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03.08.06
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Dear Hungry Girl,

What are some basic dieting rules or tips that help you personally on a daily basis? I sometimes have a hard time and find myself pigging out one day, which leads to a string of bad days. Any advice will be appreciated.

- In Need of HG Tips
Dear In Need,

Wow...there are so many! I'm just gonna start rattling some off because I don't even know where to begin. For starters, I believe in the 80/20 rule. I'm good about 80% of the time, and not so good about 20% of the time. I try to take each meal and each hour as it comes, and never use my last meal or bite of food as an excuse to "be bad" for the rest of the day (or week). I also drink a LOT of water, which I highly recommend. And I try to stay active and do some form of cardio at least 3-4 times a week.  Another tip?  Try not to go too many hours without eating.  If you do, you'll likely be so hungry that the next time you have a meal you'll overeat.  Keeping your appetite in check by eating smaller meals throughout the day is a great way to keep your overall calorie count down. Plan ahead.  Even if you're not the most organized person, and you hate to plan ahead, think about what you'll be eating for the day.  It really helps.  If you know you're going out for a big dinner, try to eat a light lunch.  Whenever possible, eat your largest meal in the afternoon and keep it light in the evening.  That really helps as well.  And always keep some healthy snacks around. Emergency food is key.  I always have some sort of fresh fruit, veggies, soy nuts, or a healthy bar around in case of a hunger emergency.  There ya go.  Hope that helps...


Dear Hungry Girl,

I saw a Hungry Girl spot on the TV show "Extra" where they were talking about an item you can put into your food or drinks that expands in your stomach and keeps you feeling full. Can you tell me the name of the item, and where it can be purchased?

- Wants to Feel Full
Dear Wants,

You are referring to something called "agar agar", which is basically a Japanese thickening agent that has been used FOREVER by vegetarians instead of gelatin (which is made from animal products). In addition to being used to thicken or gel foods in recipes, the stuff has recently caught on as a diet aid because, if dissolved in liquids, it supposedly expands in your stomach and makes you feel full. Before doing the segment, I researched it pretty extensively, and tried using both the agar agar flakes and the agar agar powder in several ways. Here's what I learned. For starters, it's not that easy to use. If you're using it to make desserts, it's hard to find the perfect amount. Use too much of it, and your dessert turns to rubber, not enough and it's soupy. Also, when you use it to make desserts and it thickens, I'm not quite sure it expands beyond that once you consume it. To me, the only way to even attempt to use this as a weight loss aid, would be to dissolve it in either chicken broth/soup, or tea. I tried that several times, and actually did feel fuller afterwards. This is by no means a "magic bullet" or an answer to all of your weight loss needs, but since it's actually healthy for you, it can't hurt to give it a try. I recommend using it in powder form, the other kinds (flakes, squares, etc.) are far more difficult to use effectively. You can buy the stuff at health food stores, or online. Good luck!

 
CHEW ON THIS:
Today, March 8th, is National Peanut Cluster Day. Why anyone thinks we need to take a day to celebrate such things is beyond us.
 
 
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