Elsewhere, I've posted tips for how to cut out calories without really noticing. Along with those easy tips, I also follow some more draconian rules -- well, I usually follow them:
1. Don't eat bread from a restaurant bread basket.
2. Don't eat hors d'oeuvres.
3. Don't eat anything at a children's party.
4. Don't order dessert.
5. Don't eat cheese, except feta in salads.
6. Don't use salad dressing (instead of dressing, I put feta cheese and artificial sweetener on my salads-sounds horrible, but it tastes good).
7. Don't eat bagels.
8. Don't drink alcohol.
9. Don't drink juice.
10. Don't finish my entrée, or order an appetizer.
11. Don't eat things that come in crinkly one-serving packages.
You might thinking, "Life without cheese, without wine, without pigs-in-a-blanket? How joyless, how cramped, how bland! And a person who can put artificial sweetener on a salad is clearly insane."
All true. Here's why I follow these rules:
I have plenty of indulgences. I eat other kinds of treats, like candy; I could give up the candy and drink orange juice or vodka, but I prefer candy.
One of my most important Secrets of Adulthood is: "What's fun for other people may not be fun for you -- and vice versa." I just don't enjoy food as much as most people; giving up cheese isn't a huge sacrifice for me. I realized I was often eating and drinking things I didn't really want, because of social convention. I gave up alcohol (mostly) because I don't particularly enjoy it, and also because I'm such a lightweight; I'm affected for the worse by even one glass of wine or beer.
I dread the prospect of dieting. Following these rules doesn't seem like a diet to me, because I eat all I want of other foods that I like better than what I'm giving up. I also realized that it was easier for me to give up certain foods entirely than to eat them in moderation.In the end, it comes down to this: it makes me happier to maintain a certain weight than to eat certain foods. This might not be true for everyone, but it's true for me. How about you?
* Interested in starting your own happiness project? If you'd like to take a look at my personal Resolutions Chart, for inspiration, just email me at grubin, then the "at" sign, then gretchenrubin dot com. (Sorry about writing it in that roundabout way; I'm trying to thwart spammers.) Just write "Resolutions Chart" in the subject line.