'dieting' on Serious Eats

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 145: Pre-Holiday Diet Strategies, Anyone?

We all know the drill. The holidays are serious diet killers in so many ways. Let's count them. Pie. Gravy. Sweet Potatoes. Mashed Potatoes. Stuffing. Ham. Cookies. Egg Nog. Potato Latkes. Brisket. That's ten, so I consider this list to be the diet equivalent of the ten Passover Plagues. These are the ten plagues of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Chanukkah. And if you've been reading Serious Eats you know that down at World HQ we've been taste-testing up a storm, which definitely does not help. In fact, taste tests can be the eleventh holiday food plague More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 121: What Is My Serious Diet, Anyway?

It turns out that my serious "diet" is actually an amalgam of all four definitions of "diet" on merriam-webster.com. "Diet" does relate to the food I regularly consume, to the kind of habitual nourishment I receive from, to the kind and amount of food I've prescribed myself to try to bring my weight under control. But it's in the derivation of the word, which dates back to the thirteenth century, that I found the true meaning of my serious diet. More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 120: Party Tactics and Strategies, Anyone?

At parties where seriously delicious things are being served I have a tendency to let my guard down. When my guard is down my self control mechanism can be temporarily disabled without me even realizing it. When that mechanism is temporarily disabled all my strategies and tactics I usually employ at parties to limit my caloric intake can be compromised. But if I was just really feeling good and enjoying myself for this one night, maybe those chicken wings and bellinis weren't empty calories? More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 118: Surviving the Jury Duty Lunch Break in Chinatown

My euphoria from last week's return to serious diet basics and subsequent three-pound weight loss was severely tested this week. Not only were there the umpteen post-Beards Award parties (not to mention the Beard reception dinner) at every serious restaurant in New York City you can name, but I also had to cope with walking around Manhattan's Chinatown at lunchtime during jury duty. What's a serious dieter to do? Either give up or fight like hell to maintain my discipline. More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 117: Getting Back to What Works for Me

I'll admit it, serious eaters. I was feeling discouraged after last week's Serious Diet post. Some of the comments upset me, though I know everyone was just trying to help. But what was even more upsetting was the upward direction of my weigh-ins. I felt bewildered,overwhelmed, even helpless. It wasn't until Sunday that I finally came to grips with what had been going on. Even more importantly, I figured out something very concrete that I could do about it. Where did I find such solace? In my very own words. Direct from last week's post. More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 107: The Iowa Diet

Sticky bun from the Coffee Cup Cafe in Sully, Iowa. [Photographs: Ed Levine] I went back to my alma mater, Grinnell College, this past week to participate in a panel on the future of journalism. Food-wise I associate Grinnell, Iowa, with four things: pie, cinnamon buns, pork tenderloin sandwiches, and the Danish Maid Bakery's glazed doughnuts. Needless to say, none of them is good for my diet or my knee. But even though my knee was killing me the whole time I was there (below zero wind chill readings don't help an arthritic knee) I did manage to get in my fair share of the four main Iowa food groups. And maybe I didn't gain weight by doing so.... More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 104: My Five Rules for an Eat-All-Day Diet

This week involved many of these. This past week I realized that simply "Saying No" (my apologies to Nancy Reagan) was not going to cut it on my serious diet; somehow, some way I was going to have to find a way to participate in the gustatory goings-on at SE World HQ and still lose weight (albeit slowly). Why? Because it's just too hard not to. Consider the following eating-oriented festivities that went on during the last seven days (including my birthday on Wednesday) at the office, a mere three feet from my desk: A pepperoni pizza taste test featuring the four big national pizza chains. A frozen pepperoni pizza taste test featuring five brands. A New York wings... More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 103: The Good News and the Bad News

"I am still 25 pounds from my goal." The good news, and it's really good news. My knee is feeling considerably better, thanks to a new anti-inflammatory prescription and my new best friend Mr. Ice. I ice my knees for 20 minutes after I play squash. Then I ice them again on the days I don't play squash. I bought a $42 ice knee wrap that I bring to the squash court with me every morning I play. I put the whole thing (two ice packs inserted into the pockets of a wrap that fits perfectly around my knee). I've been moving better than I have in months. I can actually get around the court without looking like the the... More

Gift Guide: For the Healthy Eater

Our gift-guide marathon continues. Still looking for that special something? Try our full complement of lists. —Ed. If you know someone trying to make a few lifestyle changes, these ten healthy eating gifts could land you on the Nice list. Hot Sauce of the Month Club: Imagine it: the king of low-cal condiments, delivered to a loved one's doorstep every month. Their eggs, burritos, and chilis could never thank you enough. Available online at Amazingclubs.com, $203.40 for 12 months, $75.80 for four times a year So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week: Food Network's Ellie Krieger has the right idea about eating right, without ever resorting to deprivation or frankenfoods. Her newest tome concentrates on quickly... More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 97: 'Tis the Season to be Fat?

"I feel like Obama describing the effects of the stimulus package." Do serious eaters have to gain weight during the holiday season? Or can I find a way to navigate through these most treacherous of diet waters? As I've chronicled before, even non-holiday weeks present numerous challenges at Serious Eats World HQ, but consider what I've been confronted with the past few days: Ridiculously good and cute chocolate mice from Larry Burdick Chocolates are three feet from me as I type. And amazing crunchy vanilla crystallized almonds from Antoine Amrani Chocolates. And bacon butter crunch from Vosges. Fair? Probably not, but that's how we roll. Erin staged a butter tasting. Six kinds of butter on pieces of baguette. I waved... More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 96: Can There Be Moral Victories for Serious Dieters?

Thanksgiving leftovers, a latke and brisket-filled Chanukah party, a chocolate chip cookie tasting, and last night's ten-course meal—help! Thanksgiving leftovers by themselves are a buttery, greasy, slippery slope when it comes to serious dieting. Nothing good can come of availing yourself of the copious amounts of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and worst of all, pie. But then in my case, I add diet insult to injury by throwing in another early Chanukah party's worth of fattening leftovers into the mix. Needless to say, it wasn't a pretty week. Let me explain. We had my wife's family over on Thanksgiving at 2 p.m., which means we're digging into leftovers by Thursday night. But because I was weighing in on Friday... More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 95: Weighing In The Day After Thankgiving

Am I brave or just stupid? At the Serious Eats staff meeting this week, I announced that I was going to post about my diet on Thanksgiving Day instead of today, Friday, the day after, for obvious reasons. My pronouncement was met by derisive snorts and laughter. Everyone here at HQ knew I didn't want to face Thinner and all of you the day after Turkey Day, also known as Serious Dieter Armageddon. But I am going to show all the HQ dwellers that when it comes to facing down what can only be described as public humiliation of the worst sort, I am not afraid. Serious eaters, I come before you and Thinner and my maker the day after... More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 93: Can Pizza Be Diet Food?

From Ken's Artisan Pizza in Portland, Oregon. Read more hereĀ» [Photograph: Adam Kuban] Why do I ask this question? Because over the course of the last few weeks, Adam and I have been hitting pizzerias all over the country for a March Madness-like tournament of pizza we are writing up for Rachael Ray Magazine and posting about on Slice. While Adam has been to Seattle (twice), Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Phoenix in the last three weeks, I have been to two pizzerias in Atlanta, five in Chicago, four in Philadelphia, one in New Haven, and half a dozen in New York City. You will be reading more about our adventures in the coming weeks, but suffice to... More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 91: Diet Armageddon or Hell Week

Is what I'm about to tell you a form of diet armageddon or Hell Week? Either way, it has been bad, and I mean seriously bad. It's been so bad, I thought long and hard about not posting about my diet—then I decided that would make it even worse. You all have stayed with me through fat and almost thin, and almost every shape in between, so I figure you'll stay with me even this week, when I might hit 220 pounds, a number that I'm terrified of seeing on Thinner. I don't know how that scary number could have been avoided, given what in many cases I had to to eat this week. Maybe had to isn't an apt... More

Video: The Butterfield Diet Plan on 'The Peter Serafinowicz Show'

Brian Butterfield has a diet for you: The Butterfield Diet! You may be starving yourself during the week, but on Saturday, or "Treat Day," you get 24 hours to eat whatever you want. Whatever. You. Want. Pints o' cream, sandwich casserole, chocolate quail's eggs, discount foie gas, egg 'n' ham slabs—you name it! You just have to eat it all within 24 hours, which technically means you could eat for 24 hours straight. Hell, why not—you deserve it.... More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 56: Doctors Tell the Truth, Don't They?

"Did I really just hear a cardiologist, the butt of too many jokes on Serious Eats, tell me that I was skinny?" In the last couple of weeks, I've been spending too much time in the company of doctors. Last Wednesday, the day before I left for Miami, I saw my regular doctor, my referrer in HMO parlance, to see whether he could tell me what was causing the tightness on the right side of my chest (the side across from my heart). He couldn't find anything, and he didn't even notice I had lost weight. Doctors you see regularly are supposed to notice such things, aren't they? I went down to Miami to see if eating a mess of... More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 55: A South Beach Burger Bash Meal Plan

"I had gone on my own South Beach Diet, for one evening at least, and came out smelling like a rose, or at the very least like a cheeseburger. " Me with Ollie Kottke Even with me sharing an entire loaf of onion confit bread with young Ollie Kottke (son of Meg Hourihan and Jason Kottke) Tuesday lunch I was down two pounds for the week, to 228, on Thursday morning, when I boarded a plane to Miami for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. My plane arrived on time at 6:30 p.m., and after looking at and rejecting four hotel rooms, I was finally able to settle in, take a shower, and head to the famed Burger Bash.... More

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