Like double0bride said, carbs are not the enemy; they’re good for you and your body needs them. Complex carbohydrates (grains, cereals, breads) take longer for the body to break down and that is why they will keep you feeling fuller longer. Any processed food and refined carbs are what you should stay away from.
It’s okay to think about food. You should be eating about 5-6 times a day; three small portion main meals and 2-3 snacks. You want to keep your metabolism constantly fueled. The way I learned it was by thinking of it as a fire. If you have a fire, in order to keep it going you need to add more wood or coal every so often. If you don’t, it slows and dies out. It’s the same way with your body. We might not be cavemen anymore, but our bodies still run in that same way. When food isn’t available, the body goes into “starvation” mode and wants to save any food you do eat as fat for the times you don’t have food. It’s like a back up storage. But when your body has food coming in all the time, it knows that food is regularly available and that it doesn’t have to store food. It’s all instinctual.
When trying to drop in weight, you don’t have to deprive yourself from food. You don’t have to eat just salads and vegetables. It’s probably bad to do this because your body is probably not getting enough calories or nutrients and will probably go into starvation mode.
You’re body needs a set amount of calories. The average woman is said to need 2000 calories a day, and no less than 1200 to drop weight, which is pretty low for most woman. Realistically, it all depends on the person. If you’re not getting enough calories your body is going to store food as fat and/or you will drop the weight but have a high chance of gaining it back once you start eating normally. Remember this has to be a long term change and a life style change. I personally try not to go any lower than 1500 calories based on my height, activity level and the fact that I seem to have a muscular lower body. If I have less than that, I tend to feel hungry.
A good thing to do is slowly change your diet (diet is actually how one eats regardless of if it’s healthy or not; for most, it seems to mean changing to a healthy way of eating). Start by removing certain things from your daily diet. Instead of white bread, switch to wheat. Instead of three cokes, have one. When you feel like having something sweet have a piece of fruit or a piece of dark chocolate. This will help the body get use to eating healthier. My fiancé says that craving are all about what your body needs. The reason why I crave cake or cookies is because my body needs some kind of sugar. The problem with this is that the body is like a computer and stores information this way. It’s telling me I need sugar and it remembers the last thing I ate that contained sugar was cake, so then it has me crave cake. Also, try not to let yourself get to hungry before you eat. I notice it’s easier for me to eat poorly if I’m super hungry. I tend to just go for something easier and faster than to take the time to prepare good food.
The other thing you need to look into is, are you eating because you’re hungry or are you eating because you’re bored and/or because of the taste. I have this problem in a way. I cook and love to cook and because I’ve been cooking since I was four, I have a really good sense of taste and smell. Sometimes I notice myself wanting seconds not because I’m hungry but because it tastes good. Also, if your body needs water it can act like its hungry. I’m not exactly sure why it does this but I know that it does so make sure you’re getting enough water. Another thing about your body and water that’s weird is that if your body isn’t adequately hydrated, it will hold on to water and bloat you. But when you drink enough water and you’re hydrated, it will release that water. I guess it comes down to instinct and cavemen times. It wants to save water for the days you don’t have any. I’m not exactly sure of this though.
I really like the Cook Yourself Thin cook book. It teaches you how to make everyday favorite foods healthy but just replacing high fat/high calorie ingredients with better healthier ones. They even have desserts in there. The second book, Cook Yourself Thin Faster, isn’t as good because some of the recipes seems to be the normal recipes but smaller portions. Some of them are good though.
Sorry this is really long, just a lot of information. Hope it can help.