As a health coach, I often consult with individuals who know they are overweight; know why it can be dangerous to their long-term health; and even know what they should be doing to correct it, but are caught in a routine that is preventing them from moving forward.
For cases like this, I know it is important to not "lecture" the client, because they have heard it all before. Sometimes that approach can make the problem worse because it can cause them to feel hopeless; a failure. When one feels hopelessness, it blocks any chance of positive change.
The best I can do is to talk to the person and get insight on why he/she is not able to connect his actions to his wishes, and help him find solutions. It starts with asking questions:
"When did you start gaining weight? Was there a trigger event in your life that might be related to it?"
"What emotions do you experience when you see food? Why do you think that is so?"
"What would your life be like, if you can imagine, if you lost ___ pounds? What is the first thing you would do?"
These are the types of questions that can get people to get past their superficial, or impulsive thinking; the type that often escapes conscious thought. Of course, there are other issues related to weight loss including medical conditions, but this approach works well in general.
One of the key strategies I use to help people lose weight is advocating the practice of slow eating. You would be amazed how behavior can be influenced by simply slowing down and assessing your environment before you take action. This can help with any type of vice. You wait until the excitement dies down a bit, think about what you are about to do, what you will feel like after you do it, and then ask yourself how you wish to proceed. And if you do proceed, force yourself to move slowly. Chew slowly; very slowly, especially. Using the "slow down" technique can help someone prone to overating from over-doing it.
I lead a weight loss support and discussion group that meets once a week in Dublin, called the Tri-Valley Weight Loss Team. It is free and open to the public. For more info, call (925) 788-6253.