The battle of the bulge seems to be a battle that very few can win. With all the exercise DVDs, diet pills, weight loss patches, stomach stapling and even television shows, Americans are still gaining weight. Some people actually reach their weight loss goals and within an average of two years, end up gaining every pound back and then some.

If you are tired of yo-yo dieting and being overweight then ditch all the fad diets, pills and patches! To lose weight and keep it off requires a permanent change, one you can live with the rest of your life. This change should be gradual and a great learning experience. It should also include exercise!

Most people are overweight because food provides comfort. Over eating, is really an addiction just like alcohol, smoking and drugs. Many people over eat as a means to keep people away. They have been hurt so many times in life that it is easier to eat and avoid contact with others.

Therefore, the first step in losing weight is to determine the root of the problem. You will more than likely find that this stems from your childhood and developed through your adulthood. It is time to deal with past hurts head on, forgive yourself and others and get on with the life that you have only dreamed. This process is not easy and will stir up many painful emotions. However, it is necessary so you can finally heal from within. It is time for you to learn to love and accept yourself. No, you may not like the way you look, however, you are not just your body. I am sure you have some wonderful qualities that make you feel proud. Focus on all of your good qualities and take the first step towards learning to love you!

Next, you increase your daily activity. I do not mean that you have to go to a gym or start running laps. I simply mean increase your activity. From now on, instead of circling the parking lot for ten minutes to get a space up front, you park towards the back of the lot. Not only will you increase your activity, you will save yourself some time and money on gas. Do this everywhere you go. Also, no more drive thru banks, food, laundry and coffee. Park your car, get out, and walk! Commit to this for at least a month. After that point, you should be ready to start including a walk around the block every evening. Just gradually increase your activity.

I know this will send chills up your spine and probably induce some convulsions: NO MORE FAST FOOD! One meal at a fast food restaurant includes your entire fat requirement for a week, not to mention 1/2 to 3/4 of your entire recommended calorie intake! If you need to have a cheeseburger, simply buy some lean ground beef or turkey and make your own. Fast food is over processed and lacks nutrients. Learn to eat as much unprocessed foods as possible.

Also, start reading the labels of every food item that you buy. If anything you pick up contains High Fructose Corn Syrup, put it back! It has been proven that this food additive increases your appetite. This is a very cheap sugar substitute and consumers are fighting to have it pulled off the market.

If you need to snack throughout the day, GO FOR IT! As long as your snacks consist of fruit, vegetables, nuts, yogurt, pita chips, or even potato chips. As long as these snacks are preservative and high fructose corn syrup free. Yes, even chips have a does of corn syrup. I even picked up a can of green beans and guess what? You guessed it; high fructose corn syrup was on the label!

This is not meant to be a diet list; this is only meant to get you headed in the right direction. If you do everything I have suggested, you will see and feel a difference in your body after a month. No, you are not going to look like Jennifer Aniston! However, you will feel healthier and you will notice that your clothes are starting to loosen up. This is one small step towards healthy living, but it is the most important small step!