I'm really just looking for some suggestions on how to get myself out of this pit of misinformation and confusion as to what "normal eating" looks like and wondering if anyone has been through a similar issue (or have any solutions/tips?).
A little back story - I have a history of eating disorders, and although I am now recovered and no longer meet any eating disorder criteria, I am really struggling to work out what "normal" eating is. I've been on this forum for over a year now and have not lost any weight. I can't get the balance of foods right and am really stuck on what / how much I should be eating. There is so much contradicting advice (don't eat gluten, low carb, high protein, low protein, high fat, low fat, calorie counting, portion counting, no snacking, lots of snacks) I'm just so lost in it all. I grew up with two parents with eating disorders and so never really learnt from them what I should be eating either. I feel a bit silly being in my 20s and not knowing how to eat properly.
One of my biggest problems is not knowing how much it is ok to "break the rules" as such. For example, I know desserts such as ice cream or cake are obviously not very healthy but it's not normal to cut them out completely. How do I know how often I can eat these things and still live healthily / lose some weight? Could I eat small desserts twice per day? Once per day? Once per week? Once per month? I really have no idea what "normal" or "healthy" people do.
I am hesitant to count calories as I know it brings back eating disorder tendencies. I would prefer to lose weight through healthier habits and lifestyle changes.
My misinformation is still heavily confused after my GP referring me to four different community weight loss programmes over the years to try and get me on track losing weight. Three told me to count portions but each gave a very different calorie allowance (1500, 2200, 2500). I found 1500 too hard to stick to. 2200 worked to some extent but my weight loss got stuck after 6 pounds lost and I gained it all back. 2500 I just gained weight on. The fourth nutritionist told me we should all be eating lower carb diets (no bread, pasta etc.) but personally I do question how qualified she was).
I've read through the information on the 12 week plan but it's so vague I found it difficult to make any kind of "rules" out of so found it difficult to follow. I could never find a calorie limit that I could consistently lose weight on.
Please help. I really need to lose weight and get healthier because myself and my partner want to try for a baby and I'm just not healthy enough to manage a pregnancy right now.
Apologies for the long essay but I thought the more info I gave the more people might be able to help. Thank you so much in advance to anyone and everyone who comments. I'm having a bit of a desperate hour!