I am sure there will be a lot of people here who will disagree with me, but I lost a ton of weight without even thinking much about it on a low carb/paleo diet. Essentially, you cut modern foods from your diet and eat how our ancestors ate (you know, before we had weight problems like we do today). I ate as much as I wanted and lost 20 lbs in less than 2 months. I felt great, slept better, had way more energy and was a happier person (no joke!). I tend to be logic driven, and the lifestyle (I won’t call it a diet) made the most sense from an anthropological and biological standpoint to me.
The details: I cut industrialized vegetable oils (canola oil, soybean oil, etc), all grains (wheat, corn, etc), white potatoes and sugar. This sounds like it would be hard to do, but when you are trading them for ribeyes and roasted broccoli and as much cream in your coffee as your little heart desires it is freeing! At the beginning, I tracked my carb intake and tried to keep it below 30 net carbs, just to see what a low carb day would “look like”. After that, I just winged it. After a few days, I realized my body learned to feel satiated, a feeling I hadn’t felt in years eating potatoes and wheat! It felt awesome!
This was about a year ago, and after I lost the 20 pounds, I went to a more moderate approach. I now eat a lot more carbs (sweet potatoes, root veggies, honey, fruit) and occasionally will have a bun on my burger or a dessert. I try to follow a moderate approach to the lifestyle. I have actually lost a few more pounds without trying.
I love the way I eat! It is so delicious and satisfying. I wish I could tell everyone about it. When my fiancee and I moved in together in August, he started eating that way out of convenience, and he lost almost 40 pounds! He was really “fat” to begin with, just a little stocky (he is 6’4″ though), but he feels great. Everyone acts like I am depriving him because we don’t eat bread. He always responds “How could I feel deprived when I’m eating pot roast smothered in horseraddish sauce with a side of roasted sweet potato fries and a glass of red wine??”.
You should watch “Fat Head” if you’re worried about the low carb approach and health. It’s available for free on Hulu.