Chanukah: When Less is More

As Chanukah is here, my house is quiet.  All of my children are married and out of the house.   I quickly remembered times when we needed a large table for all of the menorahs, how candle-lighting took a long time as each child recited the blessings and we sang Maoz Tur afterwards.  I realized that even though there was less light being generated from Chanukah menorahs in my home these days, it is because less was now more.  There was only one menorah burning in our home because in the homes of my married children, there were many more menorahs burning – those of my children and grandchildren.

Bigger and better

A Rabbi who was a personal training client of mine years ago mentioned an insightful comment about the word “better.” He said that when he travels back to the United States (he has been in Israel for more than 40 years now), he notices that the word “better”  seems to go hand and hand with the “bigger and more.”

Success is seen as more money, bigger homes, large weddings and celebrations, and longer vacations. We strive to build bigger airliners and larger sports stadiums.  Yet, it hit me this past Chanukah, that bigger and more are not necessarily really better.  Many times, less is indeed more.

I realized that my entire profession is based on this fundamental concept. Seeing success after success in my clinic, I’m so aware of how less is more.

More out of life

We know that when it comes to body weight, more is harmful and less is best.  Here “less” translates into good health and a happy life.  As the owner and director of the THE WELLNESS CLINIC, I spend my days working with people who want more out of life. My clients learn to use techniques like a plant-strong food program, proper exercise, and behavioral changes, to learn how to do with less and achieve their goals.

Western society unnecessarily lives with an array of life-threatening health problems such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, and an array of autoimmune diseases.  In addition, problems that affect our quality of life such as osteoarthritis, digestive issues, anxiety, depression and problems of self-esteem often go together with overweight and obesity.

In my clinic, I watch week after week as clients succeed on their path to better health and wellness. They come in with new blood tests showing better sugar numbers and lower cholesterol.  They ask me to check their blood pressure – just to make sure they heard their doctor correctly that for the first time in years they are not hypertensive.  In just weeks, I’ve seen reversal of chronic disease and the beginnings of reversing chronic kidney disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and a variety of autoimmune disorders.

Improvements and accomplishments

Less is indeed more, but it can’t happen in one day or one week.  This learning process takes time – months for most people.  But the rewards gained both in terms of physical health and mental well-being (and the weight lost!), are the “more” here.  Those who succeed find it hard to believe that they were ever in the “more” and “bigger is better” mode. There is a great sense of accomplishment at the end of this road.

Here are a few tips for you to consider to get started on your weight loss journey to good health:
    • Eat well. 
      • Instead of dieting, stick to plant-based foods. Remove ultra-processed foods. The quality of the food we eat is more significant than the amount.
      • Learn the difference between real hunger and desiring food for other reasons.
    • Exercise must be part of your life, and a priority. Learn what a balanced exercise program is and fit it into you day.  Even a daily 30 minute walk has great results.
    • Learn how to prioritize. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first when you have to.  It is great to help others, but helping yourself is also crucial.
    • Write it ALL down! Track your food and your exercise and even your sabotaging thoughts.  And when you do something great, write that down, too!  Giving yourself credit for your accomplishments is just as important.

    Remember that in spite of what we see around us, LESS is indeed MORE, just like the menorah burning in your home or your scale trending down.  And when it comes to your health, losing weight in a careful and healthy manner is without a doubt much, much MORE.  “Add hours to our day, days to your year and years to our life”.



  1. rivka October 19, 2018 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Alan, really enjoyed this article. We have to remember that the “less” will eventually lead to the “more” and keep on working.
    To everyone struggling to change– Don’t give up!

  2. rivka October 22, 2018 at 6:56 am - Reply

    That’s a great article. We all have to work on that less is indeed more!

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