Eat The Foods You Love Diet

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

2806-465422_eating_chocolate_1.jpgHave you ever thought about eating everything that you want to and still being able lose weight?

I am sure many of us have, but we all know what we need to do. For weight loss, we need to focus on fruits and vegetables and limit our overall calorie intake.

But, what if you could still shed some pounds while eating foods you enjoy?A diet-blog reader commented on a post saying he eats what he loves and he has never had a weight problem. This struck me as a key idea that we all need to remember. Long term success of maintaining a healthy weight is often due to having a healthy relationship with food, enjoying what you eat, but not overdoing it either.

This is a hard concept to grasp for many people because food is tied to emotion, mood, stress, a person’s schedule, and habits. But, I believe that everyone can get to a point where you enjoy food and do not have to worry about weight gain.

Top 5 Tips for Achieving This Success:

  • 80% of the time it is important to eat clean and healthy. The other 20% of the time, it is OK to feel as if you are indulging.
  • Research has shown that some of the best long term weight loss comes from cutting only 200 calories from your diet per day. This is low enough to trick the brain into still feeling satisfied while it is just enough to cause gradual weight loss.
  • Portion size is crucial for long term success. Re-evaluate your mealtime and snack-time portions. Even if you have chosen a richer food, focus on keeping your portion of that food smaller in comparison to other foods on your plate.
  • The first few bites of any food are going to be the best tasting bites. Only put a few spoonfuls of the higher calorie foods on your plate to help keep yourself satisfied without loading up on calories.
  • Learn to love your fruits and vegetables. Sometimes we get stuck in a boring routine of cooking the same vegetables and fruits. Shop in season and be open to trying new produce. This will help keep those nutritious and waistline friendly foods delicious and exciting.

Do you have any tips you have found helpful in achieving long term success maintaining a healthy weight while still eating your favorite foods?


  1. Shala Cristino

    The meaning of the phrase “ice cream” varies from one country to another. Phrases such as “frozen custard”, “frozen yogurt”, “sorbet”, “gelato” and others are used to distinguish different varieties and styles. In some countries, such as the United States, the phrase “ice cream” applies only to a specific variety, and most governments regulate the commercial use of the various terms according to the relative quantities of the main ingredients.

  2. Jörgen

    I started eating low-carb a year and a half ago and am still doing it and for forever, if I can.

    For the chips-craving I have a really good solution: buy Blair’s Habanero Chips . They are REALLY STRONG, but I still find them very tasty and the mix of potato chip + habanero spice works. The trick is that you can normally eat only about 3 of those chips per day and even after the first one, you might wanna drink some milk. =)

    You get the normal feel when you grab them, the crunch when you bite them, and (a similar) taste when you eat them, but their hotness prohibits you from eating MANY of them.

  3. Mary

    These two statements show why you’re successful at managing your weight, Spectra: “…a couple hundred calories a day of “treats” helps to keep me from feeling deprived.” “If I were to cut out all fun food entirely, I’d be very tempted to just go on a huge binge.”

  4. Dale

    Me too, I always eat a lot of anytime I want but my weight does not have any changes. I really wonder about it but I’m still thankful because I don’t want to be fat.
    Thanks for those tips. I will share it to everyone I know.

  5. Rebekah

    Another great way to lose weight without radically changing your diet is learning about simple substitutions you can make in baking and cooking. Why not change the butter in the recipe for non-hydrogenated margarine? Or what about swapping white flour for whole wheat?

  6. Bec

    I find the easiest way to stop eating chip after chip is to put a handfull of chips into a bowl and put the packet away. Then I can go and sit down and enjoy my chips slowly 🙂

  7. Rianne

    I too find that I have the same problem! I have effectively cut out processed and junk food for almost a year and I can tell you, I’ve lost 18 pounds just by doing so 😀

    I replaced all chips with apples and bananas. I mean, occasionally I do crave for sweet stuff and once in a long while I allow myself to have that slice of cake or that can of soda. But I find my problem is really with potato chips :S I can’t stop once I start munching on them.

  8. Sarah

    Definitely agree that portion size is a key to keeping the weight off. If I forbid myself to eat a food I just end up binging so I find it far better to have a small portion of something I enjoy.

  9. Steven Barnes

    Here’s an easy way to control eating: use your cell phone, and take a picture of everything you eat, every other day. The increase in awareness is phenomenal, and will immediately have a positive impact!

  10. Spectra

    I eat a diet that contains about 85% healthy stuff–veggies, fruits, nuts, fish, eggs, air-popped popcorn, and yogurt. The other 15% is “fun” food: pork rinds, candy/dried fruit, plain sweetened breakfast cereal, chocolate rice cakes, and vodka. I don’t eat much of those foods, but a couple hundred calories a day of “treats” helps to keep me from feeling deprived. I also am very active, which allows me to eat a little bit more carbs without too much of a problem. Plus, I usually fill up on the healthy foods so I really am satisfied with a tiny portion of candy or a small handful of pork rinds. If I were to cut out all fun food entirely, I’d be very tempted to just go on a huge binge.

  11. Heather

    Moderation does not work for me. If I have a little of the junk food, I want more and more and it becomes a real struggle. If I avoid the processed foods entirely, I stop wanting them. It’s much easier, and makes me happier. Everytime I think, I’ll keep it under control just by watching Calories and using moderation, I end up an emotional wreck and gaining weight. I guess people are different here, and some would binge by avoiding entirely ,but that’s not my experience at all.

  12. ArrowSmith

    I’m on the Hostess diet. One twinkie in the morning, one cupcake for lunch and ho-ho for dinner!

  13. T. Kallmyer

    This is my method for staying fit for sure. I eat real healthy during the week, but for 48 hours on the weekend, I allow myself to eat whatever I want. I find I enjoy those foods even more when I only have them on the weekends…ie. ice cream, cake, french fries…etc. Oh that’s right it’s Friday and tonight I’m going to a birthday BBQ so let my 48 hour fun begin. 🙂

  14. Ann

    Obviously you can eat whatever you want if your portions are under control or its not a regular habit. I have a friend who is incredibly thin but seems to eat like a pig. Why? Because she only eats like that when she is out with friends. She doesn’t eat junk when there is no social element to it. So it might seem like she eats pizza and ice cream with no consequences, but it’s because we don’t see her the other days when all she does is have an apple for lunch because that’s what she wants.

  15. Dan

    I should also say per the post about dried fruit, that dried fruit can be added to the batter, such as raisins and dried cranberries. Bananas can also be added without being dried. Of course walnuts are a good source of Omega 3’s and can be added as well. I know these ideas of mine are not new but this can remind us of these ideas.

  16. Dan

    I eat a mostly healthy diet and I do eat some sweets each day and still maintain my 95 pound weight loss. I still count my calories and I also exercise absolutely everyday- therefore I budget for the sweets as well as burning them off. I think another idea is to make the treats a bit more nutrient dense. For instance, make oatmeal cookies with whole wheat flour and add some ground flaxseed to them. Also, a tablespoon or two of molasses can be added to the batter, as it is a good source of calcium as well as iron. Molasses also adds a nice flavor to one’s products. Muffins, as well as pancakes, can also be made in a very high fiber way. Of course dark chocolate is also very healthy.