I don’t believe any diet method is enjoyable for the rest of your life, and I have yet to hear of a diet that you can unsubscribe from without unsubscribing from the weight loss it brought.
If diets are temporary, so are their benefits.
Instead, I choose. Or I try, for the will is strong, but the flesh just sucks.
1 big serving of spaghetti for supper vs. 1 small serving + a movie snack later
1 apple vs. 1 Snickers
1 box of cookies vs. 1 bag of chips
The burger or the fries
The fries or the Coke
The cake or the falafel
When I feel like eating, whether it’s just appetite or actual hunger, if it’s not a craving for something specific, I try to choose between my options rather than eating everything I feel like. My appreciation for the food’s taste is boosted because it doesn’t get contaminated by that of other foods or beverages, and knowing I’m having just this one thing makes me eat it more consciously.
In the beginning, your choice doesn’t need to be the wiser one. It’s not about the healthy apple vs. the fattening Snickers. It’s about reducing the total intake. The apple may be way healthier than the chocolate, but if you have both, you have the sugar content of both, so 1 Snickers will still be better than both the Snickers plus the apple.
Think less about the calories of your choice, but about how your choice will affect your mood. Mood is a major factor in eating behavior. The apple is probably going to energize you more than the Snickers and also tickle your senses more for its rich, fruity flavor and juices. The Snickers may be more filling.
If you’re thirsty, and really just thirsty and not also hypoglycemic, try the oh so boring, lame mineral water. Drinking water mindfully while really paying attention to how it feels and tastes on the tongue, will make it taste like heaven.
The same is true for those lame carrots. Fry thin slices of carrot in a tiny amount of vegetable oil and eat the carrots slowly and really run them over your tongue. You’ll see their taste is so much more than “kind of sweet and juicy”. They taste like no other vegetable, go great with any dish. I love having egg omelette with sliced carrots, no spices needed. But take your time to explore and savor the taste.
Apples are very different depending on brand/color. The green ones are firm and sour and make my gums bleed. The yellowish-green ones are soft, juicy and sweet and cure my suger lows within seconds. The dark red ones actually taste rather boring to me, and they’re firm, do not want.
A mandarine within season, is an orgasm. A chocolate bar tastes good as long as you suck on it, but the mandarine affects every last one of your senses. The juice just tastes so intense, you have the gratifying rush of sourness, the pleasant sweetness, the bite is just right to let you chew on something without being challenging or harmful to the teeth.
Take a handful of chips out of the bag and put the rest out of reach. Eat the handful as slowly as you can manage, hell, lick the taste off of each chip. You may find yourself satisfied with that handful, and you’ll have more left for later.
Remember every intake of food or drinks other than water, means an intake of calories, of sugars, or of fats. No matter how little that intake is, it is an intake that adds to your weight unless you run it off asap. But don’t go into withdrawal, don’t walk past your favorite cookies for weeks making a sad face, just choose every time you eat something: which is it going to be? If you’re going to have the cookies now, you will not have the banana or the peanuts, too. For breakfast, try choosing between the egg and the toast rather than the egg on the toast. Toast bread, plain, can actually taste great. I love baked stuff, plain or topped. I could binge on toasted white bread with nothing on or with it.
So pick. As much as possible, pick, don’t combine. I’m not saying “no peas with the steak”, but not 2 kinds of snacks or main courses in the same sitting.
Pick what you like. If you’re depressed, pick chocolate. If you’re tired, pick an apple. don’t be too hard on yourself if you end up taking both, but try not to as much as possible. It means you’ll have more for later, and reduced your intake of fatass. You’ll learn to choose and accomodate your appetites better because you eat more consciously and pay more attention to how each food tastes and how it makes you feel. You’ll learn what to pick for what situation, like a basket of apples for work and the chocolate for PMS. You’ll learn to appreciate “boring” foods and water for a new awareness of their flavor and sensory aspects. Like, I think Coke feels awful on the tongue when I pay attention, and leaves a gross aftertaste. Water feels like playing in a pool and I feel it cooling my veins.
Pick. Don’t deprive yourself, but choose what to treat yourself to.