If you’ve embraced steps 1-3, you are now fully armed with everything you need for the rest of your life to be in control of your weight and in charge of your food. It’s time for your livable plan to take shape.
Review your food logs from the last couple weeks. Are there any choices that stand out to you as exceptionally good or extremely bad? There are no forbidden foods. There is nothing you have to cut completely in order to succeed. However, you do need to make it fit into your new calorie based plan. How do you do that?
I’ll give you a personal example. You may not have figured out yet that I love cheese, in every form. I’ve gone on a hundred plans where I gave up cheese. Every single time I bailed on a diet, I met up with cheese within 24 hours. I was not, and am not, willing to give up cheese for the rest of my life. I was willing to cut back on it in order to stop getting fatter. I do have it just about every day in some form or another. I will use egg whites instead of whole eggs, and then add a couple oz of goat cheese to it. I will use balsamic vinegar for salad dressing so that I can add blue or feta cheese crumbles. I’ll add fat free mozzarella to my chili, because it gets all melty and I provides the cheese texture with a fraction of the calories.
On a day where I know I’m going to have dessert or maybe a steak, I’ll skip the cheese in favor of enjoying another treat later.
You can eat whatever you want. You just can’t eat it all on the same day, every day. You can’t eat it till it’s gone. Dying for chocolate? Select the very best piece you can and savor it. Have a piece every day if you need to. Just make it fit. The food you love is pretty much always going to be there. You don’t have to have it all today.
Your calories are like currency. You can only spend what you have. You can occasionally save a little from today and spend it tomorrow, or borrow from tomorrow as long as you can pay it back. If you keep borrowing, you’ll end up with a debt you can’t repay. You got to where you are today borrowing calories from your future, and you have to start paying them back now.
Start prioritizing based on two things. What will satisfy you, and what you are not willing to give up. Use your food log and figure out how to make it fit. It might mean changing other meals around. This isn’t going to be the forever method. This is the starting gate. We need to eliminate the denial that is the hallmark of every other way you have tried.
Eliminating or restricting junk is pretty vital to your satisfaction with your new way of eating. You can have 13 Cheetos or 1/2 of a turkey sandwich. You can have 4 bites of Ben and Jerrys or an entire pint of Halo Top. Once you cement it in your brain that you CAN have whatever you are craving, as long as you make it fit, the desire to eat it all will diminish, trust me.
Fill your days with as much clean, whole food as you can. Fill in the gaps with the things you love and don’t want to give up, in appropriate amounts.