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Hey HG,

I just started college and am eating most of my meals at the dining hall, where the options are limited. Plus, I find myself snacking A LOT late at night and between classes. Can you please give me advice for avoiding the dreaded Freshman 15?!

Dorm-Room Deanna

Dear Dorm-Room D,
Congrats on starting college! I absolutely have some tips & tricks for you...

First of all, be sure to eat breakfast. Skipping it could leave you famished and cause you to snack on whatever's around later in the day. When it comes to A.M. options at the cafeteria, go for fresh fruit (cut up or whole), light yogurt, oatmeal, English muffins (with jam), high-fiber cereal (with fat-free milk), and hard-boiled egg whites. Avoid pastries, giant bagels with butter or cream cheese, and greasy breakfast meats.

For lunch and dinner, you can get in that sandwich line and order yourself a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, lean deli meat (like turkey breast), and other no-guilt sandwich toppers. When it comes to hot items, go for grilled chicken, veggie burgers (in lettuce buns!), and baked or grilled fish. Stay away from mayo-packed deli salads (like tuna salad), creamy or cheesy pasta dishes, and oversized subs.

As for the snacking situation, your best bet is to keep guilt-free emergency snacks with you at ALL times. I think one reason college students put on weight is that they're SO busy and find themselves unprepared when hunger hits; so they grab whatever food they can, whenever they can. Bad idea! Keep your dorm room stocked with great stuff you can eat in the room AND grab and take with you. I recommend whole fruit (like oranges and apples), high-fiber snack bars with 200 or fewer calories, jerky, and 100-calorie packs of almonds. (Click here for a huge list of great emergency snacks.) If you've got a mini fridge, stock it with light string cheese, fat-free yogurt, and baby carrots or other veggies.

Other ways to avoid those extra fifteen pounds? WALK A LOT!!! Get that exercise in. (Bonus: Exercise is a great stress reliever, which makes it especially helpful during your first year at college!) Avoid fast food (or choose it carefully... click for tips!), and don't make a habit of late-night pizza eating. Good luck... Keep me posted!

Hi Hungry Girl,

My boyfriend loves Chinese food (especially the greasy, fattening kind!), but he's trying to lose about 20 pounds. I really want to surprise him by preparing a decadent, but diet-friendly, spin on takeout. What've you got?

Guilt-Free Girlfriend
Hi GG,

WOW! Your boyfriend is very lucky to have someone who wants to make his favorite foods while supporting his weight-loss goals. I've got TONS of delicious swaps for you to whip up. Here they are now...

So Low Mein w/ Chicken - This could be my favorite HG swap for Chinese food. It is SO good! 

Mmmm-azing Moo Shu - Okay, I know I said the So Low Mein might be my favorite, but this one is also in the running. It ROCKS!

Veggie-rific Fried Rice - Brown rice and tons of vegetables make this super filling and delicious

Egg-cellent Foo Young - The first time we made this at the HG HQ, we practically lost our minds. It's a fantastic swap for the fat-filled original!

The Crab Rangoonies - This appetizer is as tasty as it is cutely named!

WOW Kung Pao - All of the flavor with WAY less fat. Yay for that!

BTW, if you own Hungry Girl 1-2-3: The Easiest, Most Delicious, Guilt-Free Recipes on the Planet, definitely check out the Chop-Chop Beef Stir-Fry and the Teriyaki Shrimp 'n Slaw Stir-Fry. I LOVE those recipes. Okay, enjoy! I hope your BF does the dishes after you make some of these recipes for him :) 

Today, September 8th, is National Date Nut Bread Day. (Apparently, NDNBD also falls on December 22nd.) To celebrate, make our Fluffy-Good Zucchini Nut Muffins and take one to the movies for a romantic comedy. (Get it? Date... nut bread!?) 
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