The most important things to do are to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet and get more exercise. You must reduce the amount of white breads, sugar, pasta, in your diet. Notice I said reduce, not eliminate. If you are getting at least 5 or more servings of fruits and veggies daily, you will create less room for processed foods. After a few weeks of eating more lean meats, vegetables, and fruits, you will find your cravings for sweets and high carb foods, not as urgent or frequent. With the convenience and popularity of processed foods laden with sugars, chemicals, etc., it is no wonder more people find themselves overweight. Manufacturers add a lot of things that aren't good for you to make you come back for more. These things take a toll on your weight and health over time.
Do not utilize fad or overly restrictive diets. I wrote a hub about losing weight that goes into more detail but each time you quickly lose weight particularly if you're very restrictive in your calories or food groups, you will be slowing your metabolism and losing muscle. Muscle is valuable in losing weight and women do not bulk up like the hulk when lifting weights for just 30 minutes or so 3 times a week.
If you fear lifting weights for this reason, understand that you would have to lift for at least a couple hours several times a week for several months to get bulky in addition to changing your diet to promote muscle growth. Extremely restrictive diets slow your metabolism by signaling your body to hold onto every calorie because it doesn't know when it will see a substantial meal. Compounding this is that you lose muscle when dieting and not doing strength training or lifting weights.