During Chol Ha'moed, more food than usual is available. The relevant science suggests that, when there's a lot of food variety available in our homes, we're more likely to overeat. Still, food logging may slightly lessen the likelihood of this overeating.

My question

Imagine that you're neither overweight nor underweight, but at an average weight. Still, you'd like to lose another ten pounds or so.

Electronically counting calories requires multiple steps:

  • Weighing all the food you eat for a meal. (E.g. 200 grams of "chulent" stew, 150 grams of "challah" bread, and 500 grams of vegetable salad.) I use a digital food scale.

  • Entering this food (stew, bread, and salad) into a free calorie-counting app. I like the Nutritionix app, which has a more-accurate food database than many of its competitors. But some people prefer MyFitnessPal or one of the numerous other options out there.

Once you've done these steps, the app will calculate the total calories for the meal and add them to your daily total.

Is it permissible to do the above steps during Ḥol Ha'moed?

When you answer, please explain your reasoning. Thanks in advance!


Calories count, but they're not the whole story.

Caloric restriction isn't especially pleasant. Most of my weight loss has been from modified fasting with fluid and electrolyte supplementation; unfortunately, you may not find that fasting brings you any Chol Ha'moed joy.

  • What part of your question is prohibited in your opinion and why? I don't know about any limitations on any subject. – Al Berko Oct 16 '19 at 7:09
  • Weighing all the food you eat, and entering the food into a smartphone app, are both forms of melacha. On Chol Ha'moed, melacha is sometimes, but not always, permitted. – tealhill supports Monica Oct 16 '19 at 13:17
  • 1
    I know that there are two approaches: on H"M all Melacha is prohibited as on Moed until permitted or all Melacha is permitted as on Chol until prohibited. Which camp are you? – Al Berko Oct 16 '19 at 17:12
  • I have no idea how my rabbi holds. He's the rabbi of a small North American shul affiliated with the Agudah movement; how do most such rabbis tend to hold? – tealhill supports Monica Oct 16 '19 at 23:18
  • If you lean to the first, your question os legit, but for the second you would have a special reason to prohibit that. Anyway, the majority here in Israel hold that everything food-related is allowed, as Ochel Nefesh is even allowed on a Moed. – Al Berko Oct 17 '19 at 7:51

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