Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillien, reveals the dieting secrets that allow you to eat twice as much and still shed pounds, simply by swapping out some of the unhealthy ingredients in your favorite meals. Plus, get her recommendations for the best prepared foods you can eat on-the-go.
Secret One: Pasta Expanders
Pasta can be loaded with calories, and rarely leaves you satisfied with after just one serving. The secret to eating more and still shedding calories? Expand your pasta with tasty, nutritious vegetables.
Mega Mac & Cheese
Add 3 cups of frozen cauliflower to your mac and cheese to volumize it. The cauliflower is pre-cooked, meshes well with the macaroni, and soaks up the cheese sauce. Speaking of cheese, sub out the powdered stuff and melt real cheese instead, incorporating some light sour cream for texture and flavor.
Traditional Mac and Cheese: 410 calories per serving
Hungry Girl’s: 198 calories per serving
EZ Cheesy Lasagna
Instead of eating two pieces of calorie-packed lasagna to get your fill, add a thick slice of eggplant to every other layer of your homemade lasagna. It’ll leave you feeling totally full after only one serving, without overloading on calories. Be sure to slice the eggplant lengthwise so it will feel just like a noodle, and use whole wheat lasagna noodles. Instead of jarred pasta sauce, that’s loaded with sugar and extra calories, just use a can of crushed tomatoes.
Traditional Lasagna: 850 calories per serving
Hungry Girl’s: 250 calories per serving
Secret Two: Frozen Food Mega Meals
Forget your 1950s TV dinners. Frozen foods can be a great way to eat healthy and eat to your heart’s content – once you know Hungry Girl’s secrets.
Skip the drive-thru and try a veggie burger from your grocer’s freezer. They taste just like hamburgers, but are made with soy. Grill the burger, or heat it in a pan with a low-fat, non-stick spray, then serve on a whole wheat bun. The secret to leaving your belly satisfied is to add layer upon layer of your favorite veggies. Try thick slices of tomato, lots of lettuce, pickles and onions. Add light mayo and ketchup at the end for extra flavor.
Typical Fast Food Burger: 670 calories
Hungry Girl’s: 220 calories
Fill Up Your Frozen Dinners
Chose healthy frozen dinners in small serving sizes, then double your fullness by steaming a bag of frozen veggies and incorporating them into your frozen meal. You’ll only add about 60 calories, but you’ll be getting loads of nutrients, fiber, delicious taste, and double the serving size thanks to the veggies.
For nearly the same amount of calories, you’re eating double and getting added nutrients.
Secret 3: Supersized Sweets & Treats
Sometimes, desserts are too tempting to resist. Here are two ways to supersize your sweets without packing on calories.
Red Hot Apple Pie in a Mug
In a microwave-safe mug, add a cubed Fuji apple and a handful of Red Hots candies on top, then microwave for 2 minutes. Add crushed graham crackers and a little cinnamon on top for a gooey, delicious apple pie.
Traditional Apple Pie: 490 calories per serving
Hungry Girl’s: 135 calories per mug
Club Soda Chocolate Cake
Boxed chocolate cake is delicious, but calls for adding lots of fats, like eggs, oil and butter. Skip the fats and try adding a can of club soda to the mix. It may sound weird, but it’s easy; you save 100 calories a slice, add zero fat, and are left with moist, delicious cake.
Traditional slice of cake: 290 calories per serving
Hungry Girl’s: 171 calories per serving
Bonus: The Best Packaged Foods to Eat All Day Long
While Dr. Oz believes there’s no substitute for a meal cooked with fresh, unprocessed ingredients, sometimes you need the convenience of a packaged meal. Here are four packaged foods that will power you through the day.
Breakfast: VitaMuffins Vitatops
Each of VitaMuffins’ snacks is only 100 calories; they are made with whole grains, and contains 15 vitamins and minerals. They’re packed with fiber and protein, so they’ll keep you satiated through the morning.
Lunch: Evol Mini Burritos
Each burrito has less than 200 calories and less than 5 grams of fat, and is made with all-natural and organic products. The burritos come in several varieties like chicken and bean, bean and cheddar, and shredded beef, and are easy to pop in the microwave for an instant meal.
Midday Snack: LesserEvil’s Baked Veggie Krinkle Sticks
These healthy snacks contain 25% less calories and half the fat of regular potato chips per serving. They’re made with real vegetables and seven whole grains, contain no preservatives, and are cholesterol-free.
Dinner: Amy’s Toaster Pops Pizza
One Toaster Pops Pizza is less than 200 calories, so even if you have two for dinner, you can still maintain a healthy caloric intake. They’re made with organic tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, and make a great compliment to a salad or soup for a healthy dinner with virtually no cooking involved!