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How about a Hungry Girl swap for McDonald's mocha drinks?! I LOVE them but need something similar I can make at home.

Mad for Mocha
Dear Mad for Mocha,

The mocha and latte drinks at McDonald's are pretty popular. And you can get them made with nonfat milk, which is great. But even a small Mocha with skim clocks in at 240 calories and 5g fat (POINTS® value 5*). I think that's just too high for a smallish cup of coffee. You can EASILY make a warm and delicious mocha drink at home. Check it out...

In a large microwave-safe mug or cup, combine 2 tsp. instant coffee, 2 tsp. fat-free nondairy powdered creamer, and a 25-calorie packet of hot cocoa mix. Add 3/4 cup hot water and stir to dissolve ingredients. Then add 1/4 cup light vanilla soymilk, nuke until hot (about 45 seconds), and stir. Yum! Your mocha will have only about 70 calories and less than a gram of fat (POINTS® value 1*)! If you want, top it with a generous squirt of Fat Free Reddi-wip and a squiggle of light chocolate syrup. Mmmmm!

Forget high-calorie drive-thru coffees... Who needs 'em?!

Hungry Girl,

How will I ever know how many calories I need to eat in order to lose weight? I am active and work out, but I guess I'm STILL taking in too much... Would LOVE to know that answer. Help!

Calorie Mallory
Dear Calorie Mallory,

I am asked this question A LOT! I'm not a nutrition expert, but I do know the basics and have some GREAT tips. In order to lose weight, you need to take in fewer calories than you burn. There are online calculators that approximate the number of calories you need per day based on stuff like age, gender, activity level, etc. Here's a link to a good one; that should be super helpful. But for truly accurate info, you need to know roughly how many calories you are burning. How do you figure that out? Get one of those electronic devices that tracks your individual calorie burn, like the Bodybugg or the Fitbit. (They aren't cheap, but buying one can be a great investment, especially if you are having trouble losing weight or have hit a plateau.) Then you can try to plan your eating accordingly. For every 3,500 calories you expend beyond what you consume, you lose a pound. This can be done through a combo of reducing your caloric intake and increasing physical activity. So if you take in 500 fewer calories than you burn every day for a full week, you should lose about one pound. If you're trying to lose weight, one to two pounds a week is the amount that health professionals recommend. As always, consult a doctor or other health professional before starting any new diet or exercise plan. Okay, now I just have one question for you... Is your name really Mallory? :)

Today, April 21st, is National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day. Celebrate with cocoa-dusted cashews by Yumnuts... So good!!!

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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® 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 and SmartPoints® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

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