1. THE OBSTACLES: Food is a tremedous coping mechanism for many people. Food is power because it gives people the preception of relief and if you remove that security and fail to put something else in its place, a vacuum is created. When you stop medicating feelings with food---which is an absolute must in order to get healthy---you need to have other ways to deal with emotions. Instead of turning to the pint of ice cream fix problems with psychological solutions, and substitute with exercise, relaxation, and rational thinking for that calorie quick fix. Get out of your comfort zone and do something different. When you do, you'll generate a new history that predicts a new future. FOR MANY PEOPLE, FOOD IS AN ADDICTION. Addictions are not cured; they're managed one day at a time. Days add up to weeks, weeks add up to months, and before you know it, you have a new lifestyle and a new self-image. Everyone has a personal truth---what she believes about herself when no one else is looking or listening. If you have failed with your weight loss efforts time and time again, you may be left with a personal truth that says, "I simply don't deserve to be anything other than fat and unhealthy." People can exercise control in their lives, and that they deserve to be healthy and happy. When willpower is nowhere to be found, you need to have your emotions, logic, environment, behavior, food plan, exercise, and social support system in place to keep you moving in the right direction.
2. BEST PRACTICES: Different methods work for different people. But, there are certain actions common to almost every person who achieves weight loss goals. These steps work because they have to do with lifestyle and programming, not unreliable willpower.
3. CLEAN UP YOUR ENVIROMENT: Remove all counterproductive foods to the program. If the unhealthy foods are not in your house you are unlikely to drive to the store whenever you have a craving for junk, but instead you will grab an apple with some nuts or sunflower seeds etc.
4. MOVE IT TO LOSE IT: Exercise is crucial. You can't lose weight and keep it off without awakening your body and your metabolism.
5. TIMING IS EVERYTHING: Most people who slip up while trying to lose weight do it during a narrow window of time and place. Audit your day and determine when you tend to make the most destructive eating decisions. Arrange to do something else during that time, something incompatible with eating. If you usually snack in the kitchen when you get home from work, come in a different door, take a shower first, or, better yet, use that time to exercise.
6. MIX IT UP: One of the major problems for people to rebel against a plan that's too restrictive. You don't need to give up ice cream forever, run from carbohydrates, or count every calorie. Instead eat a variety of healthy foods---fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, good fats, and yes, some starches---in manageable portions. It's about living your life, and practicing moderation across the board.
7. DON'T GO IT ALONE: If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you need the people in your life to be supportive. Educate your loved ones about the changes you are making, what your needs are, and how family and friends can help. Break free from those who weigh you down. And don't be afraid to make new friends---people with similar values who don't feel threatened by your changes and won't urge you to eat.