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Hungry Girl Today: 12.19.07
ASK HUNGRY GIRL
Dear Hungry Girl,
I can't completely switch to the fat-free or sugar-free versions of certain
foods, because I don't think they taste good at all! What do you think about
mixing half the amount of the regular version with half of the sugar-free or
fat-free version? For example, I cant stand the taste of sugar-free jelly, so I
mix a jar of regular and a jar of sugar-free together (so it has fewer calories
than the original but tastes better than the sugar-free). I do this with lots of
things. What do you think of this? And do you have any mixing suggestions
for those of us who cant seem to make the switch to the sugar-free/fat-free
versions of some foods? Thanks!
Miss Mix 'n Match
Dear Miss Mix 'n Match,
What do I think of it? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what you're doing! People are
often so "black and white" in terms of their diet and making changes. And, in
my opinion, when it comes to eating, doing that "all or nothing" thing is a big
mistake. I believe you're SO much better off saving where you can, while
still enjoying the foods you love -- every little bit helps. Mixing sugar-free or
fat-free stuff with the real thing is a great idea. And if that helps you, then I
support it! HOWEVER, I do want to point out that sometimes there are middle-
of-the-road options that you might like, and those could save you some
effort. For example, low-sugar jelly (like the Smucker's Low Sugar line) has
around 25 calories per tablespoon. Mixing the regular and sugar-free ones
would give you a concoction with about 30 calories per tablespoon. So you
may want to try that low-sugar stuff and see if you like it. Same goes for
reduced fat products -- look for ones labeled "light" or "low-fat", if the fat-
free ones don't do it for you. In general, I think it's ALL about balance --
even when it comes to meals. If I want to eat a few french fries, I'll have
water with 'em instead of a drink with calories. If I want to indulge and enjoy
the cheese my salad comes topped with, I'll skip the dressing and squirt
some lemon juice on top instead. So if you cave and order a burger, don't
think you should go all out and get cheese and special sauce on that thing,
and then wash it down with a shake. Do what you can to save here and
there. It'll help you make smarter eating choices and lifestyle changes you
can stick to in the long run.
Healthy eating is so important, but at the same time, it's leaving such a hole
in my wallet! Those portion-controlled snacks are way more expensive than
the regular kinds, and buying fresh fruit and veggies all the time is costing
me a ton! Hungry Girl, do you have any ideas?
You're right. Fresh produce and guilt-free packaged foods are often higher in
price than other foods. Those 100-calorie portion-controlled snacks are
typically WAY more expensive than large bags of the same (or similar)
products. If you're disciplined and have the time to do this, get the larger
bags of these foods, and then break them into individual servings and store
them in Ziploc bags or plastic containers. Another trick is to always be on the
lookout for sales! Mygrocerydeals.com is a great resource for local bargains.
And there are some HG staples that can be found extra cheap -- things like
Progresso canned soups (sometimes as low as a dollar a can!) and Lean
Cuisine frozen meals (I've seen them as low as 5 for $10). Dreyer's/Edy's
Slow Churned Light Ice Cream goes on sale a lot, too (yum!). When you see
these things on sale, STOCK UP! As for fresh fruit and veggies, always buy
them whole and hack 'em at home (WAY cheaper than buying the precut
ones!). Or visit the frozen food aisle for fruits and veggies -- you can save a
lot. Take a look at HG's "Guilt-Free on a Budget!!!" article on Yahoo! for some
more money-saving ideas. Thanks for checking in...
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Need survival tips for a trip to an all-you-can-eat buffet? Check out HG's
latest column on WeightWatchers.com!
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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.
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