OK, I'm going to start this thread. If nobody's interested, that's OK, I'll just try to continue by myself and see how it ends out.
Not making any promises here. But here are some of my plans:
1) No Jenny Craig, NutriSystem or even Lean Cuisine. I don't know about you, but I can't live on these things the rest of my life. I want to eat the same things the rest of my family is eating, at least, up to a point. I do, afterall, live with men. In spite of what Valerie Bertinelli says, I just don't think it's realistic to have to cook for your family while you have those little meals in boxes. Now, if I lived alone, it might be another matter.
2) No diet aids or pills, no pricey appetite suppressants or metabolism depressants. No fad diets or protein shake mixes.
3) No gym or work-out center memberships. No fancy-schmancy exercise clothes or equipment. Although if I didn't already have a good pair of athletic shoes, I'd buy a pair. And I do already have a bicycle that I might start using, and a "home workout gym" that I have tried to sell without success so I might put it to use.
4) No cleaning out my pantry and throwing everything away that contains more than 3 grams of fat per 100 calories. This is the real world and there are others in my household who will eat this stuff if I leave it alone long enough. I may not buy more of it when it's gone, but I'm not throwing what's in there out.
5) No forcing myself to eat things I hate simply because they're good for me or low in calories. Case in point: rice cakes.
6) No buying things in little "hundred calorie packs" or individual yogurt cups or pudding pops. I can, in some instances, make my own, or otherwise portion them out from larger sizes, if I want them at all.
7) No thinning things down to make them seem like more -- such as juices and soups. I want my stomach to get used to having less in it, although I realize for awhile it's going to be a bit uncomfortable.
8) The keyword is moderation. No expectations of losing 20 pounds in just a month. No starvation dieting. No binge and purge (yuk). No weighing every day.
I thought I'd follow the old Weight Watcher's plan before they went to the points system. It's easy to follow as you don't have to count calories. It's just so many units of protein, dairy, fruit, vegetables and fats, plus a couple of hundred calories you can use or not use. Once you've checked off all the boxes, you've had all you can have for the day. I think Richard Simmons has a similar system.
So far I have had a good first day. There's a sheet cake on the dining room table because DGS is graduating this week. Yesterday I had so many pieces of cake I lost track. Today I have managed to pretend it doesn't exist.
For breakfast this morning I had a hard-boiled egg and a nice crunchy slice of 100% whole-wheat toast with a smear of real butter thinned with a little olive oil. For lunch I had half a chicken breast from chicken that I had fried for the family a few days ago and put what was left in the freezer (because DH loves fried chicken and would have eaten as an evening snack that same night what would have made another meal, otherwise). I removed the skin from my piece of chicken, had a good spoonful of home-canned green beans from last year's garden and quite a few steamed spears of asparagus from this year's garden. I rounded it out with a small scoop of potato salad. About 2:00 I felt the need for a little something so I had a bowl of frozen apple slices from my apple tree last fall and made a cup of tea. Exchanges left for the evening meal are two milk, a protein, two breads and a fruit. Sounds like the ingredients to a nice bread pudding, to me. Or a tuna/apple salad sandwich and a glass of milk. Or a grilled cheese (very light on the butter) with a glass of nonfat cocoa, followed by a small dish of home-canned peaches from last year's tree. DH and DGS will be eating the rest of the fried chicken. They'll probably finish off the potato salad and the green beans. So we're all taken care of for today.
So far I have really enjoyed everything I have eaten today, and that is as it should be. I didn't have to run out and buy something only I would be eating, following a list generated from some menu someone else made up.