A dieter emailed me about difficulties she had “arranging her environment,” to keep tempting foods out of sight, out of mind, at home and in the workplace. She’s a waitress and wanted to know if I had any extra advice for someone who can’t help but be bombarded by the sight of delicious, fattening foods for several hours a day.

This is what I suggested:

It’s important to create a diet plan that includes a favorite food at least once a day. Probably it’s best to wait to eat this food until you’re home at night. Then throughout the day, when you’re tempted by other food, you can say to yourself, “It’s okay. I’m not going to eat THIS food, but I’ll eat my favorite food tonight.” Also, every time you resist eating food you hadn’t planned (at the restaurant or anywhere), give yourself lots of credit. (“It’s so great that I’m sticking to my plan.”) Other techniques, such as reading your list of reasons to lose weight a couple of times while at the restaurant, will probably help, too.