The fact is, in order to lose weight and be healthy, we need to Eat Less, Move More. The problem is that most people (apart from bodybuilders) just can't/won't do it consciously. In Determinants of the Variability in Human Body-fat Percentage, I listed a number of reasons why people eat what (and as much as) they do. Here are some solutions to the problems that cause over-eating and under-moving.
1) Parents: If you've been raised to be a plate-clearer, use a small plate which makes a small amount of food look like more.
2) Genetics: Eat foods that satisfy your appetite for as long as possible. You have to find out what they are by experimentation, as everybody is different.
3) Peer pressure from parents, siblings, friends, business partners & significant others: Thank them but politely decline. If they persist, reduce the level of politeness until they get the message.
4) Religion/tradition: Start a new tradition of not stuffing yourself silly at religious festivals. Then spread the word!
5) Culture: Try new foods. They won't kill you and they may actually taste good. Learn to cook. Herbs and spices or a splash of Worcestershire/Sweet Chilli Sauce can make horribly-bland foods (e.g. boiled/steamed rice) eatable.
6) Time: Be prepared. Pack a lunch-box with sufficient provisions to get you through the working day/night. Microwave cooking/heating saves a lot of time. It only destroys nutrients if you add a lot of water to the food before cooking (which is not necessary) and then throw the water away after cooking, or overcook foods. All cooking methods that raise the temperature of food to >70°C denature proteins. Denaturing proteins only changes their 3-D structure, which actually makes them easier to digest.
7) Habit: Habits can be changed.
8) Media: When an advert for something moreish is broadcast, flip channels for 30 seconds or if that's not possible, look away and hum a tune to mask the sound. Make sure that there's no food in sight while watching TV to prevent mindless nibbling. Keep a bottle of low-calorie drink nearby to sip on regularly. EDIT: I now watch TV on my computer with Ad-blocking, which eliminates all TV adverts.
9) Physiological & psychological reasons: Maintain a stable blood glucose level by not eating foods that are made mostly out of grain dust (a.k.a. flour) and/or sugar and/or other refined carbohydrates. If you're very active and you need to eat a lot of carbohydrate, choose grains that still look like grains (e.g. rolled oats, rice, quinoa etc), fruits, shoots, roots and tubers. Either get sufficient sun exposure or supplement with ~5,000iu/day Vitamin D3 to reduce the risk of low mood due to Seasonal Affective Disorder. The long-chain omega-3 fats in oily fish help to stabilise mood. Magnesium helps to reduce anxiety (also muscle cramps).
10) Allergies & intolerances: Avoid foods that are very moreish.
11) Geography: Eat locally-grown foods from Farmers' Markets, where possible.
12) Season: Eat foods that are in season, where possible.
13) Boredom: Keep busy. Do something!
14) Exercise: This has always been a problem for me. Exercise used to make me hungry, resulting in me eating more calories than I burned exercising. Solution: If I dress warmly enough, that stops me from getting the munchies due to feeling too cold.
15) Beliefs: I'm not going to try to change your beliefs.
16) Senses: Avoid supermarket aisles that contain junk foods. What your eye can't see and your nose can't smell, your heart won't grieve over.
17) Hunger: Don't let yourself become really hungry as that encourages over-eating when you do finally eat. Don't go food shopping when you're hungry, as that encourages the buying of junk foods.
18) Comfort: Don't buy larger clothes/loosen your belt. If your clothes are getting tighter, let that suppress your appetite. If your clothes are getting looser, buy smaller clothes and/or tighten your belt. Never loosen it.
19) Shame/Self-loathing: If that suppresses your appetite, make the most of it.
20) Current fatness: N/A.
21) Willpower: Hopefully, the above solutions will help you to resist temptation.
I hope that you all had a good Christmas/whatever.
Continued on Move More: Solutions to problems.