices have health benefits but are not meal replacements.

K: Kale

Kale is a super food with tons of nutrients and can be added to salads, smoothies, and sandwiches.

L: Laughter burns calories

Yes! Laughing actually burns calories. And when we feel good and happy we are less likely to turn to comfort foods for…comfort.

M: Meds and vitamins

Be very wary of non-prescription or non-FDA approved medicines and vitamins promising weight loss. Unless your doctor prescribes it and it is FDA approved, stay away!

N: No list

When at a simcha it helps to have a no list to guide you. For example, you may say no to cake and bread, but still indulge at the fancy carving station.

O: Opt for smaller packaging

Big packages may be cheaper, but big packages are dangerous when it comes to portion control.

P: Pizza isn’t a “bad food”

Pizza is actually quite a balanced meal. Starch and fiber in the crust, protein in the cheese, and antioxidants and fiber in the tomato sauce. Yes, it is a high-calorie and fatty food, so make sure not to overdo. Always pair with a salad to balance it out and stay fuller.

Q: Question what you’re eating

Just as we are concerned with cleanliness or kashrus, so too we should be with what we’re putting in our bodies. Read the ingredients. Even if you do not know what they mean (which is a bad sign and means they’re junky), count them. More than six ingredients usually indicates that it is junk food.

R: Recharge by getting sleep

Sleep affects weight loss and health. A physically tired body can not properly break down food while a mentally tired mind cannot make good decisions and resist sugar as its quick go-to for energy.

S: Sweeteners

While all sweeteners are okay in moderation, try to use the better ones such as Stevia, Truvia, or Xylitol.

T: The craving and what to do about it

Having a craving? That’s normal. Drink one to two glasses of water, wait 20 minutes, during which you busy yourself with something outside of the kitchen. Determine the difference between hunger and a craving. If it’s hunger, feed your body with protein and veggies. Avoid this altogether by eating every few hours, drinking lots of water, and including all food groups to avoid feeling deprived or hungry.

U: Understand your body

Get a basic understanding of your metabolism and digestion by reading some beginner biology or nutrition books. You will be amazed at how Hashem created us and will appreciate the process of eating so much more.

V: Very important

What is? Who is? YOU! Women tend to put themselves last, but a small dose of self-care is necessary.

W: Water

Water is so important. It speeds up your metabolism, prevents hunger, and flushes out any extra toxins.

X: Exercise

While exercise will not make you lose more weight necessarily, it is great for losing inches and improving health and strength. Additionally, the endorphins released during your workout will put you in a great mood.

Y: Yogurt

Yogurt is a great way to start the day. It is low in calories, high in protein, and full of probiotics. Just make sure you choose one that is low in sugar (under 10 grams), high in protein (10 grams or more), and low fat or fat free. Add either granola or slivered almonds and a fruit for a complete breakfast.

Z: Zipper

Do you own at least one skirt with a zipper? Try it on occasionally to determine how well you’re doing. Adjustable waist bands can lie, zippers can’t.

Back to real life!

Good luck,


Alice Harrosh is a nutrition counselor and manager at Nutrition by Tanya, with 14 locations including a branch in Five Towns right on Elderd Lane (behind Jildor Shoes). For more information on Nutrition by Tanya or the TAP (Tanya approved products) food line, please visit or call 844-Tanya-Diet (844-826-9234). For daily tips and inspiration, you may follow @nutritionbytanya on Instagram. Our beautiful new cookbook, Cooking with Tanya, is now available in Judaica stores or through the Menucha Publishing website.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here