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Tips & Tricks for the New Year, Plus HG's Chocolate Picks!
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Tips & Tricks for the New Year, Plus HG's Chocolate Picks!

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01.05.11
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Hi Hungry Girl,

Well, the holidays are over and the new year is here! I'm really determined to lose weight in 2011. (I'm about 20 lbs. overweight and have been for a while.) Problem is, I've started out the last few years with this optimistic attitude, but I always fall off the wagon by the end of February. Any tips to keep me motivated?

New Year, New Sue

Hi Sue,

Happy New Year! I think a LOT of people have this experience. They start the year excited about their resolutions, and then they get bored/frustrated/etc. and give up. The good news is that you've identified your pattern early this year, so you can make changes from the get-go. Here are some tips to help you out...

1. Set mini goals. If you just set out to lose double-digit pounds by the year's end, it's easy to a) not appreciate and give yourself credit for the little milestones or b) tell yourself you've got plenty of time and slack off. Obviously, neither of these is a good thing. So set a small target -- like dropping 5 pounds by the end of February. This way, you'll keep yourself accountable and have a very realistic goal.

2. Don't get stuck in a food rut.
If you really want to stick to an eating plan that'll help you lose weight and keep it off, don't be too rigid with your choices. Fill your diet with a VARIETY of foods so you don't get bored. (Pssst... Keep reading your HG emails for new recipes and food finds!)



3. Have fun with exercise. If you fork over cash for a gym membership every year only to remember that you hate the treadmill and weight lifting, don't do it! Find ways to burn calories that are fun for you. Jump rope, go rock climbing, dance around your living room to bad '80s music... whatever! And definitely don't take on an exercise routine that causes pain or discomfort -- you'll end up ditching it completely (which is what I did for SO many years). 



4. Let yourself "cheat" a little... and don't feel bad about it. Everyone strays once in a while. That's life. So splurge when you need to, and enjoy it. Don't feel guilty; live a little! Then just get right back on track.

Good luck, have fun, and let me know how it goes...

Hi HG,

Are there any great-tasting chocolate snacks that are low-ish in calories and fat? Ones with a PointsPlus® value of 1 or 2?

Jan Hearts Chocolate

Hi Jan,

Yes! In fact, I've been having a lot of fun with the PointsPlus® plan, trying to find the best foods that fall into the different values. Here are some of my chocolate picks!

Swiss Miss Diet Hot Cocoa Mix - Each envelope of chocolatey goodness has just 25 calories and a PointsPlus® value of 1*. I like to add a packet of no-calorie sweetener and use a full cup of water instead of just 6 ounces. 

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze + Hershey's Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup - To make an AMAZING (and large!) low-calorie glass of chocolate "milk," just stir 2 tablespoons of the syrup into a cup of the Breeze. So good and only 55 calories and 3g fat (PointsPlus® value of 2*).

Jell-O Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding Snacks - There's a slew of fun flavors (LOVE the Double Chocolate), and each portion-controlled snack cup has just 60 calories and a gram and a half of fat (PointsPlus® value 2*). Woohoo!

Tootsie Pops - THE. BEST. Just 60 fat-free calories a Pop (PointsPlus® value 2*).

Fudgsicle No Sugar Added Bars - Have TWO of these for 80 calories and 1.5g fat (PointsPlus® value of 2*). Worth the brain freeze!

Mousse Temptations by Jell-O (chocolate varieties) - This stuff is like the schmancy cousin to those pudding snacks. (Don't fight, girls, there's room in my fridge for both of you!) Each container also has 60 calories and just a bit more fat, 2.5 - 3 grams (PointsPlus® value of 2*).

Fiber One 90 Calorie Chewy Bars - In Chocolate or Chocolate Peanut Butter, one bar has -- surprise -- 90 calories! Each bar also has a PointsPlus® value of 2*.

3 Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses (or 1 tbsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips) - If it's straight-up CHOCOLATE you crave, this is the best way to get your fix for about 70 calories and 4g fat (PointsPlus® value of 2*).

My favorite chocolate snack is STILL a Triple Chocolate Chunk VitaTop, which clocks in with a PointsPlus® value of 3*. But the Dark Chocolate Pomegranate VitaTop (also awesome) has a PointsPlus® value of 2*. Yes!

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CHEW ON THIS:

Today, January 5th, is National Whipped Cream Day. Celebrate by squirting Fat Free Reddi-wip on EVERYTHING. (Except hot dogs. And maybe a few other things...)

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*The PointsPlus® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

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