Passover Tips

Passover is a significant milestone for anyone on a diet or even for those of us trying not to gain a few pounds, for unlike other Jewish holidays which also have many fattening foods; Passover is especially difficult as it lasts for 8 days. In addition we need to contend with Passover staples such as matzo, nuts and fried dishes which contain a lot of calories along with the beginning of spring when we shed our layers of winter clothes and begin to wear clothes where it is harder to hide any extra pounds.

Here are some tips on how to keep healthy and avoid extra pounds during this Passover holiday.

  • One piece of unleavened bread (matzo) contains 150 calories, is often not as satisfying as a piece of bread and can cause constipation. It is therefore recommended to buy light matzo which contains fibers such as bran and whole wheat as they contain fewer calories, about 80 per piece and will be easier on the stomach and on the scale.
  • Use low calorie spreads on the matzos as well as tuna, sardines and eggs.
  • Eat an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables (which are low in sodium and calories and drink a lot of water as well. This will help you feel fuller.
  • Do not starve yourself before the Seder or other big holiday meals as we always eat much more when we are hungry. Chew your food slowly, enjoying every bite and try to take smaller portions of the fattening foods and more of the salads and vegetables.
  • Passover deserts are of course hard to resists but remember a piece of Passover cake is about 150 calories, nuts have about 600 calories per 100 grams so if you are cooking try to prepare fruit-based desserts, ice cream, sorbet, etc which have less calories and are healthier and when invited do your best to take only a small piece of cake or a cookie and stop at that.
  • Many of us work less or don't work at all during the week of Passover and we spend alot of time outside which includes eating in restaurants and outdoor cafes. It is therefore very important to combine outdoor eating with physical activity which will help burn unwanted calories.

Have a happy and healthy Passover holiday, enjoy the holiday with friends and family, but remember not to neglect your health. Summer and bathing suit weather are right around the corner.

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