Hungry Girl: My Healthy Hacks For Fast Food Burgers

11/09/2015 at 01:01 PM ET

Hungry Girl
Getty; Inset: Lisa Lillien

Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of ten books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her PEOPLE.com blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.

McDonald’s is currently testing out a few new burger varieties: Buffalo Bacon, Pico Guacamole, and Maple Bacon Dijon. Yeah! They sound pretty good, until you think about how high the calorie and fat counts are likely to be. Luckily, I’ve got tips ‘n tricks for slimmed-down swaps!

First up: The patty. If a beef burger is your jam, DIY with extra-lean ground beef and seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Other options? Ready-to-cook lean turkey patties and meatless burgers.

RELATED: Hungry Girl: How to Make Cauliflower Crust Pizza (Psst: It’ll Be Your New Obsession!)

Fun with buns…My go-to pick is a 100-calorie flat sandwich bun. (Why waste calories on the vehicle? It’s what’s inside that counts!) You could also go protein-style by placing your patty on a lettuce bun.

And now… the toppings!

Buffalo Bacon: To make the sauce, mix crumbled blue cheese, fat-free Greek yogurt, and Frank’s RedHot sauce. Then mash the cheese into the mixture. (Warning: You may be tempted to put this sauce on everything!) Next, cook up a slice of center-cut bacon or turkey bacon. (These have less fat than conventional bacon.) Yumsville!

Pico Guacamole: Top the burger patty with shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and cook until melted. Mix 1 tbsp. mashed avocado with 1 tbsp. pico de gallo, and spoon over the patty. Drizzle with light ranch dressing. WOW.

RELATED: Hungry Girl: My Must-Make Pumpkin Milkshake – It’s Only 112 Calories!

Maple Bacon Dijon: Rub a drop or two of maple extract onto a slice of center-cut or turkey bacon; cook until crispy. Top burger patty with shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and cook until melted. Spread bun with honey mustard. Flavor explosion!

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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