Like your friendly (and oh-so-food-savvy) neighbor, Lisa Lillian, aka Hungry Girl, doles out light eating advice every weekday in her online newsletters. They have garnered such a large fan base—to the tune of one million people—that Lillien now hosts her own cooking show, which appears on Food Network and the Cooking Channel! She "isn't a nutritionist, she's just hungry," her tagline explains. So while you should always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting a diet to find your ideal calorie consumption level and to discuss the best ways for you to personally lose weight, sources like Hungry Girl (and FITNESS!) can provide fun recipe ideas and motivation to stick with your get-healthy goals. We spoke with Lillien to learn more about her tricks to stay on track—and for more than the first few weeks of the year!
What is your New Year's resolution? You caught me on a good year. Usually I don't believe in resolutions, but this year I actually made one to drink a lot more water. I've been traveling so much lately and stopped drinking the 12 to 14 glasses I had been drinking for so long. I'm back on the water bandwagon! I try to carry around a bottle, and I keep it at room temperature. If the water's too cold, I can't drink a lot.
What are you eating more or less of today than you were ten years ago? My food tastes have changed a little bit. I eat a lot of protein now. In 2001, I was eating more starches, like sandwiches. Starchy carbs are my "trigger foods," or foods that make me overeat, so I've replaced them with more protein options. That helps keep me on track. I love Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken, which comes frozen or refrigerated. I use them as snacks and in entrees—in salads, paired with spaghetti squash or mixed in a stir-fry.
You've been a big advocate for tofu Shirataki noodles. What's the next item we should be stocking in our kitchen for a nutritious meal? Shirataki noodles are magical! Since I'm such a pasta maniac, I also like spaghetti squash because it really acts like pasta. You can make a great marinara dish with spaghetti squash, mushrooms, Italian seasoning and a little garlic. It's great stuff!
Are there any recipes that you've yet to find a guilt-free swap for that you'd love to? The biggest challenge for a long time was creme brulee, but I think we've mastered that. [Find Lisa's 104-calorie recipe here.] Cheesecake was also a struggle, but there are a lot of Hungry Girl cheesecake options. It's hard to stump me!
Congrats on the success of your Food Network show! What can we expect in the coming episodes? Next up we're talking about movie night and Chinese food—a lot of guilt-free recipes and a lot of fun!
Who would be your dream guest on the show? Guy Fieri. I'm obsessed with Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and I love decadent food. I'd love to show him that I could remake those foods with a fraction of the calories and fat.
How can those who set resolutions to eat better make their new healthy habits last all year long? Take one day at a time and don't let one bad meal or bad eating day derail you. Don't beat yourself up! You can also subscribe to our Hungry Girl's daily newsletters and check out 30 Days, 30 Ways, 30 Rewards. Each day between now and January 31 at grilledandready.com, you'll find a great tip, a new recipe that's less than 500 calories and a chance to win great prizes. Experts say it takes around 30 days to form a habit, so the idea is that after those 30 days you'll be habitually making smarter food choices and running with it for the rest of the year!