You've got so much advice already your head's probably spinning. The bottom line is 'go with what you can persist with'. I'm probably similar to you in many ways:
- I too found it problematic sticking to a diet for a long time
- I love my food!
- I hate doing exercise for exercise's sake
- Counting calories confuses the hell out of me
However, the NHS here in the UK runs a pretty good scheme to help people lose weight. It's not about restricting what you eat per se - more around reducing overall volume to match your activity.
Everyone's right that your activity has to be greater than your intake to lose weight. But the sustainable way of STARTING to do this:
- You need to reduce your stomach size - basically you eat too much. You want to eat something so bad you wolf it down in seconds. Get away from that - start to really taste your food and figure out what you love to eat & don't avoid it - embrace it. Just eat it alot slower. Chew your food like 30 times before swallowing. Drink water between mouthfuls so you taste the food properly each time. read or watch the stuff by Paul McKenna called 'I can make you thin'. I'm not a fan of hypnotists but this isn't hypnotism - it's simple logic. If you love food then really taste it and take your time over it and chew it well. That alone makes a HUGE difference. Do this for at least 2-3 weeks and your stomach will shrink and you'll automatically feel fuller with less food.
- You need to keep your general metabolism going higher. Once you get going with the first point, then you'll find yourself getting hungrier. Make sure you don't leave too long a gap between eating things - then you'll get overhungry and you'll over-eat. Breakfast, lunch, dinner - and maybe 1 snack between each of those. This should get your body generally more active and burning calories without you even doing anything special - ever wondered how some people can do no exercise and eat all they want but not get fat - similar concept. Try to eat dinner early - like 6-7pm and then not eat anything horrible in the evening. If you have to have desserts etc then do it in the daytime, so your body has time to process it properly. As soon as you hit the sack, it's going to fat!
- You need to keep a food diary and spot what you're doing right/wrong. It's not calorie counting, but it's close. Once you're getting the hang of point 1, you need to balance your diet. Increase your veg/fruit intake to match your meats. Decrease your meats & carbs drastically. Decrease fats and dairy too. This is easily said by everyone but the way to do it is only eat the things you love and eat it slow - that way you WILL reduce these things. Your food diary will keep you honest and track how your weight changes week to week with your efforts on what food you've eaten.
I'm no guru, but this is what's worked for me. Good luck.