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Dear Hungry Girl,

I know so many people make New Year's resolutions to eat better, and then they give up within a week or two. Why do you think this is the case, and what can I do to avoid falling into that same trap?

Addie Wants Advice
Dear Addie,

Happy 2008!!! Great question. You're right! So many people say they're going to start eating better in January, and then two weeks later, they're back to their old habits. I have a theory or two about this -- and basically it all boils down to setting realistic goals. Here are my TOP ATE tips for successful eating in 2008. Ready? Good...

1. Don't go "on a diet". While diet plans can be helpful, if you think of yourself as being "on a diet", everything will be too black and white. If you're on a diet and suddenly you have a little setback, you may decide you're "off your diet" and go back to your old ways. Think of your new eating plan as more of a lifestyle change -- one that will have ups and downs, with good days and bad.

2. Don't deprive yourself. Remember, your new eating plan shouldn't be about deprivation. It should be about SATISFACTION. Find foods you LOVE -- ones that satisfy you but are better choices. This is KEY.

3. Drink lots of water. Water is good for you. It's good for your skin and your metabolism. And it helps fill you up. Plus, not enough water can make you cranky and more likely to make bad food choices.

4. Listen to your body. It knows things. If you know that eating cereal for breakfast makes you hungrier throughout the day, then don't eat cereal in the morning. Pay close attention to your body cues. This will help tremendously.

5. Live one day (or even one MEAL) at a time. Don't be discouraged and beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon and eat badly -- just be more aware of what you eat during your next meal.

6. Get exercise with activities you enjoy. I used to HATE exercising. I feared it. Now I exercise but only do what I like (which happens to be walking on a treadmill 5 times a week while watching reality TV, and weight training 2 times a week with a friend). Find something you actually like to do, and you'll do it. Don't take on an exercise routine that causes pain or discomfort -- you'll just end up ditching it completely. (And I know this isn't an EATING tip, but it's important!)

7. Let yourself cheat a little. Everyone strays once in a while. It's totally normal. Splurge when you need to, and enjoy it (don't feel guilty)! Then get RIGHT back on track, and prove to yourself that you can handle a cheat meal now and then.

8. Keep track of what you eat. Write it down. As dorky as it sounds, you WILL 100% without a doubt do better if you hold yourself accountable for what you eat by keeping a food journal. Just do it -- even if you only write in it every OTHER day.

Good luck -- and have fun!

Dear HG,

I love soups. Do you think eating soup is a good idea? And what are some of your favorite packaged or canned soups?

Dear Soup-lover,

I love soup, too! A LOT!!! And I eat a TON of it. Not only does it taste good, but it fills you up as well. There are studies that actually show that people who eat soup regularly take in fewer calories overall than people who don't. Amazing! I have many different favorite soups, and I like them all for different reasons. In general, my favorite soups are made by Progresso. Those soup geniuses have some super low-fat and low-calorie soups (some are really decadent, like their 99% Fat Free New England Clam Chowder), and they also make the famous WW-endorsed 0 POINTS® value soups as well. Their Chicken Noodle Soup is fantastic, too. I'm not a huge tomato soup fan, but Amy's Organic Light in Sodium Chunky Tomato Bisque may be the best tomato-based soup I've ever tasted. I'm addicted to it (I love adding shrimp and clams to it!). Andersen's Split Pea soup ROCKS as well. These days, I find myself eating Mishima's Soybean and Potato All Natural Edamame Soup (only 50 calories per serving!) when I want a "just add water" soup from a packet. And by the way, so many brands have low-sodium soup lines (including Progresso and Amy's). But if you're super-concerned about sodium, you may want to make your own soups at home -- that way you can choose to leave out the salt and use low-sodium broth (check out these HG soup recipes, each with a POINTS® value of 0* per serving!). Now I MUST go eat soup. Bye!

January is National Soup Month. And we didn't know that when we answered today's "Ask HG" Q about soup. Pinky swear.

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

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*The Points® 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 Points® registered trademark