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Hungry Girl Today: 4.09.08



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!!!

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HG BOOK COUNTDOWN ALERT! Just 20 days 'til the launch of Hungry Girl:
Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World. Click
here to order your copy in advance. All the cool kids are doing it.

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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