1. Develop detractions that aren't food-related-and turn to them when you feel the urge to eat. Do some moderate exercise, listen to music, call a friend, work on that writing project (!), or drink a big glass of water.

2. Fill your plate if you must, then put any leftover food away (and preferably out of sight!) before you sit down to eat. You'll be less tempted to "just finish off this one little section" since you've got a full portion on your plate already. Right?

3. As often as you can, try to eat with other people; it tends to inhibit the tendency to load up your plate and/or go for seconds (I have a brother who's a merciless, extremely vocal "food intake critic". He'll always let you know, loudly and in no uncertain terms, when you've eaten too much-and how many pounds you should lose!).

4. Schedule an occasional "fall off the wagon" day. Now you don't have to go hog-wild (or eat one!), but treat yourself to a small bowl of creampuffs one day, for example. You'll be a much happier camper about being on a diet and this gives you something to look forward to or plan for. It's the best of both worlds!

5. Set realistic short and long-term goals. They'll build your confidence and sense of control. For example, losing 20 pounds in three months is a long-term goal, giving you something to keep working toward. A fast positive reinforcement (and short-term goal) would be losing two pounds a week.

And reward yourself for your accomplishments.

6. Except when you're preparing and cooking food, avoid the kitchen whenever possible. You want as few temptations as it's possible to have. Now that means that if you normally use your kitchen as a workplace, a conversation spot, or company get-together, a relocation's needed right away!

Additional Tips

Take (as in "brown bag") your lunch to work with you. You'll be less tempted or inclined to spend more, for one thing, and also less inclined to overeat at the company cafeteria or from those vending machines.

Learn to cook Asian stir-fry meals. They're easy to do, inexpensive, and use less meat. In fact, you could even go all veggie with these, if you wish.

Speaking of all veggie, I've become a big fan of Subway's Veggie Half-Sandwich. There's some cheese, but the rest is totally vegetables in between that bread. I had my doubts, but upon the first bite, I was totally hooked. Along with a drink, you WILL feel full and will never miss the meat.