Undo Your Overindulgences with “Recovery Dinners”

How many times have your overindulgences caused the scale to jump up by several pounds? Perhaps the cause was your Thursday night “drinks with the girls” which turned into midnight munchies. Or the weekend with your family which ended up in a food fest. Perhaps you had 3 business dinners out this week. Whatever the cause, the result is the same … the scale is now 2 pounds higher.

Gaining a pound or two is not a big deal as you can should be able to take it off rather easily. The problem occurs when you don’t make an effort to take it off immediately and 1-2 pounds turns into 5-10 pounds. Here is an example of “creeping weight gain”.  Let’s say you gained 2 pounds over the December holiday season. You weren’ t that concerned as you figured you could get it off easily. Then your work schedule got really busy in January and exercise fell by the wayside … 2 more pounds appeared. Your February cruise vacation packed on another 2 pounds. Before you knew it, your weight was up 6 pounds. 6 pounds is a lot more difficult to get off than 2 pounds! Now if you had tried to get those 2 pounds off immediately, you probably wouldn’t be in this predicament.

I often suggest “recovery” meals to my clients who have gained a pound or two from overindulging. The “recovery meal” (preferably at dinner) should be low in calories, carbs and sodium to help you drop several pounds quickly. This will get you back to your baseline weight. At that point, you can go back to your more normal way of eating (which hopefully is healthy!)

Suggestions for “recovery dinners” (many of these suggestions are for take-out foods as city girls tend not to spend too much time in the kitchen!)

1. Steamed Chinese food (protein and veggies) with 4 T. sauce on the side  (375 calories) chicken-kabob.jpg

2. Middle Eastern chicken kabob (6 0z) over salad, add your own low fat dressing (375 calories)

3. Turkey burger (no bun) with steamed veggies* or salad with low fat dressing (450 shrimp.jpgcalories)

4. 6 oz cold cooked shrimp with lemon and cocktail sauce, salad with low fat dressing or veggies* (360 calories)

5. 1/4 rotissere chicken (remove skin) with steamed veggies* or salad with low fat dressing (400 calories)sashimi.jpg

6. Edamame, miso soup and 6 pieces sashimi  (Ok – so this one is not so low in sodium… but I had to include it as city girls love sushi!). Check out my previous post on calories in sushi. (400 calories)

7. Frozen dinner for 350 calories or less. Check out my previous post on frozen dinners. Try to select one that is lower in sodium. Add steamed veggies* or salad with low fat dressing.  (400 calories)

8. Egg white omelet (at only 15 calories per egg white,use as many as you want!) made with Pam and a lot of veggies. (175 calories for an omelet made with 6 egg whites)

Other tips: 

1. *The veggies can be fresh or frozen, steamed, grilled, roasted or sauteed with Pam or a little olive oil (about 1-2 tsp). Be careful of buying prepared grilled or sauteed veggies found in many gourmet stores as they tend to be loaded with oil. If you are having a salad, look for a salad dressing with 75 calories or less.

2. Avoid alcohol on these “recovery days”.

3. If you have a snack after dinner, make sure it is 75 calories or less. Suggestions: fruit, diet jello/pudding, diet ice pop, nonfat yogurt.



I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.

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20 Ways To Eat Out 550 Calories or Less!

No time to cook? We’ve got you covered. Here are 20 healthy meals from a variety of cuisines that won’t pack on the pounds. Most of them also have less than 30 grams of carbs.

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