Avoiding Weight-Gain and Constipation during Passover

March 28, 2023 by Lazer Brody

Today’s post is coming before you do your big Passover grocery shopping. This will help you make the right choices in the supermarket, as well as when planning and serving meals.

Passover’s Change in Diet

Passover is the freedom holiday – freedom from all types of bondage, mental and physical. But, with the drastic change in diet, many people become slaves to weight-gain and constipation. It doesn’t have to be that way. Proper matza consumption, when done in accordance with the Rambam’s principles, is actually fantastic for overall health. Following a few simple guidelines will enable you to jump over the hurdles of matza-related health problems. Here are a few important tips to remember during Passover; follow them, and you’ll enjoy freedom from both constipation and weight gain. You’ll also save a lot of money.

Purchasing Tips

  1. Stock up heavy on fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re full of fiber. Fiber not only lowers LDL cholesterol but enhances good digestion.
  2. Don’t purchase manufactured Kosher for Passover (KP) cookies, cakes and the like. They’re expensive and unhealthy, low in fiber and very high in sugar content and in price tag.
  3. By avoiding KP manufactured foods, you’ll save money and protect your health. Your own homemade foods will not only be healthier, but they’ll be on a higher kosher standard as well.
  4. Fish is a great alternative to meat and poultry, especially when eating heavy meals every day. A main meal of baked salmon with baked potato or sweet potato and a leafy salad is a super-healthy meal with protein, omega 3 and plenty of fiber.
  5. Shun the soft drinks and stock up on mineral water or carbonated water.
  6. Purchase whole-grain matza – wheat, spelt or oat – and avoid the cheap white-flour industrial square matzas.
  7. Don’t buy ready-made fruit juices. Squeeze your own.

Eating Tips

  1. Twenty minutes before your meal with matza, drink at least two glasses of water. Try to avoid drinking during the meal, unless it’s dry red wine or water or seltzer mixed with dry red wine at at least one part wine to three parts water.
  2. Chew matza slowly and thoroughly, enabling your saliva to act upon the matza until it becomes a soft paste in your mouth. Only then, swallow. You’ll eat slower and will be satiated by eating much less. What’s more, the saliva plays an important role in digesting carbohydrates.
  3. Fresh and leafy veggies and increased fiber intake are a must during Passover – give them your highest eating priority.
  4. Don’t multi-task while eating, especially while eating matza. The brain treats matza like potato chips, so if you munch without thinking about what you’re eating and how much, then the calories pile up fast.
  5. Set aside daily time for exercise, especially walks with the family. This is great for both health and relationships.
  6. Make sure to eat a minimum of other carbs. Treat sugar, especially white sugar, as if it’s not kosher for Passover. From a health standpoint, it’s not kosher all year long.
  7. Avoid all soft drinks, even the ones with artificial sweeteners, for the body has no idea how to digest such chemicals. Drink water, seltzer and dry red wine.

Follow the above tips, and you’ll feel great, both during the Passover holiday and afterward. Plus, you’ll avoid the disappointment of weight-gain. G-d bless for easy Passover preparations and a lovely Passover holiday!

One comment on “Avoiding Weight-Gain and Constipation during Passover”

  • Thank you, Rav Brody for so much good advice in all areas!
    Regular salmon I would advise avoiding [most toxic fish] except Alaskan salmon, which is unavailable in Israel.
    Wild sockey salmon from the USA is the only one I advise, but it may not have a kosher stamp for Pesach.
    In one of his medical works, Rambam does not consider Matzot a “health food” for regular use
    Thanks again for all your excellent advice, which is often ignored in nowadays Judaism.
    You may have seen this link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7571434/
    Pesach sameach!

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