If I could sum up how to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight without being "on a diet" in three sentences, it would be this:
1) Eat when you are hungry
2) Eat what your body wants
3) Stop eating when you are satisfied
If that sounds simplistic to you, it is. It is very SIMPLE, but it is not EASY! Big difference.
1) Eat when you are hungry: We are so conditioned to eat because "it's mealtime" or because the food is there. I challenge you to pause before you eat next time. Pay attention to your body for a minute to understand if you are actually hungry. Or are you eating because it's dinner time, or someone put the food in front of you, or because you are lonely, depressed or angry.
If you are hungry, eat! If you perceive any of the other reasons, put the food away...you can eat it when you are hungry.
2) Eat what your body wants: If you've determined that you ARE hungry, and eating for the right reason, eat what your body wants, not what looks good to your eyes. There are times when I think 'that donut really looks good', but my body really is asking for protein, or carbs or veggies. I would be much more satisfied with a turkey and veggie sandwich on whole grain bread.
Choose what your body wants, not what your eyes want.
3) Stop when you are satisfied: Notice I didn't say 'stop when you are FULL'. There's a big difference in being satisfied and being full. When you say you want to lose weight but you consistently eat past being satisfied, you are lying to yourself. Satisfaction with food is not difficult to feel, but it does take attention. It does take being willing to slow down because it can happen mid-bite!
And if you then worry that not finishing the food on your plate is a slap in the face of all the hungry people everywhere, you are not living in reality. The truth is that you either throw the food OUT or you throw it IN, but either way it goes to waste! World hunger will not be solved or even helped by you finishing the creamy coleslaw and mashed potatoes on your plate.
If you pay attention to when you are hungry, what your body wants, what you are eating and when you've had enough, you end the obsession. Because OBSESSION AND AWARENESS CANNOT COEXIST! When you pay attention to yourself you notice the difference between being tired and being hungry, Between being satisfied and being full. Between wanting to scream and wanting to eat.