The number one reason for failing a diet is being hungry.
The number 2 reason is flavours not cutting it.
So how, do we handle these issues, eat high volume low calorie foods.
Here we like to follow a nice mantra of if it tastes 80% as good as the thing you want to eat but we can cut calories in half, then we can stick to our diets. We're not going to tell you to never have diet soda. And we're not going to tell you to give up all your favourite foods. We're going to simply ask you to make smart choices and arm you with the tools you need to succeed.
Oh and avoid oil for cooking wherever possible, 1 spoon alone is 120 calories, it really isn't worth it.
Here's a couple of examples of the sort of foods we recommend. We're massive fans of Greg Doucette's diet plan. It keeps you full and it works.
Simple changes like making french toast with liquid egg whites, or switching to diet soda can be the difference between losing 2 pounds a month or gaining them.
1lb of fat is 3500 calories. So, if you can remove just 100 calories you can drop 12lbs in a year, make that 300 calories and you could make a huge difference.
That could be just one can of soda, or the difference between the aforementioned egg whites.
This question is really about what is the lesser evil, is too much salt bad for you? Yes, is it worse for you than being 30lbs overweight? No. This applies to artificial sweeteners, and pretty much anything else that a lot of nutritionists will tell you about. The same applies for "healthy fats". There's a huge list of foods that are supposed to be healthy and you'll be encouraged to eat, but won't help you lose weight. We're looking at you nuts, avacados and peanut butter. So, use as much salt as you want, as much sweetener, it really isn't going to matter. Once you've hit your goal weight you can look to switch things back to a more "healthy" balance, but carrying the extra weight is going to do more harm, than slightly elevated salt levels.
This is perhaps a personal tip, this worked for me, normally I don't talk about things in the first person on this site. But, this made all the difference. When I got hungry, I got really hungry, I eat fast, and would often overeat. I didn't like bulk meal prep, and that didn't work. What worked for me was having cheap low calorie foods, I could microwave or make in minutes, initially it didn't stop me overeating, but it did mean I was eating a lot less of the high calorie snacks that were destroying my weight loss attempts.
Good examples are low calorie canned soups, canned tuna, spinach or other salad leaves (get whichever one you like, there will be one you can eat raw that you don't hate) and low calorie dressings (they're better than they used to be), mustard (english style, not french's), apples are good, but any fruit that you like, try to avoid bannas, and any low calorie microwavable meats. Now, are these going to be as good as what you want know, but channeling your inner laziness and human need for immediacy can prevent you from ordering that takeaway, or going to the store to get what you really crave.
Meal replacement shakes or low calorie protein shakes are the other option, they'll fill your stomach, if you quickly down one these, you're far less likely to eat as much unhealthy food as you were going to if you did not eat this first. Try and fill your stomach with something healthy before you eat something unhealthy, you'll eat a lot less of it.
You can't keep a dozen donuts in the house and expect that you'll only eat two. And if you do buy a dozen throw the ones you don't want out. Before anyone complains about the starving kids in africa, you weren't going to send them the food were you? No, I know we were taught not to waste food as kids, but imagine that was a litre of alcohol that was going to go bad tomorrow, would you say you need to finish it even if you were already drunk? No, you know that's bad for you. The same applies.
The smartest thing is to simply buy a single portion to begin with, but if you have brought excess back with you freeze what you don't want. It will have to thaw, and you can use that barrier to bolster your self control.
We all have trigger foods, I can't keep bread in the house, I will eat the entire loaf, it is what it is. For some people it's ice cream, for others it's chips. Most of these you can find a substitute to nail the craving, it may only be 80% to what you wanted, but it WILL satisfy the craving.
Ice cream, becomes protein ice cream, you make it yourself with greek yoghurt and protein powder, and it tastes good, chips, well you can bake your own, or buy protein chips if you're in an area that sells them (half the calories usually) or salted popcorn. For bread, well, I keep a pack of bagels. Sometimes is still crack and eat half a bag. But, it's less of an issue than what I'd do with a loaf of bread.
We're human, we fail. It's normal. So give yourself the best chance of success. And if you succeed 9 days out of 10 and fail once, you're going to see an improvement from the opposite.