Diet Tell-All: "I Lost 9 Pounds and Was Never Hungry"

By Jill Feigelman, Family Circle assistant web editor

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Tacos 2

There's nothing I love more in the summer than going to the beach and relaxing when I get home. But two Sundays last July were different. I had a new agenda: preparing my breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next day. Why? Because I was starting the Hungry Girl diet.

As a first-time dieter, I took to the Hungry Girl approach because it was about portion control and eating real food.

While I prepped the lunch—plus my separate snacks of kale chips, broccoli and nuts, and tilapia for dinner—one thing struck me. Some of the portions seemed so small! Was I going to be starving? How is 4 ounces of turkey—just one slice—going to sustain me?

I also wondered how long I would be able to keep this up. I went to bed that night thinking about all the food I'd had at the beach that day and how I wouldn’t be able to do that come tomorrow. 

Fast-forward to the end of my two-week trial: I am 9 pounds slimmer and not afraid of what a portion size is or should be. The first week, I was actually stuffed during the day. Sometimes I really had to force myself to eat the three snacks and meals. But you have to eat them all. 

Although I'm a pretty fit person, I'd started to slack off about a month or two ago. I wanted to do this diet to get back to eating healthy. And while the diet was easy, I have to say that if you're a busy person it does involve a lot of planning and shopping. I love to cook, but the recipes in this book sometimes were a bit too easy and simple in flavor for me, so I added a bit more spice than what the recipes called for.

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Even though I'm off the diet, I continue to Hungry-fy some meals. I love the Crunchy Beef Tacos (top photo), Girlfredo Broccoli Slaw Bowl (above), Tropical Yogurt and Carrot Fries. Still, it’s nice not to have to worry about being so strict when I dine out now. I also think this diet would make me feel even better if I were exercising too.

Some of the biggest surprises: 24 pistachios is a serving size, and drinking hot lemon water in the morning really does curb your hunger. It’s not a myth. A myth is that you have to be hungry when dieting—which is absolutely not true whereHungry Girl is concerned. 

Have you ever tried the Hungry Girl diet? Post a comment and tell us about it. Click here to read our feature "Losing It!" from the October issue or here to see more blog posts from staffers on the diets they tried.