Joe Cross, producer of "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead," traveled from New York to California to talk to Americans about their weight.
He was 310 pounds and taking six pills a day. Cross went on a plant-food-juice fast, giving up burgers, beer, sodas and cigarettes.
"A lot of people feel helpless. They feel lost, but surprisingly, they didn't blame anybody else except themselves," Cross said.
Cross made a documentary about his weight loss and established the website RebootYourLife to encourage others to make changes.
Out of the 4,000 people who screened the movie, half joined the Reboot.
Many experts feel a juice fast is drastic, but hospital dietician Stacy Kennedy said she liked that Cross went right toward nutrition.
After juicing, he ate plant-based foods, and then moved to a sensible diet, losing nearly 100 pounds.
"It's like going to the top of the mountain, and the view is just fantastic," Cross said.
North Hollywood resident Gregg McBride, who wrote "Just Stop Eating So Much," used to wear a 60-inch belt.
"I tried every diet there was, and at my heaviest, I was over 450 pounds," he said.
"I found that I was so off base that I really didn't know what a regular meal was. I was eating for two or three people," McBride said.
He said he shed his pounds by just using common sense: Measure portions, eat small meal throughout the day and limit carbs - but don't deny all treats.
"None of us got fat from one cookie. None of us got fat from one piece of cake," McBride said.
He started walking for exercise and said goodbye to self loathing.
"A big part of it is loving yourself," McBride said. "If you've lost five pounds, you're doing something that even models have a hard time doing, so celebrate that, build up your self esteem."
Along with Cross and McBride's tips, the findings of the National Weight Control Registry are also helpful. It's a website of over 5,000 people that have lost over 30 pounds - and kept it off
It includes eating breakfast daily, weighing in at least once weekly, watching less than 10 hours of TV a week and exercising about an hour a day.
Screening of "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" will be at these theaters next week:
Laemmle Claremont 5 Claremont, CA
Laemmle Town Center 5 Encino, CA
Laemmle Playhouse 5 Pasadena, CA
Laemmle Monica 4 Santa Monica, CA
Laemmle Sunset West Hollywood, CA