Many times at a Shabbos meal when a person passes on a particular food item because they trying to control their weight, someone will inevitably respond with the answer "Shabbos food doesn't make one fat".

When pressed for an explanation the most common one given is that since on Shabbos we have a Neshama Yisayra and somehow the calories don't count.

Is there any basis for this saying and is the reason really because of the Neshama Yisayra ?

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    @Danno I think that your identifying it as Purim Torah is the correct answer. When I say it at the Shabbos table, it is meant to elicit laughter. We usually answer, that while we are "eating for two", the neshamah yeseirah leaves the calories behind when it departs Motzaei Shabbos. As a result, we get double the effect the following week. Aug 24, 2014 at 16:33
  • @sabbahillel The same wouldn't be true in the supermarket when someone passes oven an item as too expensive. Shabbos expenses don't count. I think the question is well-founded.
    – Adám
    Aug 24, 2014 at 16:41
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    The only way this would work is if "שומר פתאים ה'". Aug 24, 2014 at 20:03
  • Ask Lipa Shmetzer
    – Yishai
    Aug 25, 2014 at 15:09
  • youtube.com/watch?v=QJtPpFskKAY
    – Double AA
    Sep 9, 2014 at 4:06

3 Answers 3


THe GRA in the first pesukim in Mishlei, says that the place where the yetzer hara attacks a person is in a seudas mitzvah. (where we can easily be led to beleive that doing the wrong thing (overeating) is actually the right thing (kavod hashabos).

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    ... (where we can easily be led to believe that doing the wrong thing (dieting) is actually the right thing (venishmartem).
    – Adám
    Aug 24, 2014 at 17:19
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    This got a lot of upvotes. Does it answer the question? What does it have to do with not getting fat? Aug 25, 2014 at 14:42
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    @YEZ, seems pretty obvious to me that the intention is that a Seudas Mitzvah can be used as an excuse for gluttony. So I think it answers the title question with a "yes".
    – Yishai
    Aug 25, 2014 at 15:11
  • @avner can you add a source for the GRA? I don't see it on the first posukim in Mishlei
    – Fei23
    Dec 15, 2017 at 16:45
  • @avner This appears to be on 7:14, not "the first pesukim"
    – Fei23
    Dec 22, 2017 at 19:22

Here is the closet thing I found:

Rabbi Chaim Rubin wrote a excellent article about dieting on Shabbos and mentions that there is a tradition "from Sefarim and Sofrim" that Shabbos food does not make one fat. Although he implies there are many sources he only brings one (since it's not the main point of his article) and even that is a Maaseh Rav

In the book Toldos Yisrael (The Alexander Rebbe Yismach Yisroel) it's brought down that in his time many bachurim would fast in order to lose weight so they would be deemed to weak to be taken into the army. The Rebbe would tell them not to fast on Shabbos since "Shabbos food does not make one fat"

Rabbi Rubin mentions elsewhere in the article that one needs to be on a great level of "Emunas Chachamim" in order for these segulas to work. So if you are on that level enjoy ! unfortunately the rest of us have to watch what we eat - even on Shabbos.

I encourage you to read the whole article


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    "one needs to be on a great level of "Emunas Chachamim" in order for these segulas to work." - how very emperors new clothes of him
    – Daniel E.
    Aug 25, 2014 at 14:27

Oznayim LaTorah to Beshalach 16:25 says that the verse אכלוהו היום כי שבת היום לה' וכו - eat it today, for today is Shabbos for Hashem - means to say that they should eat the Manna on Shabbos, and not be like those who refrain from eating it (since the leftovers of previous days were spoiled) even though they see nothing wrong with it as it is. Therefore Moshe told them to eat it, as שומר מצוה לא ידע דבר רע, one keeping a Mitzvah will not know evil [from the keeping of the Mitzvah]. He adds, as a parenthetical statement, that this is a support for those who diet all week and then go off their diets for Shabbos.

See it here.

It doesn't necessarily mean it "won't make them fat" but it does mean that those watching their weight need not be careful on Shabbos. The reasoning is because in this eating they are involved in a Mitzvah. (Accordingly, it may only work if your eating is for the Mitzvah of enjoying Shabbos, and not just because you like to stuff yourself once a week.)

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    Care to have a double-blind study on this? It's a nice drash, I guess, but your advice might be harmful to people's health. Aug 25, 2014 at 19:54
  • @CharlesKoppelman I think its harmfulness to health depends on it being true. I don't know if you are doubting the possibility of such a thing or just doubting R' Sorotzkin. I don't know why it should be any more impossible than, say, increased produce when you don't plant in the Sabbatical year. --- And what does this have to do with my answer more than any other answer to this question? Aug 25, 2014 at 20:17
  • I doubt the concept. However, if it's true, then it can be proven through a scientific study. If not, it is dangerous to advise people who are dieting for health reasons to not bother on Shabbat. The only other answer currently posted that says food will not make you fat specifically adds a significant caveat that excludes all or almost all people who will read it. The Shmitta issue is not a health issue in our current economy and therefore less important to debunk. Aug 25, 2014 at 21:37
  • @CharlesKoppelman My answer adds its own significant caveat. I am taken aback by the implication of your tone that the explicit promise in the Torah is something that is just waiting to be debunked. I don't think my answer is meant for someone with no degree of faith in G-d's ability to do unnatural things. You could move on. (And this other answer has no caveat whatsoever and for some reason you weren't bothered.) Aug 26, 2014 at 0:44
  • I do think G-d can do unnatural things. I don't think that we go to rabbis for medical advice. Aug 26, 2014 at 2:02

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