Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No Longer a Hungry Girl

Want to eat deepfried chicken everyday and not gain any weight? Hungry girl to the rescue! A couple of weeks ago there was an article in the NYTimes about my ex-best-friend, HungryGirl. In fact, I still considered her an acquaintance, until I read this quote from her, and realized we no longer have much of anything in common.
"Hungry Girl is like the Forever 21 of food,” she said, referring to the discount clothing chain where the stock is inexpensive, constantly changing and produced under conditions that a conscientious consumer might rather not think about.
While yes, i do buy clothes at forever 21, i'd rather not have the things i put IN my body be of that caliber. For me food is good. Food needs to be satisfying, wholesome, flavorful and REAL.
Is pretending like fiber-one chicken breast taste like deep fried chicken going to help solve your life problems? Why not recondition those taste buds to love fresh vegetables and real food instead?

Almost everyday people ask me if i feel restrictive by eating a vegan, plant-based diet-if i “miss” dairy, eggs, meat, etc. For me, this switch has been the complete opposite of restriction. By turning away from the staples of my previous “diet” ( slow-churned, sugar-free, ice-cream, coolwhip free, microwaved egg-whites, whey protein up the wahzoo, and spenda-rific lite yogurt, and lots of hungry girl) I have embraced a beautiful new food world that includes exotic, wholesome, exciting, delicious, fresh, REAL food!

A study was just published that showed that subjects who ate foods they perceived as "light" or "diet" ended up consuming more afterward, because they were not satisfied with their meals. Not only will you probably will you not be satisfied with the food you just ate, but once you eat the food you were truly craving, that "light" piece of food adds into your caloric intake for the day.

My friend Janet wrote an excellent rebuttal post to the New York Times article on Hungry Girl here, and i wanted to share some of her eloquent words.

Is it really, really worth eating this stuff in order to be “healthy” and save a few calories? You know what else is low-calorie, satisfying, and way tastier and better for you than gelatinous, fishy noodles or a tiny portion of Oreo-like “cookies”? Vegetables. Air popped popcorn. An apple. Kale chips. Strawberries. With only a small amount of effort, you have so many options, and the rewards are so great. The way to be healthy – and even to reduce your calories – isn’t in the center aisles of your local megamarket. It’s at the Farmers Market and fresh food sections and in your kitchen, where food comes from the ground, instead of from packages. I’m not saying I don’t buy packaged foods – I most certainly, carefully do. I’m definitely not opposed to treats. But if you’re going to buy packaged food (which we almost all do), look at the ingredients. Think about the material the item is packaged in and what will happen to it once you’re through. Make sure you know what’s in there and not just what’s not. TASTE your food. Buy the real thing.

Instead of tricking our hungry bodies, let’s feed it what it wants and needs-REAL food!

Are you a HungryGirl Groupie or do you prefer your food closer to the source? Remember-no judgement here, I'm just curious!


Katy said...

I have the same feeling about HG...when I was on Weight Watchers, Lisa was my guide of all things low-point. When I realized that I had lost weight eating fake food, I really became disillusioned.

I still think her tips are good for people who are overwhelmed and need help starting, but eating no-fat foods and drinking diet cokes is not a long-term plan.

Janet said...

Thanks so much for the shout-out!

I really hope more people start to think about what they're really eating. It's not worth it. I swear to you, no one has ever lost weight eating 100 calorie packs!!!

Pure2Raw Twins said...

I agree I would rather eat real food like kale, beets, avocados!!! I think it is really important for people to really start caring for their bodies and what goes in it! I mean we only have this one life and one body, so lets treat it with some respect and love :) That is my 2 cents.

KC said...

I saw that article in the Times as well, which prompted me to do some thinking. As a food enthusiast and future dietitian, I think it's really important to encourage people to eat real foods, and show them how great it can be. But I still think there is a place for Hungry Girl, especially when she raises awareness regarding the content of restaurant foods and offers alternatives. Yes, the recipes which call for 1/6 a box of X can be frustrating, but they might steer someone towards the kitchen to try something new, and that might be a baby step towards healthier eating depending upon their current diet.