My only "secret" is that I focus on only having foods that I find absolutely delicious - I won't "waste" my calorie budget on what I consider to be "inferior" foods. There is a lot of junk food still in the house that hasn't been touched in months - I kept it around for the Man, but his tastes have changed too, so he doesn't want it either (I guess it's time to toss it). I don't find that I have to use any willpower at all to avoid foods that just aren't as good...
I'll grant you that it helps tremendously that I consider most veggies to fall in to the "absolutely delicious" category, and have always tended to prefer the flavour of fresh, whole foods. One of the major "treats" of my childhood was the opportunity to raid the garden and nibble on peas and beans and lettuce and tomatoes and rhubarb and raspberries taken straight off the plants...
What worked for me when I first got started, and still works for me now, is:
- tracking every single bite (and making sure that the data is as accurate as I can find for the vitamin and mineral levels that are important to me), and focusing on *adding* foods that would improve the daily vitamin/mineral profile
- using the kitchen scale for portions and for putting together recipes (that's how I actually learned reasonable portion sizes)
- learning to cook (yes - I seriously made it to my late 40's without this ability) and making sure that it's more fun than a "chore" (on the days when it would be a "chore", we either go out or take something out of the freezer that I put in just for days like that...)
- being totally comfortable in the idea that this is how I *want* to eat for the rest of my life, and realizing that an occasional treat that is over on the calories or doesn't have optimum nutrition is no big deal
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