Girl refuse to eat cake. Isolated.

Girl refuse to eat cake. Isolated.

From co-workers with candy on their desks to that daily drive past a favorite fast food joint, there are plenty of negative influences to successful weight loss.

Keeping these influences at bay is a challenge for many. But it doesn't have to be as hard as it sounds.

"The most important thing is planning," says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, a registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association spokesperson in Cleveland, Ohio. "Folks need to be ready to make time to plan meals, plan a grocery shopping list, plan on when to get to the store and when to prepare meals." Jamieson-Petonic and Dr. Barbara J. Moore of Shape Up America! offered these other tips to keep negative influences from derailing a weight loss program.

How does one co-exist with co-workers who are not eating healthy or exercising?

"It's OK that you have a goal to lose weight and eat healthy and your co-workers do not," Jamieson-Petonic says. "I encourage my clients to keep telling themselves that they are doing this for themselves and no one else.

"This will help them feel better, have more energy and help them stay healthy to take care of themselves and their families. It's not selfish, it's self-preservation."

Jamieson-Petonic also encourages her clients to bring plenty of healthy foods and snacks to work "so that they are not tempted by the co-workers that have candy at thier desks, are selling cookies and sugary snacks for their child or who feel the need to let you know that you should just "forget trying to lose weight.'" Dried fruits, trans-fat-free peanut butter, nuts, whole grain crackers and fresh fruits and veggies are some of the foods to bring to the office that will aid success, not failure, Jamieson-Petonic says.

How does one co-exist with family members that aren't trying to lose weight?

"When it comes to healthy eating, start by offering to do the cooking — including shopping for ingredients — so that meals are healthier and tasty at the same time," says Moore, whose Clyde Park, Mont. organization was founded by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to raise awareness about obesity. "Once you can demonstrate that healthy meals taste good, you will get converts. Once you have your converts, you can share the work." But when it comes to exercise, Moore says, "be prepared to go it alone because it may turn out that no one in your family will go with you on a walk or a jog, or to the gym. Seek out some new friends who are interested in exercise. Build at least a portion of your social life that is focused on exercise." How can someone keep a big meal out from triggering a week-long eating binge?

"Ask yourself if you had fun. If the answer is 'Eyes', then don't berate yourself," Moore suggests. "If the answer is 'Eno' then try journaling.

"Journaling is a process of introspection through writing that will help you better understand what you did and why. It will also help you plan what to do about it. As you write, work toward identifying just one thing that you did right and be sure to write that down. Now think of how you can build on that success." How should a person deal with that daily drive past the fast food joint that tests willpower?"

"Plan ahead so that you always have healthy snacks handy," Moore says. "They can carry you across rough spots in the day when you may be tempted to stray. Make sure that the foods and snacks are truly enjoyable or this strategy won't work." "Find a new route to work so you don't have to pass by," Jamieson-Petonic says. "Why tempt yourself? In other situations, try having a big healthy breakfast with whole grain oatmeal, fresh fruit or an egg white omelet at home so you won't be tempted." What are the best ways people can avoid or manage temptations or situations that can sabotage their diet?

"Use meditation or some other practice to stay centered and focused on your own goals," Moore says. "Find an ally who is struggling with the same issues. Make some new friends with values and goals you share to share the journey with you." "I ask clients to eat every 3 to 4 hours to prevent getting too hungry and making unhealthy decisions," Jamieson-Petonic says. "It's when we wait too long to eat that we have the most trouble making good decisions. That's where planning comes into play."