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Dear Hungry Girl,

I try really hard to avoid my trigger foods, but sometimes I crack and indulge in things like chips and nuts. The problem is that a few handfuls of those lead to disaster for me. Once I start, I can't stop. Any tips?

Trigger-Happy Trina
Dear Trigger-Happy,

For the most part, I steer clear of my trigger foods, too. (By the way, trigger foods are those that make you want more and more of them, potentially setting you off into an eating frenzy.) But we all slip up every now and again. I've gone thru an entire bag of pistachios in one day. (Not a proud moment, but I'm only human.) Days like that, thankfully, are few and far between -- mostly because I tend to avoid my trigger foods altogether. But when I do treat myself to them, I use some tricks. Check 'em out...

1. Find portion-controlled options. Since I love nuts but can't be trusted around big bags of them, I keep 100-calorie packs handy. Mini bags of microwavable 94% fat-free popcorn are great for popcorn-chewers. If your favorite snack doesn't come packaged in single servings, try this next tip.

2. Break large bags up into mini bags/containers with a single portion in each. This TOTALLY helps. In fact, I recommend doing it as soon as you get back from the store -- keep those giant snack bags out of your home whenever possible!

3. Pop a mint or a piece of sugar-free mint gum right after you have a serving of your trigger food. The mintiness can help stop you from craving more of that food. (The fresh breath is an added bonus.) This one works like a CHARM!

So indulge in your favorite things every now and then -- just be smart about it. And speaking of trigger foods, click HERE to check out an HG video about 'em!

Dear HG,

How important do you think exercise is, and what can I do workout-wise if I absolutely HATE exercising? HELP!!!

Workout Avoider
Dear Workout Avoider,

Exercising is super-important -- it gives you energy, decreases stress, burns calories, and has about a bajillion other benefits. But like you, I used to hate working out. A LOT. I wouldn't do it at all. A long time ago, I would avoid gyms and gym equipment like the plague. (I love that throwback expression. It's so dated and funny!) They intimidated me in a huge way. I would try to do workouts that were too difficult, and then I'd get upset and quit. So I decided to switch things up. I started doing simple weight training to build muscle and some low-impact cardio as well. I walk, usually on a treadmill, just fast enough to get my heart rate up a little. To keep me from getting bored while walking on the treadmill, I watch movies and my favorite TV shows. (These days, I like American Idol; Diners, Drive-ins and Dives; and The Big Bang Theory!) It distracts me and makes exercising FUN. Now I actually look forward to my workouts. The key is to figure out what works for YOU -- exercising with a friend, listening to upbeat music while you work out, watching movies while using cardio equipment... ANYTHING that can help make your workouts enjoyable. Another thing I learned (thanks to my Bodybugg) is that even everyday stuff like housework and food shopping can add up to a good workout. You can also burn hundreds of calories trying on lots of clothes (so cool!), playing video games like Rock Band (the drums ROCK for calorie-burning), doing Wii workouts like EA Sports Active, dancing around your living room to your favorite movie soundtrack (just make sure the blinds are closed!), and more. You can find ways to exercise in the most unlikely places, and you might actually FALL IN LOVE with a new activity. So go for it and get moving, humans!

Today, January 13th, is National Peach Melba Day. Celebrate accordingly with our Peach Melba Daiquiri Slushie -- for a virgin version, make it with Sprite Zero instead of rum!
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