I know this is going to sound counter-intuitive, so you may have to suspend your sense of reality for a moment. Ready? You do not have to give up being a foodie to lose weight.
I have lost 21 pounds since January and I haven't had one meal that didn't give me pleasure. You don't have to give up your favorite restaurant meals, or even your very favorite culinary indulgences. Even the most decadent foodies can lose weight.
For instance, I love Italian and Mexican food, two cuisines one might assume would be off limits during a weight loss journey. Over my birthday weekend I had the penultimate foodie pleasure of indulging in a several course Italian meal at the glorious Carmel jewel, Casanova Restaurant. How could I be there and not enjoy every scrumptious bite and wine pairing? And as a vegetarian, when my body needs protein I get a nearly Neanderthal craving for one of my two favorite local bean and cheese burritos. Must eat. Do eat.
How do I fit all of these decadent delights into a weight loss plan? On Weight Watchers you almost don't have to think about it, because you are given a certain number of "points" each day. You get a certain number of PointsPlus each day plus almost two days' worth to use throughout the week, to create a nice buffer zone for indulgences. So, if I eat a big burrito one meal, the rest of the day I keep it light. It's painless. If your eating plan had you counting calories, you can manage these foodie extravagances the same way.
I also adore veggie burgers, and have a personal quest to find all the best ones on the planet. I was in Atlanta recently for the BlogHer Food Conference, and I was beyond ecstatic when they shuttled us over to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market where I found Grindhouse Killer Burgers serving up Atlanta's Best Veggie Burger of 2010. While there, I also indulged in their perfectly cooked and seasoned French fries and literally the best onion rings I have ever eaten. Ever.
I very rarely spend my PointsPlus on fried foods because they tend to zap me of energy. But it was glorious fun to splurge on this day. I went over my daily points a couple of days when I was in Atlanta, but didn't overindulge the other days, being a grown-up about having a balanced attitude about my foodie pleasures.
Denying yourself will only make you feel like you are on a diet, not in the vibrant life of a thin you. Anything that smacks of deprivation will likely undermine you at some point: that little kid inside you will have a tantrum, landing you in a pile of candy wrappers, chip bags, and regret. If you aren't your ideal weight, you need to be an adult about how you manage your foodie pleasures. Be "lazy" about it, though, please: less stress + more joy = less weight!