You are here

The Party Diet

Blaine Moats

The Diet That Lets You Indulge

Wait! Don't resign yourself to gaining weight over the holidays like you usually do. This eat-what-you-love-and-still-lose program makes it possible to put yourself at the top of your to-do list (and go to the office party looking hot).

On these pages, Melissa Clark and Robin Aronson, authors of The Skinny: How to Fit in Your Little Black Dress Forever (Meredith Books), give you a starter kit for eating right on the run with a week's worth of meals and snacks, including easy recipes you can whip up fast, as well as healthy takeout and prepared foods. Going to a party? Swap the day's snack and dessert for one of the goodies in "You Can Indulge Guilt-Free" on the final page.

Follow this plan and you'll consume about 1,500 calories a day and drop 5 pounds in a month. (For variety, replace some of the foods with your favorites; eat about half of your usual-size portion.) Even better: Combine the diet with our fat-blasting workout and you'll double your weight loss to 10 pounds in just four weeks!

Fat-blasting workout

Day 1

Breakfast: 1 cup low-fat yogurt topped with 1 cup strawberries and 2 teaspoons almonds.

  • 239 calories, 16g protein, 35g carbohydrate, 5g fat (2g saturated), 4g fiber

Lunch: Salad with chicken and vegetables (about 2 cups) tossed with 2 tablespoons dressing; 1 medium apple for dessert.

  • 297 calories, 24g protein, 27g carbohydrate, 11g fat (2g saturated), 3g fiber

Dinner: 6-ounce salmon fillet, brushed with 2 teaspoons each molasses and olive oil and broiled. Two cups steamed broccoli and carrots. Small whole wheat roll.

  • 640 calories, 42g protein, 53g carbohydrate, 30g fat (6g saturated), 13g fiber

Dessert: 3 mini Milano cookies and 1 cup skim milk.

  • 170 calories, 10g protein, 22g carbohydrates, 4g fat (2g saturated), 1g fiber

Snack: Toasted whole wheat pita bread and 1 thin slice (3/4 ounce) reduced-fat cheese.

  • 144 calories, 10g protein, 18g carbohydrates, 5g fat (2g saturated), 2g fiber

Day 2

Breakfast: 1 cup whole grain cereal topped with 1 cup nonfat milk and 1/2 banana, sliced.

  • 286 calories, 14g protein, 63g carbohydrate, 1g fat (0g saturated), 9g fiber

Lunch: Tuna-salad sandwich on a whole-grain roll made with small can (3 ounces) water-packed tuna, 2 tablespoons light mayo, and 2 tablespoons each chopped celery and bell peppers.

  • 312 calories, 24g protein, 22g carbohydrate, 14g fat (2.5g saturated), 3g fiber

Dinner: 6 ounces skinless rotisserie chicken, 2/3 cup whole wheat couscous (made from 1/3 cup dry) and 1 cup string beans sauteed in 2 teaspoons olive oil and garlic.

  • 602 calories, 53g protein, 37g carbohydrate, 27g fat (6g saturated), 9g fiber

Dessert: 2 small fig cookies.

  • 111 calories, 1g protein, 21g carbohydrate, 2g fat (0g saturated), 1g fiber

Snack: 1 nectarine and 11 baked chips.

  • 193 calories, 3g protein, 35g carbohydrate, 6g fat (1g saturated), 4g fiber

Day 3

Breakfast: 1 1/2 cup oatmeal topped with 1/2 cup blueberries and a splash of milk.

  • 281 calories, 12g protein, 52g carbohydrate, 4g fat (1g saturated), 8g fiber

Lunch: Sandwich made with 3 ounces turkey breast on whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, and Dijon mustard; 1 cup (about 30) grapes.

  • 392 calories, 23g protein, 64g carbohydrate, 7g fat (2g saturated), 6g fiber

Dinner: 4 ounces shrimp stir-fried with mushrooms, garlic, and ginger (cook in sauce made by whisking together 4 teaspoons each soy sauce and rice vinegar and 2 teaspoons each olive oil and honey), 1/2 cup steamed carrots, and 3/4 cup brown rice.

  • 517 calories, 32g protein, 70g carbohydrate, 13g fat (2g saturated), 6g fiber

Dessert: 1/2 cup chocolate nonfat frozen yogurt topped with 2 teaspoons chopped walnuts.

  • 136 calories, 7g protein, 22g carbohydrate, 4g fat (1g saturated), 2g fiber

Snack: A medium apple sliced with 1 tablespoon almond butter.

  • 171 calories, 3g protein, 22g carbohydrate, 9g fat (1g saturated), 4g fiber

Day 4

Breakfast: Smoothie made with 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt, 1 large banana, 1 kiwi, 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup, and crushed ice.

  • 415 calories, 16g protein, 86g carbohydrate, 3g fat (2g saturated), 7g fiber

Lunch: Roast beef sandwich made with 2 ounces lean meat, lettuce, tomato, and mustard on whole wheat bread; 1/2 cup baby carrots and 1 medium pear.

  • 367 calories, 23g protein, 60g carbohydrate, 6g fat (2g saturated), 11g fiber

Dinner: Pad Thai (about 8 ounces, takeout) served with 1 1/2 cups broccoli and peppers stir-fried in 2 teaspoons olive oil.

  • 422 calories, 17g protein, 48g carbohydrates, 19g fat (3g saturated), 8g fiber

Dessert: 2 shortbread cookies.

  • 160 calories, 2g protein, 18g carbohydrate, 8g fat (2g saturated), 2g fiber

Snack: Reduced-fat string cheese (1 stick) and 12 almonds.

  • 135 calories, 9g protein, 4g carbohydrate, 10g fat (2g saturated), 2g fiber

Day 5

Breakfast: 2 pieces whole wheat toast, each topped with 1 slice reduced-fat cheese; 1/2 cup grapefruit juice.

  • 404 calories, 21g protein, 48g carbohydrate, 16g fat (8g saturated), 4g fiber

Lunch: 1 cup black-bean soup, green salad with assorted veggies of your choice tossed with 2 tablespoons dressing; 3 chocolate kisses.

  • 319 calories, 10g protein, 40g carbohydrate, 14g fat (4g saturated), 5g fiber

Dinner: 8 pieces assorted sushi (takeout), 1/2 cup shelled edamame, and 1 medium orange.

  • 485 calories, 21g protein, 90g carbohydrate, 4g fat (0g saturated), 10g fiber

Dessert: 6 ounces plain nonfat yogurt topped with 1 tablespoon raisins.

  • 155 calories, 9g protein, 23g carbohydrate, 2g fat (2g saturated), 1g fiber

Snack: 28 dry-roasted peanuts.

  • 166 calories, 7g protein, 6g carbohydrate, 14g fat (2g saturated), 2g fiber

Day 6

Breakfast: 2 poached eggs, 1 whole-wheat English muffin and 1/2 medium grapefruit.

  • 359 calories, 22g protein, 37g carbohydrate, 14g fat (4g saturated), 6g fiber

Lunch: Green salad with 4 ounces grilled chicken strips, veggies of your choice (like peppers), and 2 tablespoons dressing; a small banana.

  • 290 calories, 28g protein, 21g carbohydrate, 12g fat (1g saturated), 5g fiber

Dinner: 4 ounces prepared lean sliced steak (from the supermarket), 1 cup broccoli sauteed in 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 small whole wheat dinner roll, and 3 clementines.

  • 550 calories, 40g protein, 56g carbohydrate, 20g fat (5g saturated), 12g fiber

Dessert: 1/2 cup vanilla nonfat frozen yogurt and 4 small vanilla wafer cookies.

  • 161 calories, 5g protein, 30g carbohydrate, 3g fat (1g saturated), 0g fiber

Snack: 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese and 3 small bread sticks.

  • 142 calories, 16g protein, 13g carbohydrates, 2g fat (1g saturated), 0g fiber

Day 7

Breakfast: 1 cup whole-grain cereal topped with 1 cup nonfat milk and 1 cup sliced strawberries.

  • 271 calories, 14g protein, 58g carbohydrates, 1g fat (0g saturated), 10g fiber

Lunch: Veggie burger on a whole-grain hamburger roll with lettuce and tomato, and 1 small pear.

  • 359 calories, 20g protein, 56g carbohydrate, 7g fat (2g saturated), 12g fiber

Dinner: 6-ounce halibut fillet brushed with 2 teaspoons olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and roasted 10 to 15 minutes (depending on thickness); 4 ounces cheese ravioli; 1 cup string beans sauteed in 1 teaspoon olive oil; 2 fresh figs.

  • 553 calories, 44g protein, 47g carbohydrate, 22g fat (4g saturated), 9g fiber

Dessert: 2 shortbread cookies.

  • 160 calories, 2g protein, 18g carbohydrate, 8g fat (2g saturated), 2g fiber

Snack: 1 ounce dark chocolate.

  • 151 calories, 2g protein, 17g carbohydrate, 9g fat (5g saturated), 2g fiber

You Can Indulge Guilt-Free

If you're heading to a party, replace your daily snack and dessert with one of these treats, which are about 300 calories each:

  • 6 melba toasts topped with 2 teaspoons caviar and chopped egg
  • 15 tortilla chips and about 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 10 potato chips and about 1/3 cup sour cream and onion dip
  • 4 pigs in a blanket
  • 6 chicken fingers
  • 2 ounces Brie and 6 crackers
  • 3 small crab cakes
  • 2 ounces pate on 4 toast points
  • 6 antipasto hors d'oeuvres made with 1 slice pepperoni, 1 olive, and a small cube (about 1/4 ounce) of part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 serving (about 3 1/2 ounces) gingerbread
  • 3 homemade chocolate chip cookies
  • 1 piece carrot cake with icing
  • 4 large strawberries dipped in dark chocolate
  • 7 small (2-inch) sugar cookies
  • 2 1/2 ounces fudge
  • 6 ounces eggnog (alcoholic)
  • 2 martini cocktails (2 1/2 ounces each)
  • 2 glasses red wine (5 ounces each)
  • Two 12-ounce beers

Next: Add this workout, only 4 weeks to getting slim, strong, and sexy!

The Little Black Dress workout

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, December 2006.