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11.09.05
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Dear HG,

Hey, I just found your website and I think it's awesome!  I was reading the "Who is Hungry Girl" part and noticed that you said you gave up "dry carbs" for a year!  How did you do that?  I'm basically a carb-o-holic, but I've decided it's really about time that I lose some weight.  Can you give me some tips?

Carb-Cruncher

Dear Carb-Cruncher,

Good question. I, too, have a tendency to be a total carb junkie.  Now that I look back at my old eating habits, I can honestly say that seemingly innocent pretzels may have been the cause of my 25 lb. weight problem.  So one day, after a typical fat free pretzel "snack" (which consisted of about 20 handfuls and probably 4 or 5 servings of the stuff), I realized that my little carb "habit," though fat free, was causing me to take in around 500 - 700 extra calories per day.  I decided to try to give up flour, pasta, rice, potatoes, bread, cereal, etc. for 30 days.  The weight started melting off SO FAST it made my head spin!  After 30 days I felt great (and dropped a size!) and decided to do it for another 30. After 60 days sans "dry carbs" (a term I made up), I had dropped almost 20 lbs. and felt so good I wanted to give up those carbs forever. Honestly, after the first week or so it was easy -- I wasn't even tempted by bread or pasta.  I have no idea why.  So it went on for a full year.  During that year I ate mostly fruits, lean protein, veggies, salads, lowfat dairy and nuts in moderation.  I DID NOT follow a low carb diet plan, like Atkins or anything like that.  I basically just gave up the foods that were most dangerous for me.  After a "dry-carb-free" year, I decided I needed to incorporate flour and starches back into my life in moderation, and that's where I was afraid it would get tricky.  I opted to loosely follow Weight Watchers Flexpoints plan to keep my food intake in check, and it worked!  Even still, there are some flour and some bread-based foods I don't eat, not even in moderation, because I know that they are trigger foods for me.  The best advice I can give you is to start small, and take one day at a time.  Promise yourself you'll give up certain foods for a week, or a month, and go for it.  Good luck, and hang in there!


Dear Hungry Girl,

I've been on Weight Watchers for two years, and the program recommends exercising. The only problem is that I get bored while I'm on exercise machines.  Any advice?

Cardio-Bored

Dear Bored,

I can totally relate. I used to be an exercise-phobe myself. I would literally get upset if I had to park twenty feet further from the doors of the mall than I needed to, I'd always opt for the elevator over the stairs, and I'd run screaming when anyone suggested I go to the gym. About six years ago (shortly after I moved to Los Angeles), all that changed.  I started to gradually incorporate exercise into my life.  I wish I could say I truly love exercising, but I just don't feel that way.  I have, however, recently tricked myself into finding a way to enjoy cardio, and that is by setting up a TV and DVD player so I can watch movies while I work out.  I've seen about 50 movies in the past five months and I love it!  If you don't have access to a DVD player or TV, distract yourself another way.  Read a book, play a hand held electronic game (poker is addictive), or listen to some upbeat dance music.  Just make sure you're doing something you really enjoy and the exercise won't seem quite as "painful."

 
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