Rabbi David Katz is a young 40 year old man, but he didn’t always feel that way.
At 280 pounds and standing 5’7, David felt sluggish, his health was at risk, and he felt it was finally time to do something about it.
David says that with his Torah knowledge, and his change in eating and exercise, he has managed to lose 120 pounds and 16 pant sizes in only 6 months!
How did he do it? What was his so-called Torah Secret?
Tamar interviews David Katz and asks him the questions most of us are hungry to know! Click here to listen.
Read his thoughts on dieting below.
David’s Transformation Story
Name: David Katz
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Modi’in Israel
Weight: 280 lbs
Body Fat %: 40+%
Weight: 160 lbs
Body Fat %: 9%
David shares the following:
My change was very moderate at first, thinking, “I just need a hot tub and sauna, and maybe workout a little bit. I’ll join a gym, who knows?” At that time I had become close with my chiropractor who harped on, ‘diet is the most important thing’. Exactly what I didn’t want to hear. That is when and where the BIG change happened. I joined the app loseit, and discovered calories, and caloric deficit. From that moment on life changed, and the numbers game began. The rest was history, because when numbers add up, anything is possible.
I accomplished my goals by finally knowing how to set a goal. Every day I worked on goal setting. What is my target weight – I thought? 80 kg? 77 kg? As my knowledge grew, my success accelerated, and my goals evolved and refined. Goal setting itself became a goal. From all of that process, I was reaching goals I didn’t know I had or could have. By then I was setting real goals and reaching them [with confidence].
I relied on breakfast coffee for one. Whey [Israeli brand] for protein [with my fruit shakes]. And I took fiber until I got my macros and micros under control.
Breakfast: coffee [almond milk and 3 teaspoons of brown sugar] at the beginning, and fasting at the end. Now that I’m at weight, it’s coffee and 200g of oatmeal.
Lunch: fruit smoothie – melons, strawberries, banana – all the fruits that make sense volume/colorie-wise. This was only possible thanks to my vitamix blender. I throw in kale and/or spinach, along with whey protein, and anything else that goes along…kiwi, apples, oranges…adding up to a shake 500-700 calories, and volume being a whole pitchers worth.
Dinner: tuna steak or salmon [300g], and broccoli and cauliflower  with low sodium low calorie veggie broth for flavor.
Drink: always water [after a workout with electrolytes]
Weekends: I will have some bread and wine, and chicken [300g] in place of fish, and veggies with fruit for dessert. I fast breakfast and lunch so that I can have a nice Friday night meal. Saturday Lunch I eat smoked tuna sandwiches on brown bread with avocado and veggies. Friday and Saturday I try to stay under 2,000 calories, and that goes for the week too in terms of calories. When I was in diet mode, my calories were more like 1300, so I had to be very conservative and creative and organized how I portioned my weekends. Even now my weekdays are still under 1500 calories, unless I eat oatmeal for breakfast, which I now do, and enjoy greatly.
I rarely snack, I keep set times [breakfast at 4:30 AM, lunch at 11 AM, and dinner at 5 PM]. And I DO NOT believe in cheating, and have not cheated once. Cheating brings consequences. There are ways to satisfy and intensify meals/eating without going as far as ‘cheating’.
30 mins: recumbent bike – over 90 rpm’s, level 5-7, over 10 km every day.
30 mins: weightroom, high impact…pullies, dumbbell presses [flat, decline, incline], flies, curls, ab work, lats. 3-5 sets of each, 5-10 reps, at a weight I have to really work hard to achieve goals. For example, on dumbbells I press with 20 kg each.
40 mins: swimming routine – sauna with sweats to sweat, pool aerobics, jaccuzi, shower. The pool routine is intense in the sauna and the pool, then jaccuzi and shower is a great cool down. [*note – I read/learn and listen to music in the sauna for 20 mins to work on my concentration in intense conditions.]
The biggest challenges?
The most challenging aspect was scheduling and the bumps in the road. Every day there are thousands of reasons to skip or not do something. I do not believe in willpower to overcome these things, because in the end, they’ll get you. The trick was to figure out solutions to each and every problem – big and small. The rewards were the best part, learning how to solve anything that stands in your way.
David’s advice to others on changing your lifestyle:
“Your mindset must change.” “You must be open and willing to discover yourself on the journey, no matter how silly, or level of denial.”
My future plans are to improve daily, continue setting goals , be the best version of myself I can be, and be a light to others.
The most essential part of my success is when I realized that diet – fitness success is mindset, and as a rabbi, I merged the Jewish Academic way of thinking with the fitness/diet/sports model, and good things happened.
I used to wrestle in high school, and remain an avid fan of the sport, and largely, my success is following the wrestling success model.
To listen to an interview with David Katz and Tamar Yonah, click here.