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Dear Hungry Girl,

I have a question about diet sodas. I know they don't have sugar or calories in them, but are they bad for you? I've heard that you can count them as part of your daily water servings for Weight Watchers, but I'm leery of even drinking one as a treat. Can you give me some input on this? Thanks!

-- Soda Wondering

Dear Soda Wondering,

A few years ago I made the switch from diet soda to water, and I couldn't be happier about my decision. When I drink lots of water, I feel more awake, have more energy and my skin looks much better. I do indulge in a diet soda every now and then (in fact I had a TaB tonight!) but water has become my beverage of choice. Drinking a little diet soda on occasion isn't terribly bad for you, so treat yourself! But no matter what anyone says, I wouldn't count chemical-packed fizzy beverages as water replacements. Hungry Girl Tip: If you find it hard to consume 8 glasses of water a day, try drinking it at room temperature. It goes down easier that way.

Dear Hungry Girl,

I love, love, LOVE sushi! What are the best diet-friendly options?

-- Sushi-Mama

Dear Sushi-Mama,

Sushi can be GREAT to eat when you're dieting. It can also be disastrous, if you order poorly. First of all, start off with a nice sunomono salad (sliced cucumbers with rice vinegar -- very low in calories). Avoid mayo-laden items at all costs. Spicy tuna, spicy shrimp, California rolls, baked crab, and "dynamite" typically contain lots of mayo. If you order them, request light mayo or no mayo (if possible). Tempura is a bad idea. It's deep-fried. Do yourself a favor and forget it exists. Sushi pieces are good choices because they're low in fat -- and cut rolls can be healthy as well, if they contain veggies and fish, but no creamy sauces or fried ingredients. If you want to cut your carb and calorie intake, order half sushi and half sashimi (no rice), or simply hold the chopsticks in your left hand (pssst: that joke was for righties only).

Beware! Drinking carbonated soft drinks regularly (even diet ones) can contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel surfaces.

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