Just a little story to begin with..
I was dishing out a salad with my cousin...she was good enough to cook....
Now, I love balsamic vinegar on salad. I like to thin down Pesto with water or juice, and I love salad dressings. Of course we all know that salad dressings out of the bottle or salad dressing packets or mixed from scratch are over the top in calories and just ruin the healthy salad for us. But I dumped a bit of the salad dressing on my salad. Then I stopped....why the hell didn't I ask for the balsamic vinegar that was just three yards away instead of the salad dressing?!?!
So what is normal?
Normal includes eating anything your family and peers eat, but in the process, making good choices.
If you maintain a reasonable weight all your life, your body and your mind are obviously working well together to make good choices for you.
I really do not believe that dieting is the answer to permanent weight loss.
Normal to me is eating anything you want, but making good choices in the process. If you have starved yourself for some reason... Maybe you have been busy...you have been poor...you have been sick...then it is entirely reasonable to eat a big plate of your grandmother's recipe Lasagna.
The choices have to be daily, hourly and weekly....moment to moment.
You know what is good for you, so eat a reasonable amount of those things, but do not avoid all the foods you love. Just make good choices when the plate of your very favorite "heavy hips" in white sauce is put on the table. Fill up on salad, green beans or anything else that you know is low in calories, then take a reasonable portion of the "heavy hips"!
I cannot see building your life around daily deprivation....who can possibly do that forever. Instead, you must make good choices over the course of the week of food intake.
Eat the damned Chocolate Cookies to Die For, in my recipe blog....but for God's sake don't eat a dozen and eat fruit for dessert the rest of the week.
The other side of the coin is to make good choices in lifestyle. You will be energized and beat depression if you choose to do something active over that long afternoon nap! You will also be less hungry later in the day and burn calories.
The bottom line, as I have said elsewhere, is to eat a healthy number of calories in a day and be active enough to burn them off.
I just love frozen fruit bars! My favorites are : creamy coconut, and tangerine.
The coconut is about 120 calories and the tangerine is 60. I buy both. I eat a coconut bar the first time, and give the rest away. The tangerine bars become the go to choice...it is just natural to do that.