I am avoiding the word diet, when used in the form of “I’m on a diet.” I am not on a diet. I am trying to change the way I eat, for now and for good. I am not cutting things out of my diet (see, in that form it is fine), I am just exercising a lot of portion control, plus making better decisions.
If I am at a big group party and there is cake, I will probably say no. Not because I will never eat cake, but because the cake is probably not that great anyway, and I might as well save those calories for a really good dessert at some point. For me, occasionally tracking my calories has really helped with this. When you see the number of calories you have burned with exercise, do you really want to waste all of that hard work on a little piece of cake, that you might enjoy a bit for a few minutes but really won’t remember after that?
Now, if I went to a friend’s house, and they had made a homemade dessert, and it was something I like, I would eat it. I might ask for a small piece, but then I would try to eat that piece slowly and savor every bite.
In any given meal, I try to fill up on the vegetables (as long as they don’t have a heavy sauce, of course), and take small portions of the other parts of the meal.
I don’t like most low-fat versions of things, like low-fat mayo, low-fat sour cream, or low-fat cheese. I’ll use the regular version, just not as often and less of them when I do. Or substitute greek yogurt for the sour cream. I don’t use fake sugar, I just use a bit less sugar. I hate skim milk too, but low-fat milk is okay. In my coffee in the morning, I have real sugar and low-fat milk. Usually, I only drink 1 cup of coffee. Even with milk and sugar, it is only about 50 calories. I also don’t mind fake butter, we usually use Smart Balance spread. I would rather just have a simple vinaigrette (with a lot of vinegar and a bit of olive oil) than a low fat salad dressing.
I was listening to a “healthy eating” podcast the other day, and they were talking about the “right” times to eat your carbs, proteins, etc. They were saying not to have any carbs with dinner, but my kids’ favorite food is pasta, and if I’m making a dish with pasta for dinner, I am going to eat some pasta, darn it. I think if I make all of this too complicated, there is no way in hell I’m going to stick with it. So, keep it simple. Smaller portions: eat what I like, just not too much. Oh, and chocolate…every night lately, my husband and I have a handful of strawberries and a square of dark chocolate. It feels so indulgent…and apparently might be good for weight loss…maybe…but who really cares? I enjoy it, I’m still losing weight, so I’m going to keep having it.