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Minhagim Busters discovers that you do gain weight on shabbos!

The folks from minhagim busters have just confirmed, after a long grueling process, that frum Jews do gain weight on shabbos. It’s a common held theory that frum Jews get an extra soul on shabbos and therefore they can eat whatever they want with no fear of obesity. It has been discovered that in our times of galus this is simply not true. Even though we have a mesorah to believe that weight gain for shomer shabbos yidden is impossible on shabbos, most of the generations of the Mesorah were too poor to actually come to any conclusion on this. They were also too frum to question age old mesorah and many people really believed this.†

In order to figure out if weight gain on shabbos was possible, Minhagim Busters followed around seminary girls in their first 3 weeks of seminary. Seminary girls are known for gaining weight in their first year in†preparation†for child rearing. It was discovered that all of the Seminary girls who ate extra on shabbos weighed more.

Many rabbis commented on the study and said it doesn’t count nowadays because the food intake has increased so high because of gashmius and parnassah. Others in the modernishe community have said that it’s a metaphor to try and bring the extra soul concept down to physical terms and doesn’t really mean anything about not gaining weight.

Regardless, I always knew that I gained weight over shabbos and never listened to that bubameisah anyway. The extra neshama ended up in my love handles anyway.

Find out more on 4torah.com

{ 54 comments… add one }
  • Yochanan January 23, 2013, 6:37 AM

    Remember. It’s an extra soul. Not an extra stomach.

  • Michael K. January 23, 2013, 6:47 AM

    I know I get just as drunk on shabbos as I do during the week.

  • Puzzled January 23, 2013, 7:21 AM

    I’m a big believer in low-carb diets, and used to favor ketogenic diets almost exclusively. However, I’m a late convert to keto-cyclic diets, in which low carb and low calorie intake for 6 days a week are combined with one day of high carb, high calorie intake. This would work just fine for the shabbos observant.

  • BZ January 23, 2013, 9:42 AM

    There’s actually a diet like that? I am on a low carb diet with the exception of Shabbos, when I eat whatever I want (the Shabbos exemption kicked in after I was down to my normal weight only). I gained about 10 pounds since the Shabbos exemption kicked in, but am able to maintain my weight now at 10 pounds above what’s recommended for me (after losing 60 pounds)

  • Batya January 23, 2013, 4:59 PM

    I use shabbos as my cheat day. I eat really healthfully and track what I eat during the week, but on shabbos I eat the challah and the cholent and don’t feel as guilty as usual about it. It works out okay for me, then again I’m pretty young, so…maybe this won’t be such a good solution when I’m 30.

  • Puzzled January 23, 2013, 5:09 PM

    @BZ – there are actually several. The most famous is the Anabolic Diet – 5 days of low carb, 2 of high carb and low fat, along with protein cycling. There’s also BodyOpus, which was more prescriptive on how to eat on the off-days. Lyle Macdonald has a few different approaches to ketocyclic. Tim Ferriss’ Slow-Carb diet calls for a plain old cheat day. The Revolution Diet has a more complex 6 days, with prescribed eating intervals, but also a 12 hour whatever you want period.

    I’ve never heard of someone gaining weight on any of them, unless they were underweight to start. Most require working out to be effective, though, and I use a few supplements – CQ, ALA, chromium, CLA, and l-carnitine, to better tolerate the day off. Do you use the ketostix? You should be back in ketosis no more than a day or two after the day off ends.

    One difficulty with this approach is that, with shabbos being Friday night – Saturday, you’re losing two nights of ketosis instead of one. You might want to read up on those plans and see if you can modify your timing around one.

  • Yochanan January 23, 2013, 6:45 PM

    Will Minhagim Busters be an on-going series?

  • Ben Eliezer January 24, 2013, 9:04 AM

    Well actually, there are seforim which discuss (on a serious tone) that Shabbos food will not “harm you” (doesn’t mean not to gain weight literally).

    See this fascinating essay by Rabbi Chaim Rapoport (really only pages 190-193 [of the PDF-pages] are important to Shabbos at hand), in Ohr Yisroel torah quarterly #59. Sorry, it’s in Hebrew only..

    Link to download PDF is here:

  • kweansmom January 24, 2013, 10:51 AM

    Minhagim Busters just used this study as an excuse to follow seminary girls around. Dirty old men.

  • talking stam January 24, 2013, 1:19 PM

    many chasidim know that this is a myth. that’s why we smell the besamim three times in one breath by havdalah, it is well known that by doing so all the extra calories get taken out of the guf and into the neshama yeseira, so you don’t gain weight. the seminary girls in the study probably didn’t know this.

  • Anonymous January 24, 2013, 6:58 PM
  • Oy!!! January 26, 2013, 4:33 PM

    The extra neshama ended up in my love handles anyway. Love that line.

  • Darren@KetoDietPlans January 28, 2013, 12:49 PM

    The key is moderation. Just can’t go overboard with anything you do.

  • Never Frum Enough January 29, 2013, 3:46 AM

    Next Myth Busters should check out the myth about single girls holding the havdalah candle as tall as they want their husband to be. : ) But I’m sure you’ll think of something more creative to investigate Heshy! Keep em coming!

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