I am in much the same boat as you, overweight most of my life, I weight around 170 pounds at age 12, and to say the least, I was not happy. I am now 16 years old, 136 pounds, and quite content with the way I look. Overall, the biggest lesson I had to learn, is that unless I DECIDE to be happy with the way I look, it will never matter how much I weigh. The ' I eat because I'm unhappy, I'm unhappy because I eat' mentality is a recipe for failure, you're caught in a viscous cycle, no one wins. Though, I will give you a few tips to help.
* please note, these are by no means scientifically proven, or clinically tested, this is only what helped me in my years*
1. go with your strengths, in everything you do. For a diet, go over what you like and dislike doing, and pick a diet accordingly.
For example, I absolutely ADORE pre-planning, charts, and graphs. I chose a diet that enabled me to do these things. I have the time of my life planning out and creating a chart for the following day's food choices, this is what keeps me going happily. In the past, I purposefully chose to do things because they yielded results - diet ' eat no food' produced the highest rating, who cares if I'm miserable following it? Needless to say I didn't get anywhere. This habit should be avoided. The same goes for exercise- don't choose an exercise that you won't want to do. If you find something you like, you'll be able to continue with it happily
2. Replace THEN reduce ( if necessary )
Another downfall of mine, I make rash decisions. I'd go from junk food to a juice diet in a day, or from fast food to all veggies the next. This has never worked out. I found the most results when I made this transition gradually. I'd record my day's normal intake, the next I'd eliminate the WORST foods, and replace them with a healthy alternative. If I have bacon and eggs for breakfast, it'd turn into turkey bacon and egg whites + veggies, If I have a burger for lunch, it turns into a chicken burger w/ a whole wheat bun & veggies. If I have spaghetti & sauce for dinner, it turns into spaghetti squash, etc. this will keep you full while giving your body the chance to get used to different types of foods. If you are still eating quite a bit, you can then cut down on portions or cut down on snacks ( if you feel it necessary )
3. snacks shouldn't be a mini meal.
A snack should be healthy, small, and minimal. No small meals. A handful of almonds, an orange, some peppers, etc.
4. If you're starving for only a certain type of food, you aren't actually hungry.
This is what I do constantly, I'll sulk up the a [full] fridge, look inside and despite the fact that I'm (apparently) STARVING, the veggie tray, the salad ingredients, or any healthy food, does not qualify in my books. This goes along with cravings and food addictions.
Water is key for a healthy life style. Always have a water bottle of cold water at hand, and when you feel that ' I'm starving but only a cookie will satisfy me " feeling, drink some water.
6. Learn to wait
Despite what your hunger is telling you, having to wait for a meal is NOT going to kill you. This has, and still is, my hardest habit to deal with. When I was a kid, If I decided I'm hungry, I'm eating NOW. Toast takes 2 minutes to cook, yet I insisted on eating a 2nd piece of bread while I wait. Every meal, no matter how soon I may get it, required an appetizer. This is a terrible habit to get into, learn to wait.
Sorry for the novel! Send me a message if you ever want to chat! Loosing weight on your own is never easy!
" If the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason." ~ Hugo Cabret