Here's what hubby and I have done for about 5 years... both at healthy weights and never have to "diet".
- Absolutely no red meat. Hubby doesn't eat meat at all...the kids and I do chicken or fish about once a week.
- Whole grain everything... pasta, bread, etc.
- LOTS of fruits and veggies and NUTS (love the natural peanut butter with no added oil or sugar!!)
- LOTS of soy products (i.e. soy protein bars, soy "meats" - but I hate tofu!)
- LOTS of water
- Never fast food
- We rarely drink milk anymore...instead we get our calcium from fortified OJ and green leafy veggies
After about 2 months, I didn't miss the red meat at all. People ask if I don't get hungry for a steak...the answer is NO, the thought disgusts me now. I'm not kidding when I tell you that you can eat as much as you want and not gain weight (as long as you are also walking...or doing other exercise).
I tried some fries at McDonald's a while back and they literally made me sick. Kind of scary that I used to eat it all the time, huh? The only "fat" I use in cooking is olive oil or the Benecol margarine. Hubby's total cholesterol is 130 and mine is 155. Pretty darn good for a couple of people in their mid-30s.
The soy "meats" are quite good. I personally love the Boca Italian Sausage in a good tortellini soup. My kids love the soy "bacon" and my husband could eat a pound of ground "beef" soy sloppy joes.
Best of luck in your quest. I agree with John...it shouldn't be a diet but a lifestyle.