I read your column religiously, but I still find myself falling off track and not eating clean. I know psychology is a big part of staying on track. Are there any techniques you can share to help me avoid the magnetic pull of temptation?

— Cortina B., Ventura

Each week I share insights into helping others win at weight loss. Over the last couple of years I have walked readers through the food triangle of what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat. All of the necessary nutritional components have been covered. So your question is timely and I look forward to taking a stab at it.

Just do it

As you have experienced, winning at weight loss is not about just doing it. You and I both know all too well the temptation of tasty treats and favorite childhood foods. When it’s not the foods of our past, it’s the temptation that comes in the form of social pressure. More than likely, we have all faced, or will face at some point, the pressure of others wanting us to eat in a way that would make them feel comfortable but would require us to go against our decision to be healthy.

Regardless of outside influence, it is ultimately our decision to give in to temptation. Because this is the case, we beat ourselves up for indulging, for not exercising, and for losing focus of our weight loss goals.

No longer. It is time to take the information that I provide you with and to put it into practice. It is time to win at weight loss. As the Greek philosopher Plato said so brilliantly, “If people would move the world, they must first move themselves.” I agree, and it begins with the food we consume.

You are fully aware that nutrition that nourishes your body is essential in winning at weight loss; however, it is how you move (exercise) that changes your body’s chemistry. Adding exercise to your strategy is how you are going to position yourself to maximize fat loss and it is your nutrition that will support your efforts.

Go ahead and fake it

If you are still unsure and falling prey to merely knowing more of what to do, but continuing not to do what you know, consider this: It’s okay to fake it until you make it. What I mean by this is that, as actors are known for feeling their way into acting, you can act your way into feeling.

I want you to play the role of one who is aware of the magnetic pull of temptation and of all the challenges that come with following through with eating healthily, and doing it regardless of how difficult it may appear. You are going to be successful and it begins with taking action on what you are aware of.

If it takes reading past columns two or three times, then read those parts two or three times. You are in no rush. When it comes to your life and winning at weight loss, baby steps are a big part of your success strategy. Nonetheless, baby steps don’t mean no steps.

Remember: one step at a time.