Dear Basya,

I have been on plan since the summer, and I am quite frustrated. I am having trouble losing weight despite being perfectly on plan whenever possible. I do have a lot of simchas this season as well as community functions and parties but I always eat well at these events. Why can’t I lose weight?


Dear Frustrated,

I hear your frustration about trying so hard and not getting anywhere. Let’s break down the year a bit and see if we can troubleshoot the issue.

There are 365 days in a year. Of those days, many of them are what we consider maintenance days, meaning it would be very difficult to lose weight those days. At the very least, do your best not to gain weight. Those days include:

Friday and Shabbos: 104 days

Erev yom tov and yom tov, including:

  • Pesach, 8–10 days
  • Sukkos, 8–10 days
  • Chanukah, 8–10 days
  • Rosh Hashanah, 2–3 days
  • Purim, 2–3 days
  • Shavuos, 2–3 days

Vacation and travel: 10–15 days

Simchas and birthdays parties, vach nach, upsherin, etc.: 25 days (2 times a month on average)

Restaurant meals/meals prepared outside your control: 25 days (2 times a month on average)

Note that unless a restaurant is specially prepared for your diet, such as a restaurant with a TAP menu, the portion size will be larger and the preparation methods will result in higher calories, even if your choices are on track.

This means that almost 210 days a year are not losing days! That means there are only about 155 actual losing days per year—an average of less than three days a week!

Hopefully this will give you some perspective as to how careful we need to be to try limit the non-losing days. Otherwise it is quite difficult to make any real progress.

Best of Luck!


Basya Kovacs is a nutrition counselor at Nutrition by Tanya, and is a co-manager of the Five Towns location. Nutrition by Tanya offers personalized and practical weight management and nutrition counseling for men, women, and children. Nutrition by Tanya has locations in Boro Park, Flatbush, Williamsburg, Monsey, Lakewood, the Five Towns, Monroe, the Upper West Side, and Israel (coming soon). The office can be reached at 844-TANYA DIET.


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