Food & Recipes

Healthy Food Options and Eating Tips

by Tula Karras

Healthy Food Options and Eating Tips

Shed 5 pounds in two weeks with these healthy, easy meal and snack options, plus stick-with-it tips

The best body changes happen slowly and steadily, but sometimes you need to look fabulous, stat (high school reunion, anyone?). You can slim down speedily and healthfully if you play by these rules, courtesy of Lisa Dorfman, R.D., coauthor of The Reunion Diet. For 14 days, choose three meals and two snacks from our list for 1,200 calories daily. If you feel hungry or weak, add an additional snack.

For breakfast:

1/2 cup oatmeal with cinnamon and 1 Tbsp raisins, prepared with 1 cup skim milk; 1 cup calcium-fortified OJ

1/2 whole-wheat English muffin with 2 tsp all-fruit jam; 1/2 banana; 1 cup nonfat fruit yogurt

1 cup fat-free cottage cheese; 1/2 cup strawberries; 1 cup diet juice drink

Egg-white omelet made with 5 egg whites or 2 oz of an egg substitute, 1 oz nonfat shredded cheese, 1 cup veggie mix (spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms); 1 whole orange

Stick-with-it strategy:
Track what you eat. Journaling your intake (in a notebook, online, or by e-mailing it to a friend) keeps you honest.

For lunch:

2 cups salad greens topped with 5 oz crabmeat (about 1/2 cup), 1 cup chopped veggies (carrot, tomato, cukes), 1 Tbsp fat-free dressing; 1 peach

5 oz ground or sliced turkey, 1 cup shredded lettuce, 1 oz nonfat shredded cheese, 2 Tbsp guacamole in a large lettuce-leaf wrap; 1 apple

4 oz lean grilled burger; 1/2 ear corn; 1/2 mango, sliced

3 oz nonfat feta on 2 cups salad greens, 1 Tbsp fat-free dressing, stuffed into 1 whole-grain toasted pita; 1 cup pineapple chunks

Stick-with-it strategy:
Use your kids as motivation. When your children see you taking care of yourself, they’ll follow your lead. Just don’t let a too-strict diet interfere with your parenting. “You’re a great mom, so if your dieting makes you moody, tired, or forgetful, it’s not good for you or them,” says Dorfman.

For dinner:

5 oz sliced chicken breast stir-fried with 1 cup veggies; 1 cup whole-wheat pasta; 1 cup salad with 1 Tbsp fat-free dressing

5 oz grilled shrimp with 1 cup mushrooms and red pepper; 1/2 baked potato with 1 Tbsp nonfat sour cream and chives and a spritz of butter spray

5 oz tuna melt (about 1/2 cup) with 2 Tbsp nonfat shredded mozzarella, 1 to 2 cups salad greens with mushrooms and cucumbers, plus 1 Tbsp fat-free dressing; 1 apple

1 cup vegetable soup; 6 oz tuna steak; grilled zucchini

Stick-with-it strategy:
Avoid snacking after dinner. The plan’s meals are protein-packed, so you shouldn’t feel hungry after dinner. But if you do¿keep it under 150 calories, such as Babybel Light Cheese and an apple, or nonfat Greek yogurt.

For snack:

1 protein bar and 1 pear

1 tortilla and 1 oz nonfat cheese

1 apple and 5 light cheese wedges

1 nonfat-milk smoothie blended with 1 cup berries and 1/2 banana

1 plum and a small handful of almonds

1 (4-oz) nonfat Greek yogurt, 4 strawberries

Stick-with-it strategy:
Exercise. Studies show that the difference between people who keep weight off and those who gain it back is working out. Aim for 45 minutes daily.