I have never been a fan of "dieting," I don't think anything good comes from starting a diet, it's hard to stick to and it just seems like so much work. How can you enjoy anything when you have to count calories all the time?
I grew up with no sugar, very little processed food and not a lot of red meat, so I guess you can say I have an advantage of not having a palette for "bad food," thanks to my mom. When I started going to college I slowly discovered processed food and coffee. I couldn't drink coffee without lots of sugar and cream and I lived off candy. I still have a weakness for candy but now I drink my coffee black. I have grown to appreciate more things like coffee, wine, beer, spirits and all forms of culinary food because I took an interest in them and improved my palate. I did this, not to become a snob, although I'm sure I can come across that way some times, I discovered it taste better and is enjoyable when you pair certain things together. It improves the flavor and makes the meal so much more enjoyable. My motto is to "diet" like the French. They take the time to enjoy natural ingredients and food that takes time to prepare; slowly and a little at a time. They also walk a lot, and are less stressed than Americans because they don't take life as serious as we do and they take vacations regularly. But that's beside the point.
When I was traveling through Europe, I acted like a true American, eating fast and rushing off to see the next thing. When I sat down to eat, I would look around at all the tables where locals were sitting, eating a pairing like a fattening butter croissant and a glass of wine, soaking in the day. I thought, why don't I just relax and enjoy this amazing food before me?
I am still learning how to slow down and enjoy food, take in the flavors and textures, and through this, not needing huge American size portions. I am learning to be satisfied with less and enjoying more.