"I love being on a diet!" — said no one ever. There's really no other way to put it. Losing weight really, really sucks. Here are four common complaints people have about having to drop pounds and four solutions to make it not feel so horrible.
1. "I can't eat my favorite foods." From cheesy pizza to french fries to caramel brownie sundaes, it's downright depressing to think any food is completely off limits. I mean, how can you go to your friend's birthday party and not partake in cake? You can. Yes, you can eat your favorite foods, even if they're high in calories or carbs or fat or whatever. They're also high in the making-you-happy category, and that majorly matters on your quest to lose weight. Because if you're not happy, you're not gonna stick with it. You just have to be smart about it.
If you know you want a burger and fries for dinner, eat lighter during the day by having a smoothie for breakfast and a huge salad for lunch. Postdinner cheesecake calling your name? Order one slice and share it with the table so you can have one little taste (the first bite is usually the best anyway, right?). Or if you like to cook or bake, find ways to lighten up your favorite dishes like making this creamy dairy-free mac and cheese or these desserts that are all under 150 calories — hello, 60-calorie dark chocolate salted caramels!
2. "I can't just let loose and eat whatever I want." When you're watching your weight, it feels like you're watching it all the time. Without ever giving yourself a break to just enjoy eating, you're more likely to give up (or become a completely hateful, hangry you-know-what). So while yes, you do need to be mindful most of the time, you also need to make time to let go. Schedule a "cheat meal" once a week. It'll not only taste more amazing than you imagined, but emotionally, you'll also feel so relieved to not have to count calories and restrict yourself. After thoroughly enjoying yourself, it'll make going back to your healthy ways much easier because you will have satisfied all those cravings.
3. "I'm always hungry." This might be the worst complaint ever, but watching your calories doesn't have to mean starving yourself — and it shouldn't! Getting your fill of these three — fiber, protein, and healthy fats — every time you sit down to eat will fill you up and keep you feeling full longer. Experts say to eat tons of veggies, but you also want to eat fresh fruits, whole grains, lean protein, beans, avocados, and nuts. Be sure to eat these three during snack times, too.
4. "I can't go out to eat." So you might not want to hit up your local Italian restaurant where servings of pasta are half the size of the table, but there are tons of restaurants that offer healthy meals. When in doubt, order a huge salad or a veggie-heavy meal. And if you really want to indulge, split your meal with a friend or wrap up half for tomorrow.