No, the trick is as follows: come up with ways to make exercise and healthy eating a sustainable part of your life. Gasp! Yes, you've probably heard that a million times. But if you're still having trouble making this happen, this time I want you to actually look at your routine and daily choices and start making changes! Seriously...get pencil and paper.
First, choose an online calorie counter and download the app for your phone (or laptop or PC). Give it the very basic info it needs in order to tell you how many calories you should consume each day to lose (or gain) the weight you want. Most also give guidelines for nutritional values as well, so you can see if your sodium or saturated fats are off the charts.
Then...and this is a biggie...USE. IT. EVERY. DAY. Apps like these have made it SO simple to know where you stand every day in terms of diet that real excuses fade away.
Next, look at your schedule and carve out a half hour two to three times a week for strength training. Find a certified personal trainer (I know a few!) for guidance in crafting a program, or do enough research on your own to find a basic, full-body program and become VERY comfortable with proper form. With proper programming you can get a great workout with nothing but your bodyweight.
Finally, either find a way to carve out similar time periods for cardio - anything that gets your heart pumping (jogging, swimming, cycling) that you will actually stick with and not hate - or worst case scenario, simply sprinkle in as many little walks throughout your day as you can.
Remember, circuit training can combine the benefits of both strength AND cardio work...that's why it's a fave of mine when working with clients.
Make a written agreement with yourself to take these steps, if that helps. Schedule - yes, on your calendar - your workouts. Examine what's kept you from doing these things in the past, and eliminate those roadblocks. Don't be overwhelmed! Chip away at it, but be consistent in each change you make. It may not be overnight, but look at what you'll have done: you'll be accountable for your calories and eating with a purpose, you'll be instructing your body to build and maintain lean muscle mass while losing fat, and you'll strengthen your heart and lungs. (There's actually a ton of benefits but jeez...this is just one blog entry.)
That, my friends, is what it's all about. If you make fitness a priority and cover the basics on a consistent basis, the results will come. Plan, and execute.