I have had my share of battles with weight. I have found that there are two systems that really work, and they can both be turned into a lifestyle instead of just a short term weight loss diet.
The New Beverly Hills diet, by Judy Mazel
This diet could also be called the pineapple diet. Judy Mazel's system is based on the fact that different foods are digested at different rates. Fruit, if eaten alone, is digested out of the stomach within an hour. Vegetables and carbohydrates take a little longer to digest. Meat and dairy can take many hours for the stomach to digest, around six hours for many meats.
Many days on Judy Mazel's diet are all fruit days. Other days are fruit in the morning and for lunch, then carbohydrates and vegetables or meats and dairy at night. By mixing the "food groups," the faster digesting food is trapped with the slower digesting food, so she recommends one "food group" at a time except for special occasions.
I had success with this diet as a teenager, and have referred back to the book several times since then. This is an expensive diet, as she fills days with expensive fruits, but the general concept can be practiced with frugal alternatives. It is also expensive because you end up eating a lot of food.
The Low Carb, High Protein Diet
My husband has maybe lost too much weight since we started going lower carb and cut out all the sugar from our diet. That is why he eats all of our dinner leftovers, which have a higher amount of carbs. He snacks on homemade sausage to stay full longer.
We eat a high protein breakfast, which keeps us full for most of the morning. Most of what I eat during the day is meat or eggs, with some carrot bread or an apple or banana. Then at supper, we have a somewhat more balanced meal of carbs and meat.
By eating protein throughout the day, I am full longer and eat much less over all than most people. I save most of the day's carbs for the evening meal. For my husband and I, the goal is to have half of our day's food be protein and the other half be fat and carbs, which includes fruit and vegetables.
I have taken what I have learned through Judy Mazel's system and applied it in reverse so that we eat less overall. Eating protein first in the day means you're stomach has food in it longer. Starting your day with carbs means you'll be hungry again soon. For us, even starting our day with a balanced meal of protein and carbs means we'll be hungry again sooner.
On a side note, my mother has been on a low carb diet for decades and only eats a large dinner. Occasionally she'll have lunch on the weekends and makes breakfast on Easter. This is an extreme lifestyle, in my opinion, but it works for her and goes along with the idea that you eat less overall if you eat more protien.
My Weight Loss
I just had a baby, so weight loss is on my mind. I gained far too much weight when I was pregnant with Daniel, my first, but lost much of it before I became pregnant with Bobby. With Bobby I didn't gain as much, but I became pregnant with Tommy before shedding most of that weight, so I have a little way to go.
I am already down to my pre-Thomas-pregnancy weight, though, and am confident that it won't be long before I am down to my pre-all-pregnancy weight. How have I done this? First, I didn't gain as much weight in this pregnancy, as I was still a little overweight to begin with. Second, I eat when I'm hungry and I don't eat when I'm not hungry. That's basically how I define grazing. Due to all the protein I eat, this means I consume a much smaller volume of food than most people. I drink a ton of water and my milk production hasn't been affected; Thomas is getting big.
Having to carry two babies, all of my general housework and cooking, and the walks we take give me plenty of physical exercise. If I feel like I need more, we have a small stepper I use in the morning before the kids get up.
I never deny myself when I feel hunger pangs for either budgetary or weight-loss reasons. I trust my body and know that it is better in the long run for both the budget and my weight if I listen to it now.