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Valley Company Creates Low-Calorie Comfort Food Recipes

The Hungry Girl empire grew from the desire to continue eating foods founder Lisa Lillien loved without continuing to gain weight.

In just about 10 years, Lisa Lillien has created a low-calorie kingdom in the form of her Woodland Hills-based Hungry Girl company.

The company, which the San Jose Mercury News reports in an AP article, is worth multimillions, offers cookbooks, specialty low calorie products and television shows. It's also got a website with an "Ask Hungry Girl" column, recipes and more.

Lillien, her website says, considers herself a "foodologist, not because she has some kind of fancy degree, but because she is obsessed with food –– how wonderful it is, and how much of it she can eat and still fit into her pants."

According to the AP article, her weight would YoYo between her ideal weight and 15-20 pounds higher until she realized she was unwilling to give up comfort and snack foods. Instead, she's reinvented many of the foods she loves, but with lower calories. It's this practice that is the underlying idea behind Hungry Girl.

She said having her audience realize she's one of them helps with her message.

"If I'm helping people turn boxes around and turn cans around and read labels and understand what it means and learn how to maintain a healthier weight, then I'm doing good work," she told the AP.

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