If you’re like me, you saw bathing suit season coming, and you went on a diet. You’ve lost some weight. Maybe you’ve already met your goal! Now what?
You can’t go back to the way you ate before the diet, or you’ll gain the weight back. But it’s not practical to stay on a strict diet forever. You need an interim approach to eating, one where you can have some fun. Here are some tips:
Don’t eat unless you’re hungry. This sounds obvious, except that we all do it. Just because someone brings cookies to the office, is munching on chips or offers you a cupcake doesn’t mean you have to indulge. Take a pass if you’re not hungry.
Avoid snacking. Eat sensibly at meals to minimize hunger between them. For most people, 4-6 ounces of protein keeps hunger at bay for six hours. Lean protein, such as fish, eggs, turkey or skinless chicken, is healthier and lower in calories than beef, lamb and cheese.
Eat half of everything. If you eat half as much as you did before the diet, you’ll consume half as many calories. Cut restaurant portions in half and take the rest home. Or share a dish with a friend. Order ice cream cones with a single scoop. Ask the pizza shop to cut each slice in half.
Limit caloric beverages. Fruit juices, sweetened drinks and alcohol go down smoothly but really jack up calorie consumption. Water and seltzer are best for quenching thirst.
Consume no more than one alcoholic beverage per occasion.
Maintaining weight is about making good choices, about being conscious of what you eat. You can eat most anything, just in smaller quantities and not all at one meal.
White Wine Spritzer | Pareve
This sparkling cocktail is a light summer indulgence.
For serving: 4 white wine glasses
1 chilled bottle of pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc or white Bordeaux
1 chilled bottle of seltzer
The best white wine spritzers come from super-cold ingredients. Place the chilled wine and seltzer in the freezer. Set a timer for 15 minutes and remove them both.
While the wine and seltzer are in the freezer, cut the lemon in half crosswise. Cut two thin slices from each lemon half into circles about ⅛-inch wide. There will be four lemon circles in all. With a sharp knife, cut away the lemon’s flesh and discard or use for another purpose. Make a cut in each circle so it can be straightened into one long piece.
Pour ¾ cup of wine into each white wine glass. Add ¼ cup seltzer to each glass. Twist the lemon peels into a corkscrew shape and slide them into each glass. Serve immediately.
Fish Kabobs | Pareve
By Marcia Slaminsky
This is lighter alternative to a more meaty shish kabob.
Equipment: 6 (15-inch) skewers
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 2 lemons
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt to taste
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together until well combined. Reserve.
1 pound salmon, cut into one-inch cubes, about
1 pound tuna steak,
cut into one-inch cubes, about 12 pieces
1 red pepper, cut into
1 yellow pepper, cut into one-inch squares
1 onion, cut into 6 wedges, which will break in half
12 baby potatoes, boiled for about 3 minutes until softened but not cooked through
2 zucchini, cut crosswise into 1-inch rounds
Nonstick vegetable spray
Assemble the fish and vegetables on the skewers, alternating them. Start and end each skewer with a square of red or yellow pepper. Brush the kabobs with the sauce.
To broil: Coat your broiler pan with nonstick vegetable spray and preheat the broiler. Broil about 4 inches from the flame for about 8-10 minutes. Turn the skewers while broiling and brush them with more sauce. Test to see if the fish is cooked through. Serve immediately.
To grill: Coat the grill with nonstick spray and preheat the barbecue. To avoid flare-ups, do not use the spray after preheating. Grill the kabobs for about 20 minutes. Turn the skewers while grilling and brush them with more sauce. Test to see if fish is cooked through. Serve immediately.
Chocolate Banana Bites | Pareve
A light and mostly healthy sweet treat.
1 piece of parchment paper
¾ cup dairy-free, semisweet baking chocolate or chocolate chips
1 large ripe, but not overripe, banana
Line a small cookie sheet or other flat pan with parchment paper. Reserve.
Set up a double boiler with water in the bottom pot and the chocolate in the top pot. Cover it with a lid. Bring the water to a boil and stir occasionally until the chocolate melts.
Bring the chocolate to room temperature by removing the top pot from the boiling water. (You can rig a double boiler by placing a heatproof bowl over a pot and using aluminum foil as a lid. Follow the double boiler instructions.)
Meanwhile, cut the banana in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into half-inch slices. There will be about 16 small pieces of banana in all.
Dip each piece of banana into the melted chocolate, covering about half of it with chocolate. Let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Move the banana pieces to the parchment-lined pan.
Place the pan in the freezer for 3 hours or more, until right before serving. It can remain frozen for 24 hours. Move the banana bites to an attractive plate and serve immediately. l