Here's some basic tips I've learned and used.
I use these regularly and eagerly pass them on to you.
(No specific order)
1. Figure out what foods you can't live without, then keep it. Everything thing else is up for review.
Be that Twinkies, fries, bread, ect. No sense depriving yourself right into a binge. Give yourself those things in MODERATION!
2. Swap out the easy stuff. Fat free or light. Sugar Free, reduced fat, ect.
I swapped Regular pop for diet, full butter for light spread, regular sour cream for fat free, ect.
3. Rethink the sauces and dips. Most sauces and dips are LOADED with calories, fat, salt and preservatives. Skip the cheese dip, dressing, chip dip, katsup, ect. If you must have it, then measure it out into a separate container for yourself.
4. Learn what a portion size actually looks like! Get out the measuring spoons and cups. Learn how to eat an actual portion. Not a box of Mac and Cheese . . . a PORTION!
5. Bring out the fruits and veggies. I'm not a fan of salads or veggies, but I find the ones I do like and eat them. Please don't make me explain why you need to eat them.
6. Learn and practice Geneen Roth's Eating Guidelines
Eat when you are hungry
Eat sitting down in a calm environment (NOT in the car)
Eat without distractions (books, TV, chaos)
Eat only what your body wants (NEEDS)
Eat until you are satisfied (NOT FULL)
Eat with the intention of being in view of others (no sneaking)
Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.
7. If you're going to eat out, do your homework! I've done a ton for you on my "Eating Out" Tab.
You can consume your entire daily caloric need in one combo meal. Swap out fries for apple slices, yogurt parfait, or for a kid's fry. Go with the chicken sandwich without the mayo. Lots of options without blowing your calories out of the water.
8. Watch "10 Things You Need to Know About Weight Loss" or at least read my summary of it.