I have been on a diet for 43 years. What that says to me is "Diets Don't Work" If they did, I could have stopped dieting 40 years ago. What you need to do is re-train your mindset. Food needs to be something to nourish the body instead of a hobby.
I think that finally I am starting to get that new frame of mind. Some of the things that have changed in my life during the past year are:
1. I do not purchase "processed food". I buy whole foods (fruits, vegetables, meat, flour, etc.). Shop on the perimeter of the grocery store and do not go down the aisles - The perimeter has whole foods and the aisles are mostly processed. I have always wondered if you should eat something that has words in it that you cannot pronounce. I know that when foods are processed, much of the food value is lost so they are not really nourishing my body. I put gasoline in my car to make it work - I have never thought of putting junk into the tank, because I know the car wouldn't work properly. But, I put all sorts of junk (sugar, alcohol, fats, salt, and those words I cannot pronounce) into my body and expect it to keep running. Something is wrong with that picture.
2. My Excuse #2 - "I don't have time to fix dinner if I can't get it out of the box." It does not take much time to peel a carrot or orange.....Or Put meat and vegetables in a crockpot in the morning so supper is ready when I get home. Just a little planning ahead. I WILL NO LONGER USE THAT AS AN EXCUSE.
3. My excuse #3 - "Well, I still want to go out with friends and have a good time around the dining table with food and wine." Once again, just a little pre-planning. I have finally gotten into the habit of planning my meals around these events. Have a low calorie breakfast (Orange & Yogurt, for example), Make a green shake for lunch (or other low calorie snack), and at supper time you can enjoy a meal with friends complete with wine and dessert and not sabbatoge you eating plan.
Habit #4 - I do not have to eat a large quantity of food. I do not need seconds. If I want a taste of something - take a spoonful. If I really like it, I can taste it again on another day. In the past you would have thought that I went hungry at sometime during my life. It seemed as if I needed to eat it all or I might starve tomorrow. When I fill my plate, I have learned to not let any food touch. This keeps my portions at a more reasonable size. Second thing I learned to do is USE A SMALLER PLATE. Do you really need that large dinner plate or platter?
One of the things which have helped me greatly is Spark People. I can put the foods I eat onto my nutrition page and know right where I stand. (It doesn't really help to cheat here, you are only fooling yourself - No one else cares) If I have gone out with friends for lunch, I might find that I have only a few calories for the evening meal. Don't sweat it - I HAD FUN WITH FRIENDS and I can have a salad for supper which will not mess up my eating plan.
I am now on a new eating plan to make my body well nourished and well. I am never going to diet again.