We pretty much think that Lisa Lillien needs no introduction, but just in case you’re not hip to her radness (or were born in a time when people didn’t use dated words like, er, “rad”), here’s a little bit about her. Known best as “Hungry Girl,” Lisa runs this crazy popular website and enewsletter, she’s a New York Times best-selling author, and she even has her own TV show on the Food Network. Yeah, she’s kind of a big deal — and she’s definitely a pro at making not-so-healthy dishes so much better for you.
We recently got the chance to talk to Lisa (as promised!) about her new book, her top three healthy eating tips and more — including the three things she’d eat if she was stuck on a desert island. Read on for fab info from the Hungry Girl herself!
Q&A With Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien
Why did you decide to write The Hungry Girl Diet? For as long as I can remember, Hungry Girl fans have been asking me for a specific diet plan to help them lose weight — one that incorporates all the Hungry Girl tips, concepts and recipes they’ve come to know and love. So I decided it was time, and I am SO excited about and proud of this book.
How is it different than other diet books out there? It allows you to eat HUGE portions of delicious foods, and it satisfies cravings for foods like pizza, burgers, chocolate and more. Plus, it’s specific enough that there’s no guesswork involved, yet it’s flexible enough so that you can choose meals and snacks that you like — ones that work for you! It’s also not gimmicky in any way … I love that about this plan!
What are three tips you can share with us from the book? One: Try starting your day with a cup of hot water with lemon. Some experts say it promotes fat burning and stimulates your metabolism, but I drink it because it tastes great and helps fill me up. Many of the successful HG diet testers swear by this one!
Two: Keep a food journal — or at least write down what you eat. It might not sound fun, but writing down every single thing you eat is KEY to sticking to a diet plan. We just launched an online Hungry Girl Diet Community on Calorie Count, which makes it very easy to log the meals and snacks in the book.
Three: Don’t deprive yourself of the foods you crave; that could set you up for failure. Instead, turn to diet-friendly craving-busters, like Sloppy Jane Stir-Fry and Faux-Fried Chicken Strips. YUM!
We LOVE making ingredient swaps that sub in healthier stuff for less-than-healthy stuff. What are a few of your favorite ingredient swaps? Tofu shirataki noodles are the ultimate low-carb and low-calorie pasta swap. I LOVE THOSE! They’re the secret ingredient in my guilt-free fettuccine Alfredo and lo mein. I also make breadcrumbs out of high-fiber cereal, and I use those to make baked-not-fried chicken fingers and chicken Parm. And instead of pizza crust, my Perfect Pizza-bella calls for a big portabella mushroom cap!
If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what they be? Wow, great question! French fries, pizza and sushi/sashimi — all of which can be enjoyed on the Hungry Girl Diet!
Waaaay back in 2008, we interviewed you on Fit Bottomed Girls when we were just a new blog. What’s changed since that interview? I remember that! Congrats to you guys! Well, the HG daily emails now go out to 1.2 million subscribers, and I have nine bestselling books instead of just one. I’m probably on TV more than I used to be … Other than that, I’m still the same Hungry Girl.
What’s next for you? We just launched the first HG smartphone app — it’s a companion to the diet book — and I’m excited to develop a few more HG apps. And you just might see a few more Hungry Girl branded foods popping up in supermarkets soon.
Anything else you’d like to add? Yes … I’m actually a little hungry right now. (Shocking, I know.) 😉
With all that good discussion, Lisa, we’re hungry, too! Any HG fans out there? —Jenn