First of all, best of luck! Second of all, here’s what worked for me. I’m not an expert, or any kind of authority at all for that matter, but I found the following helpful. Apologies in advance if I’m just telling you stuff you already know:
1). Accept that effective weight loss is a matter of combining healthy eating with aerobic exercise and strength training. These three components are like legs on a stool, if you take one away you’ll fall off.
2). Accept that thinking of your journey as a battle against your weight is counterproductive and self-defeating. If you constantly focus on fixing what you’re unhappy with about yourself you’ll always be unhappy. You’ll be unhappy when you’re training, you’ll be unhappy when you’re dieting, and, most of all, you’ll be unhappy when you don’t see results as quickly as you’d might like. Instead of thinking about losing weight, think about gaining strength, gaining stamina, improving your heart and lung function, gaining more energy, and living longer.
3). Stay away from the Internet. There’s tons of great health and fitness info out there, but there’s also tons of unmitigated crap. In particular, stay away from fad “detox” diets that promise instant results. They’re all shit, the weight you’ll lose is mostly water, and you’ll just put it back on again once you start eating normally. Anyone who says different is either an idiot or a huckster after your money.
4). If you can’t cook, learn a few healthy recipes. You don’t need many, and I found that cooking was a really worthwhile skill to learn in its own right. Avoid cookbooks with the word ‘Diet’ in the title. They’re mostly hawking fads.
5). For aerobics, pick a sport you enjoy and stick with it. If you’re stuck, pick the one you enjoy the most, everything else be damned. Don’t worry about which ones burn fat fastest or anything like that. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick with it anyway. If you don’t enjoy any sports, just walk. Even that is better than nothing.
6). Try natural appetite suppressors to curb your cravings. They include: cold water (colder the better), black coffee, sugar-free gum, and peppermint tea. They’re all mild and have all been proven to help (studies available on request - typing on my phone). Personally, I found black coffee very helpful.
6). Incorporate more naturally filling foods into your diet. Anything high in fibre or protein is good. It takes longer to digest and keeps you fuller longer. Oatmeal is particularly good.
7). When exercising, start SLOWLY! Nothing is more likely to derail you than an early injury. Also, don’t just work the most visible muscles. Pay attention to your core. It may not do too much for your outward physique but it pays off in better posture and a reduced risk of injury. Since you have a bad back, I’d recommend a few sessions with a trainer to give you a tailored lifting program and, most importantly, to show you how to lift without aggravating your back. They don’t come cheap, but it’s a very good investment.
8). Make sure you eat enough. A good rule of thumb is the amount of calories you burn in a day minus 500. Doing that will lose you about a pound a week. Too much less and your metabolism slows down and it’s harder to achieve your goals. A pound a week may not sound like much, but this is a marathon, not a sprint. Go too quickly and you’ll just get pissed off and that’s a recipe for failure. A guy who sticks to a slow plan for a year will make 10 times as much progress as a guy who sticks to a maximally effective program for a couple of months and gives up in frustration. You’ve given me your height and weight. Assuming you exercise lightly 3 times a week, your calorie target is about 2,300 per day. You didn’t give your age, which I need for the most accurate calculation, so I just guessed at 40 (not that your posts gave me that idea!)
9). All things being equal, pick the routine which requires the least organisation.
10). Don’t give up!