Guilt-Free Eating Tips from Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien

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We are hoping that 2012 is about healthy eating and less about guilt. To kick-off mindful eating, women can visit www.30days30ways30rewards.com to get on track in January to establish better habits all year-long. One click a day reveals three ways to balance an active lifestyle: a nutritious and quick recipe (with fewer than 500 calories), a clever tip (including some from Lillien herself) and a chance to win a health-themed prize, each day for the next 30 days.

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Momtrends also learned some realistic tips from Lisa Lillien, the New York Times best-selling author of six books also known as Hungry Girl, on how to help women achieve a balanced, guilt-free lifestyle, while still enjoying the foods they love.

Find better-for-you swaps for the indulgent foods you crave. Love potato chips by the bagful? Look for baked or popped chips in single-serving bags. Are you a bagel 'n cream cheese fiend? Go for thin bagels with light spreadable cheese. You can save hundreds of calories this way without giving up the tastes you crave.

Plan ahead, and be realistic. Before a grocery run, make a list, and think about what you really need for all your meals and snacks. Don't buy ingredients for an entrée that takes three hours to make if you know you're gonna come home starving and end up ordering a pizza.

Set mini goals for yourself. Don't take on challenges that are impossible. Setting out to drop 20 pounds by February is not realistic and isn't safe. And don't expect to run a marathon if you've never jogged a mile. Make small changes, like drinking more water, filling your plate with lots of veggies, walking more often, and keeping track of what you eat. Soon these habits will become second nature, and you'll experience results at a healthy rate.

Let yourself indulge a little. It's okay to splurge on foods that aren't "diet-friendly" once in a while. (I can't resist the pretzel bread at one of my favorite restaurants.) Just get right back on track. Don't let a weekend splurge turn into an excuse to overdo it all week!

Entertain at home vs. dining out. You can save calories by eating at home. Host a girls' night where everyone brings a favorite diet-friendly dish as an alternative to over-indulging at a restaurant. (Pigging out can be contagious!)

Lighten up your favorite foods with "super-sizing" ingredients. Toss steamed spaghetti squash with cooked spaghetti. Mix mashed cauliflower in with mashed potatoes. Alternate layers of grilled eggplant with pasta sheets in your lasagna. You might be surprised how fantastic the results of these taste! You'll get hugely satisfying portions without a high calorie price tag.

For additional information, please visit www.30days30ways30rewards.com

Momtrends was not paid for this post.All tips were provided by Hungry Girl.

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