The two things that have helped me the most are getting in the kitchen to cook, and planning ahead.
Since I don't always want (or have time) to cook everyday, I make batches of foods on weekends, divvy them into containers, and freeze them. Here is a link
explaining exactly how I freeze some of the foods.
Ideas for really tasty meals can be found all over, but my favorite recipe websites are www.skinnytaste.com
, and www.peanutbutterandpeppers.com
To put a meal plan in place, I first started with actually writing it down. Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Snack and a calorie total at the end. As time went on, I could tweak my days according to my hunger. If you don't need all of those snacks, get rid of them and add more food to your meals. If you're hungrier in the morning, eat more food then and less at night. It's all a balance. I find that planning ahead with what you will eat is so much easier than eating something on the fly, then trying to figure out how to tweak the rest of your day after the fact, especially when you're just beginning.
For example, a meal plan for 1800 calories/day could look like this:
I have no idea what your stats are, but let's go back to the 1800 calorie number. This is what a real, balanced day's meals could look like for you, especially if you like to eat often:
BREAKFAST: 2 egg (140) omelette with mixed non-starchy veggies (20), 1/4 cup 2% cheese (80), 2 pieces center cut bacon (70), high fiber English muffin (90) = 400 calories
SNACK:1T peanut butter (95), 1 large apple (115) = 210 calories
LUNCH:1 steak and cheese sandwich with onions (350) = 350 calories
SNACK:3 cups of popcorn (93), 2T melted butter spread (100) = 193 calories
DINNER:Fettuccine alfredo with bacon (339), sauteed spinach (68) = 407 calories
SNACK:1 piece of peanut butter pie (216) = 216 calories
Your total day comes out to 1776!
For exercise, you can start slow. If you don't exercise much now, start going for an after dinner walk. As time goes on, you will probably want to do more and more.
Good luck! There are many different forums here with a lot of great advice