I think one of the big secrets to eating healthy and making healthy choices in food is finding things that you like. No one is going to want to eat a diet full of nothing but lettuce and celery sticks. It's boring. It's tasteless. And when you put both of those together.... completely joyless eating. I believe that you really have to love what you eat to be successful in weight management.
Maybe it's a cop-out, I don't know. But I have found foods... healthy foods... to replace the junk that I would reach for most of the time. For example, instead of having the 16 ounce hot latte in the morning that was just over 100 calories (nonfat, no-whip, sugar free) and that used to create havoc in my stomach, I have moved onto hot tea with one packet of sweetener (either Equal or Splenda). I still get the warm tummy feeling, but without the calories. One cup of hot tea is about 2 calories.
Instead of the cookies and chocolate, I allow myself fruit. I love fruit. Bananas, oranges, apples and raisins are my thing these days. Are they still sugary? Well, yes. But they also have fiber, vitamins, and nutrients that junk sweets don't have. I am still a huge sucker for pastries and baked goods, but I find now that I don't crave them like I once did. If I want something sweet, fruit does the job and I don't feel horrible after I've eaten it.
I still get cravings for the crap. Don't get me wrong. I'm no diet saint here, folks. But I am learning to find healthy alternatives when I am either emotionally eating, eating from boredom, or craving something that wouldn't be good for me. I am learning to enjoy the healthy stuff because when I eat healthier, I feel so much better.
If you are eating things you don't enjoy, you probably won't stick to the new balanced diet you a striving for. Try new things. New combinations of food can be exciting and surprising. Whole foods will not only give you the satisfaction and fullness you are looking for, but they will keep you full longer as well... which means eating less. And eating less means weight loss.*
Enjoy the foods you eat. Weight management and healthy diet should never be boring or something faced with dread. When you find the things that excite your palate, you will succeed in the journey you are on.
*Eating less as in going from a 4000 calorie a day diet to a 2000 calorie a day diet. I am in no way, shape, or form advocating for starvation or strict caloric intakes. I eat anywhere from 1500-1900 calories every day.