How can one even write about dieting or weight loss without sounding like a salesman or a schmuck? You can't. So for at least this one post I'm going to sound like a schmuck.
Here's diet advice you've never heard from the mass-media or from diet promotions...but I've found it to be common knowledge among the well educated and well-off: People who enjoy food the most aren't fat.
The best way to achieve your ideal weight without dieting is to go on a quest to find better and better food. Get snobby about it. Constantly try new things. Good food certainly isn't going to be found in chain restaurants, so try some local ethnic food: Thai, Greek, French, Italian...try sushi! No excellent restaurants in your town? Go on-line for recipes from the well-known chefs. Search every corner of your grocery store shelves and find things you've never tried. Don't buy what is cheap, buy what is high-quality and best-tasting. Indulge in rich foods, sophisticated flavors, good wine, cheese, dark chocolate...include those ingredients in recipes that you've never bothered to search for and try to taste the difference. For god's sake, buy a bunch of spices and use them...no, overuse them until your friends complain about how spicy your food is! Go on a never-ending food quest and evolve into a food snob.
That's how I spent the past several years, and I know this works for a few reasons. Now I'm a hopeless snob who turns my nose at anything that doesn't meet a certain standard. That means I'm unable and unwilling to throw garbage down the hatch. If great food can't be found, I don't really eat...or eat just enough so that I'm not starving. When people are willing to eat just to get full...when they aren't in touch with flavors, textures...the beauty of dining...the only reason for eating is to get full. Eating to get full isn't satisfying, so you eat more and more on a quest to become satisfied.
Aside from looking good and feeling healthy, of course food snobs live longer. That's because our bodies were designed to crave and enjoy food that is good for us. Corporations spend millions in R&D to fool our taste buds into liking cheep and low-quality ingredients...best to avoid name-brand junk food altogether and just buy the most natural, freshest food you can find and can afford. Good food can always be found and always be made if you try hard enough. And once you know better, you can't go back.