The Diet Detective: 6 Tools to Keep Your Calories in Check

Calorie Bargain: ACE Fitness 2011 Kick Start Online Workout Guide (Videos included)

The Why: Looking for a good solid workout? The American Council on Exercise offers a free 12-week fitness program. The goal of this workout, according to the ACE, is "to build total body strength, enhance cardiovascular endurance, gain muscular definition, lose weight, improve health and increase energy."

The Health Bonus: No gym needed to get healthy.

What We Liked Best: It's a great, well-rounded workout that is free on the Internet, and includes videos and step-by-step instructions.

The Price: Free

Where to Buy: 

Calorie Bargain: Hungry Girl 300 Under 300, by Lisa Lillien (St. Martin's Griffin, 2011)

The Why: Lisa Lillien has another winner on her hands. Along with her wonderful TV show and her other great books, Lisa now offers great breakfasts, lunches and dinners that are all under 300 calories. Here are a few of her new recipes: Bean ?n Cheesy Soft Taco in an Egg Mug, PB&J Oatmeal Heaven, Creamy Crab Cakes Benedict, Classic Cheesesteak Salad, Dreamy Butternut Chicken Foil Pack, Burger-ific Mushroom Melt, Buffalo Chicken Wing Macaroni & Cheese, BLT Pizza, Big Apple Butternut Squash Soup, and Loaded Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs.

The Health Bonus: Eat 300 calories for breakfast lunch and dinner (with some snacks, of course) and you will more than likely lose weight.

What We Liked Best: Lisa makes cooking and eating fun.

The Price: $22.99

Where to Buy: Bookstores,, and

Calorie Bargain: Tabatchnick Barley & Mushroom Soup Singles

The Why: The soup tastes great; it's low in calories and high in fiber.

The Health Bonus: It comes frozen in BPA (bisphenol-A) free, single serving bowl that?s microwaveable and oven-safe to 350 degrees.

What We Liked Best: Taste, calorie-level and pronounceable ingredients.

The Price: Average price is $5 for five.

Where to Buy: Check your local supermarket or visit

Nutrition Information: (1 bowl): 120 calories; 1.5 g fat; 24 g carbs; 5 g fiber; 4 g protein; 540 mg sodium.

Ingredients: Water, barley, carrots, mushrooms, onions, celery, corn starch, salt, spices, canola oil,/soybean oil, mirepoix (vegetables [carrots, celery, onions], sugar, salt, corn starch, natural flavor), xanthan gum, garlic, natural flavors and annatto extract.

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Charles Stuart Platkin is an Active Expert, nutrition and public health advocate, author of the best seller Breaking the Pattern (Plume, 2005), Breaking the FAT Pattern (Plume, 2006) and Lighten Up (Penguin USA/Razorbill, 2006) and founder of Integrated Wellness Solutions and Sign up for The Diet Detective newsletter free at

Copyright 2011 by Charles Stuart Platkin


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