Learning HG Lingo, Plus Secret Menus Revealed!

Sharebtn Click the share button to confirm. Do it now!

Dear HG,

I'm new to Hungry Girl, and I've noticed there are certain terms you use a lot. Can you give me an HG dictionary to help navigate my way through the emails?

Newbie Natalie

Hi Newbie Natalie,

Welcome to the world of Hungry Girl! We definitely have our own lingo, so consider this your HG 101...

Cake mug. An adorable, single-serving cake that's made in the microwave. Click here for the expanded definition, plus a couple of fantastic recipes!

Dry carbs. Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes... Basically any carby or starchy food. I cut these out completely for a period of time, but now I eat them in moderation. For some amazing tips to make a little of these go a long way, see the food expanders down below!

Egg mug. This is a guilt-free egg scramble made in the microwave. Click here for the classic two-ingredient recipe, and then check out the oodles of variations we've dreamt up!

Faux-fry. An HG creation that tastes like fried food but is actually crumb-coated and baked until crispy. Typically features high-fiber crumbs made from Fiber One Original bran cereal. For more info and recipes, click right here!

Foil pack. An easy-cleanup meal cooked in a DIY pouch of foil. Just assemble, wrap, and bake! These have become some of the most popular recipes in HG history. Chapters have been dedicated to them in TO THE MAX!, 300 Under 300, and HG 1-2-3. Click here to try some now!

Food expanders. Ingredients that supersize your portions without adding very many calories. For example, zucchini ribbons bulk up pasta and cauliflower fills out mashed potatoes! Get the full 411 by clicking here.

Food fakers. Foods that have a reputation for being "healthy" but are often packed with unnecessary calories and fat. Click here for HG's TOP ATE Food Fakers.

Growing oatmeal bowl. An HG recipe for old-fashioned oatmeal in which the amount of liquid and the cook time for standard recipes are DOUBLED, yielding enormous portions with impressive nutritionals. Read up and chow down!

Hot couples and trios. The couples are recipes with just two ingredients each, and an HG trio has only three ingredients! Click here and here for TONS of these super-simple recipes. And don't miss tomorrow's email for three NEW trios!

Swappuccinos. Guilt-free swaps for decadent blended drinks, like the Frappuccinos at Starbucks. One of my favorites is the Oh-So-Mocha-Coco Swappuccino. Click for more!

Trigger foods. Once you start eating these, it's nearly impossible to stop... They can set you off in a tailspin of overeating. Everyone has different triggers. For some people (like me), it's salty snacks like crackers and chips. For others, it's chocolate and sweets. Click here for advice, and check out this video on trigger foods featuring me and the HG staff!

Now you've been initiated into the HG terminology club. Celebrate with a swappuccino!

Dear Hungry Girl,

Thank you for telling us about Panera Bread's Hidden Menu! Are there secret menu items at other restaurants that I should know about?

Searching for Secrets

Hi Searching,

That menu is SO GOOD! And there's definitely something fun about super-secret meal options. Here are some more hidden gems...

Burger King - The unofficial Mustard Whopper Jr. is served with mustard in place of mayo for about 260 calories and 10g fat (PointsPlus® value 7*). Yum! And in case you don't know, BK has a MorningStar Veggie Burger. Without mayo it has 320 calories and 7g fat (PointsPlus® value 8*).

Starbucks - The underground Skinny Crunchberry Frappuccino (a.k.a. Skinny Captain Crunch) is a Strawberries & Crème frap with nonfat milk, no whip, and sugar-free hazelnut syrup. WOW! A tall has 170 calories and 0g fat (PointsPlus® value 5*). Just make sure to specify Skinny. Speaking of which, "skinny" is a great word to throw around at the 'Bucks, because it means your drink will be made with nonfat milk and served without whipped cream... and if there's syrup in the drink, it'll be the sugar-free kind.

Carl's Jr. and Hardee's - There are a few Low Carb items on the menu that are wrapped in lettuce instead of served on a bun, but did you know you can request ANY sandwich Low Carb style and they'll replace the bun with a lettuce wrap? That saves you 140 - 250 calories and 2 - 6g fat! There are also Veg It, Trim It, and Gluten-Sensitive ways of ordering... Check the Better for You Options section of the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's websites for more info! And you can always custom order the turkey burgers and fish burgers (they're not as guilt-free as they sound)... Click here and here for the HG way.

Subway - The executive chef at everyone's favorite sandwich chain recently revealed some secret special orders. Check out the Sweet and Sour Chicken Sub: chicken, banana peppers, tomatoes, red onion, sweet onion sauce, and red wine vinaigrette. A 6-inch 9-Grain Wheat version has around 390 calories and 5g fat (PointsPlus® value 9*). Click here for more secret Subway stuff!

In-N-Out - This mega-popular southwestern chain has a full-on secret menu! Your best bet? Order a Protein Style burger (a hamburger patty wrapped in lettuce along with tomato and onion), and then ask for ketchup and mustard in place of the special spread. That'll come to 160 calories and 8g fat (PointsPlus® value 4*). Score!

Secret-Menu Ordering Tip!!! Not every location and employee will know these secret menu items by name. So ask nicely, and be prepared to tell them what's in 'em! Most places are happy to do what they can to accommodate your request.

Don't Forget About Special Ordering… Hidden-menu items are really just popular custom orders with fancy names. Don't be afraid to ask for something that's not on the menu. For burger joints, request a sandwich wrapped in lettuce leaves instead of served on a carby bun, and opt for ketchup and mustard in place of mayo. At sandwich shops, see if they'll make your sub into a salad. Getting sugar-free syrup rather than the regular stuff is a great way to lower the stats on coffee-shop drinks. At sit-down restaurants, ask to swap the fries or baked potato for a second serving of veggies... And you can often get fresh fruit for dessert even if it's not on the menu.

Happy hidden-menu ordering! And since you're a Panera fan, look for our brand-new Panera Survival Guide, coming this Friday...

It's hard to keep a lid on secret-menu picks as good as these... Click "Send to a Friend" to spill the beans!


Today, June 26th, is National Chocolate Pudding Day. Turn a pudding cup into a decadent breakfast by layering it with oatmeal and fresh fruit... Click for a recipe!

Have a question for Hungry Girl? Send it in! She answers new Qs each week (but cannot respond to emails personally).

Click here for a printable, text-only version of this page.

We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.

*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.

Hungry Girl Inc., 18034 Ventura Blvd. #503, Encino, CA 91316