Ok. So, I'm not a fitness guru, I'm not a trainer, I don't know everything. I'm going to give pointers that are working for me.
Find a gym that is easy to get to. "Easy to get to" is more important than almost any other consideration. You will not go if it's a pain in the rear to get there or you have to do something you wouldn't normally be doing anyway. My gym is at the mid way point between my house and work. I drive past it, so there's no excuse and if I feel lazy I feel like a bag of crap passing by it. I tried the "better" gym, and it was better, much better, when I managed to drag my @55 out of bed and drive across town to go there.
I go in the morning before work. After a day of work the last thing you want to do is go to the gym and if you do go you're likely to slack because you've had a crap day and just want to get it over with. It's hard, ridiculously hard, at first but becomes necessary very quickly (you'll feel horrible if you don't do it once you're used to it). No excuses, go to bed as early as you need to, pack your lunch and gym bag the night before (I pack my gym bag when I get home from work and swap out my dirty clothes and towel for clean stuff). Your 45m-1hr at the gym is an extension of your work day. You are to be there at a certain time, schedule it.
Your gym bag should always be ready to go and visible at the front door. It reminds you that you need to go, and reduces the barrier to entry effect.
Going to the gym in the morning will help with the drinking. After a week or two of trying to get yourself motivated you'll find you don't drink as much simply because it makes your morning that much harder. (fyi alcohol encourages estrogen production which limits muscle growth)
The gym washroom just became your new grooming station. You do everything you would do in the morning there, shave etc, you no longer shower at home. It’s all about reducing barrier to entry. All of your habits should lead to the gym being the place you need to be for that 45-1hr period.
Eat a small breakfast BEFORE you go to the gym. By small I mean half a little kiddie bowl of Vector cereal, or some fruit. Cantaloupe is fantastic here as your body doesn’t need to digest it. It’s instant energy due to the dextrose that it naturally contains, have it pre cut up in containers in the fridge so you can grab and go if you’re in a hurry. You are not trying to fill yourself here (nothing worse than working out on a full stomach) just put something in your stomach to give you an energy boost during your workout. I cannot stress enough how important this is and you won’t realize it until you try it a few times. You’ll be able to do more with the same amount of effort. Eat a larger breakfast afterwards. I alternate between picking up a sandwich at the deli in the mall where my gym is and bringing something yummy in my gym bag.
Only have food in the house that is stuff you should be eating. Unhealthy choices are ok occasionally, but don’t have 2 bags of chips in the cupboard, you will eat them before you will take the time to make something better. Peanuts are good.
Buy bottled water, keep it in the fridge. Keep your beer in the cupboard. This solves two issues. 1 You will drink cold bottled water instead of other options as long as it’s in the fridge in front of your face as it’s easy to grab. 2 you will drink bottled water because it’s cold and your beer is warm and in the cupboard. (There’s a pattern developing here)
I have tons more detail to add here but short on time. Ultimately the trick is to make the things that are bad for you less attractive than the things that are good for you without flat out depriving yourself. Have the beer in the house so you don’t buy some on the way home, but have it in the cupboard so you have to make a conscious decision to put it in the fridge to drink in a couple of hours (you’ve just destroyed the impulse buy part of the habit which is the only tough part to break)
I’ve dropped 20 lbs over the last few months, and that’s while gaining probably 4-5 lbs of muscle, and I don’t work out that hard. Most days I’m on the treadmill walking 4 mile/hr on a 5 degree uphill slope because I’m too lazy to do anything else but it keeps me showing up for the days I’m “ready to go” and want to be more adventurous. I go every day with few exceptions. I even get up on the weekends just to maintain my body’s schedule so I don’t skip during the week.
Don’t worry about the numbers, they don’t really matter, you’ll know you’re doing well when you look in the mirror and there’s nothing better than tying your shoes without huffing and puffing.
ALWAYS remember the gym is not an option it’s a part of your daily schedule, you can’t skip it to accommodate some mundane task.