In my experience people that are trying to lose weight fall into two categories.
1.) You have a significant amount of weight to lose. Counting your calories alone will make all the difference. Calories matter, the substance of what you're eating is not the main focus at this point. You will lose weight if you have a calorie deficit each day. The end.
2.) You have 10-20 pounds to lose. Most of the time this is the last portion of a long weight loss journey, leftover baby weight, etc. You will have a very difficult time trying to lose weight by eating crap: lean cuisines, weight loss shakes, starving yourself all day to binge eat all your calories at once, etc.
You MUST eat real food. At this point a calorie is not calorie. This means that your body needs the nutritional value of food to function properly, keep your metabolism high and burn fat. Food is FUEL for your body. Junk is not fuel. Food without labels is fuel (or VERY limited ingredients).
You all have heard me say this 100 times: "Your body is not made in the gym. It's made in the kitchen." And you roll your eyes, maybe because you don't know what to eat, you're confused as to what that really means or maybe it is because you are too lazy to give it a real try. Hannah, a faithful 5am bootcamper tells her 30 day story of giving it a go. The key thing here is that she gave it a solid 30 days. She said the first 10 were horrible, but that is key to me because that says she went from weekend to weekend. No cheat meals, no cheese dip, no margaritas.
Hannah decided to give eating the "right foods" a try. The Paleo diet isn't really a diet at all. It is often referred to as the cave man diet because you only eat food that grows or lives naturally. Plants and animals. Nothing processed.
When I lost my 55+ pounds I HAD to do this to see my abs again. There are times when it sucked and it was really the hardest thing to eat grilled chicken and broccoli.... AGAIN. But it is SO worth it. Read Hannah's account of her 30 day experience.
Please comment with any questions and I will answer to the best of my ability.