Question:

B’rshus,
I am a 18 year old yeshiva bachur who is, Baruch Hashem, healthy in all aspects and pretty fit (even though I gained a few pounds over Pesach). However, like many, I am a foody and I have a tendency to overeat by meals, especially by Shabbos, Yom Tov, guest by anothers house, etc…
For a boy my age and generally speaking, how much should I worry about health/dieting in the Halachic aspect?
By a Shabbos and Yom Tov meal, how much am I allowed to hold myself back if I, theoretically, don’t need to lose weight? Also, because I can hold back a lot more doing the week. The reason I would like to hold back on Shabbos and Yom Tov is to establish healthy habits…especially for the future [marriage, etc..:)]
Also, as a guest by someone’s house, or even by my parents house, am I allowed to hold back if I know they worked hard on making the menu? Or even if they didn’t necessarily work hard, can I decline what they offer?
If possible, makoros would be very helpful… Thanks! Have a good day.

Answer:

You definitely need to find the balance between self control on the one hand and Oneg Shabbos and Yom Tov, and Bein Adam Lchavero on the other. It is extremely important to have healthy eating habits and not to overindulge. However this does not have to be at the expense of fulfilling the mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos or tasting a little of a dish you know someone worked hard to prepare. The greatest form of self control is being able to enjoy with moderation. Tasting small amounts will not have an adverse effect on your health, and beyond that it is certainly commendable to hold back from over indulgence even on Shabbos or at another person’s table. The Mishna Brura writes that one must eat his Shabbos meals in moderation so that he will be able to enjoy eating even a third meal and be overly stuffed. The same rationale would apply to general healthy eating habits.

 

Sources:

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Tags: dieting

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