Precision Nutrition posted an excellent infographic yesterday.
The title was, "The Cost of Getting Lean." The basis was if your goal is to simply be healthy and improve your body composition (not to look like a physique model), small changes over time make a big difference.
They categorized "unhealthy" as males at >20% in body fat and females who are >30% in body fat. (Remember, these are generalizations)
People at this level generally eat more processed foods, bigger portions and eat quickly. They also exercise less, eat fewer whole foods and sleep fewer hours each night.
The "healthy" category identified males at 15-20% body fat and females at 20-25%.
People at this level generally eat slowly until satisfied at 60% of their meals, include 1-2 palms of protein in 1-2 meals per day, include 1-2 fists of vegetables in 1-2 meals per day, and exercise 3-5 times per week at varying intensity levels. They also typically eat fewer desserts, processed foods, and drink fewer caloric beverages.
Point is, you don't have to starve yourself and suffer through each day in your journey to better health and an improved body composition.
If you are currently making choices in the "unhealthy" category, it will be uncomfortable for you to change. But there's a big difference between walking around like a carb-deprived zombie, and making a conscious choice to eat a couple vegetable portions a day.
Small changes over time go a long way. If you need help with this, let me know.