For YEARS I absolutely believed that if you wanted to be lean, fit, and healthy, your food needed to be low-calorie, natural, plain, and taste kind of bad. You'd also better be good at math, macros, measuring, list-making, and rule-following. Don't even try to design your own workout. It's complicated. You need a fully equipped gym. You need to pay for trainers, classes, and program design or there's no hope of getting results. Forget eating out. Complex recipes and homemade meals are impossible to track. Never ever participate in social food at work. Eat your Tupperware food, it's safer. The less you eat and the more you move, the better. Ignore the hunger. It's necessary. If you lose control and fail, you'll need to start over, preferably on a Monday. So you'd better eat everything you can right now. Good luck.
That was my world view! When I think about it now, it makes me mad. That faulty, destructive mindset actively kept me from both happiness and the body/health/fitness I so wanted. It sure kept me buying things though! New programs, books, fitness equipment, diets, gadgets, software, trainers, memberships. Gah!
Then I think about the fact that here I am, very healthy and fit, sporting the body I'd always dreamed of as a dieter, and how did I do it? By not dieting! I eat what I want when I'm hungry. I play in ways that I find fun. I sleep when I'm tired. I manage stress. I communicate. I laugh. I bake. I don't take it all so seriously. That allows me to be incredibly consistent, and consistency over time is what produces results. All that trickery with restriction and rules only kept me on a deprive then overeat rollercoaster. I'd last until cheat day, or I'd do the six-weeks, and then all bets were off. It would take me days or weeks to get "on track" again. I'd undo whatever small progress I'd made while eating the bland crap and doing the math.
Why is restriction and willpower promoted as the solution when it makes everything harder and worse? Sometimes I think it's from good people who mean well but don't know any better, and sometimes I think it's a giant conspiracy to keep people struggling and sell them solutions.