I don't believe in diets.
People probably think, "No wonder you're fat!" but I say to them: you are clearly oblivious to the fact that I have lost 105 pounds without cutting a single thing completely out of my diet. Go right ahead eating your twigs and berries, and while I admire your discipline, I'm gonna go eat that cake. And some macaroni and cheese. Because it's delicious and I love it and I would miss it too much if I never got to eat it, and then I would go crazy one day and go buy a giant amount and eat too much of it and gain 10 pounds in one sitting, and then it will have been so delicious and I will have been deprived for so long that I'll continue to eat that way until I'm orbiting the sun as a mini planet because I will have gotten so ginormously fat and we can just start calling me Pluto and I can replace the sadly de-planeted Pluto because I will be larger than the orginal and classify as an actual planet. I can keep going with that run-on sentence scenario if you'd like, but I think you get the point.
That's not to say I eat that stuff all the time. And I definitely don't eat as much as I think I want. That's how I DID get fat in the beginning. It was like, "Oh look! A giant bag of delicious candy! I think I'll eat the whole thing today and buy another one tomorrow!" Ew. How did I not continually make myself physically ill? I suppose I did, just not in the barfing my guts out way. Instead, I more than doubled my size and drowned myself in misery all in the name of my taste buds and a lack of self control. Also it was a defense mechanism to cover up stuff going on inside me that I finally learned to deal with as I gave God control of my life. Aaaah. Can you hear the relief? I feel so much better!
So yes, if there is a big family meal or a birthday celebration, or a day where I just really want some ice cream, I eat that stuff without a second thought! I just eat a small portion, and make sure I have lots of healthful options to go along with it!
Some food routines I follow: (I almost called them rules, but they're not. I don't like to break rules, and I need to be able to break out of these habits every once in a while)
*I drink a ton of water. I used to have at least one soda per day, but when I got serious about becoming healthy, I decided not to drink my calories. I'll still have a soda now and then, if it's part of a meal that I buy somewhere, or if I really want one, but I usually just stick to water. This cuts down hugely on sugar and calories, and even if I had done nothing else different in my diet, I believe that change alone would have brought about some weight loss. I carry a water bottle with me everywhere, and try to fill it four times a day. When I don't drink enough water, I feel very bloated.
*I make sure to eat breakfast. I hate getting up any earlier than I have to, so for about ten years I completely skipped breakfast, but that is detrimental to a metabolism. In order for your metabolism to work as intended during the day, it must be awoken with a good breakfast. I often eat 1/2 cup of oatmeal with raisins for breakfast (and I add a little brown sugar and milk), or some scrambled eggs, or a grapefruit and some string cheese. None of those things are difficult to make, although eating a grapefruit is ridiculously time consuming. I always lose more weight when I'm on a grapefruit kick, though, although I'm really not sure if it's because it's a great weight loss tool, or because it just takes so long to eat and I burn more calories cutting the stupid thing up! Either way, though, awesome breakfast.
*I don't really have a set lunch, but I try to be smart about it. I love getting a $5 footlong sub at Subway and eating half for lunch one day and the other half either for the next day's lunch or for dinner that night if I'm gonna be gone all day. I load it with spinach, tomatoes, pickles and olives, and just a little mayo. So many people cut out all condiments and salad dressings when trying to lose weight, but it's important to eat your greens with some element of fat. You need fat in your diet!
*I always try to start my dinner off with a salad, and I stay away from iceberg lettuce, which has absolutely no nutritional value. Dark leafy greens are the best for you! And eating your salad first aids in digestion. I never use diet dressings, because they taste horrible, but I don't use a lot of whatever I decide to have. It does not need to be saturated in flavor for me to enjoy my salad, and I am very thankful for that fact. I know there are lots of people out there who hate salad!
*I stay away from white flour. It is really bad for you, and wheat options are pretty good! Maybe not at first, but it doesn't take that long to get used to them. I was actually raised on whole grains, so it's a natural choice for me. But again, if there's a food with white flour that someone is serving me, or that I want to eat, I'll have it every once in a while. No big deal.
*I consciously take smaller portions than I think I want. If you have more on your plate than you are hungry for, you'll probably end up eating it anyway, but if you don't take enough to begin with and you're still hungry after eating what you've taken, you can always get more. My stomach has shrunk a LOT, and it took me a while to get used to taking smaller portions, but now I do it automatically, and I almost never go back for seconds.
*It is so important to eat small snacks during the day to keep your body from freaking out and going into starvation mode (storing your food as fat just in case you don't get enough calories), so I like to keep a bag of almonds with me at all times. A serving size is 21-22 almonds, and while that seems like such a small amount, it is actually the perfect thing to tide you over until your next meal. I also like to have a string cheese or an orange as a snack. Or some popcorn, popped on the stove with just some salt.
*I stop eating three hours before going to bed.
These eating routines are easy to follow, and bring excellent results without much effort. In losing weight, it is actually more important to watch your food intake than it is to exercise a lot. Exercise is still important, but if you want to start making life changes and you currently don't eat well AND don't exercise, just start to make changes in your diet, and add the exercise in a few weeks down the line. Too many changes at once can be overwhelming. I know people who have made major food and diet changes all at once, and admire their self control, but it never stuck when I tried to do it that way. I stepped up my activity level when I started eating healthfully, but I didn't go to the gym and become the Hard Core Fitness K8 (you're right, Nicky, K8 is way more tough!) that I am now until I had already lost some weight and I was ready to step up my game.
Speaking of games, today I'm wearing the sweatshirt from my 8th grade AYSO soccer team, and it fits normally. Not that I was this size when I was 13... It was big on me back then.