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I have been doing the Weight Watchers Flex Plan for 5 weeks now. I have only lost 6 lbs., and I am starting to feel discouraged. I'm hungry all the time and feel like I am doing what I am supposed to, but it's not working. Please help me!

Not Losin' It
Dear Not Losin' It,

Okay, it IS working. You lost 6 pounds! That's GREAT -- so congrats. Actually, studies show that people who lose weight slowly but consistently (1 - 2 lbs. per week) are more likely to keep it off than those who drop it really fast. But since you feel like you're struggling, I'm going to toss some advice out there. For starters, you really shouldn't be hungry all the time on either of the Weight Watchers plans -- they're designed so that you get the right amount of food you need while still being able to lose weight. But because you are feeling hungry, you should examine what you've been eating and make sure you're making smart choices. The beauty of the Flex Plan is that it allows you the freedom to eat whatever foods you want, as long as you stick to your specific POINTS® target. But if you are choosing lots of calorie-dense foods (foods that don't give you a lot of volume for the calories and POINTS® values), that could be why you are hungry. For example, if you eat a lot of 100-calorie packs of chips, candy or cookies, you will likely be hungrier than if you snack on 100 calories' worth of fruits, veggies, or protein. I've found that eating fewer snacky packaged foods and more natural foods helps me stay full and lose weight faster. I rely on the portion-controlled snack stuff only for when I'm really craving it. And I personally ALWAYS prefer foods that I can eat MORE of for the same calories and POINTS® values as other foods that are smaller in portion size. So I eat lots of foods that have a high water-content, like broth-based soup, fruit, veggies, etc. I also limit trigger foods -- stuff that I know I need to eat a lot of in order to feel satisfied (for me it's carby things like breads, pastas and cereals). Pay attention to what your specific trigger foods are as well as which foods make you feel full after eating a reasonable amount. Try these tips and see -- and let me know how it goes!

Dear Hungry Girl,

A lot of your recipes are delicious but call for very small amounts of certain foods (such as a tablespoon of canned tomatoes). I live alone and usually end up eating larger servings of the leftover ingredients than I should, because I hate to see food go to waste. Any suggestions for keeping my snacking on leftover ingredients under control? Thanks!

Eatin' It All
Dear Eatin' It All,

I hear you. And your question is totally valid. Here are some solutions for you... When the recipe calls for a small amount of something that is relatively low in calories and/or guilt-free (like fresh or canned veggies), you can simply use the rest in another recipe or toss it into your next meal, like a salad or egg-white scramble (I scramble EVERYTHING under the sun into egg whites or Egg Beaters!). You can search using a keyword (in this case, the name of your leftover ingredient), and you will likely find more recipes that call for it. If a recipe calls for a few tablespoons of something that's not so low in calories (like chocolate chips), and you're afraid you'll overdo it munching on the leftovers, you may want to store them somewhere you won't see them often (like a cabinet you need to stand on a chair to reach or way in the back of the pantry). Or simply give them away to people who like the stuff. I give away and donate TONS of stuff that shows up at the HG office when I'm afraid I will be tempted to eat it. Hope that helped... Happy recipe-making!!!

Today, April 9th, may be National Chinese Almond Cookie Day, but you're WAY better off having a fortune cookie. Each one typically has less than HALF the calories and MUCH less fat compared to that almond cookie. In fact, fortune cookies are fat-free!
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*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.