I turned 40 recently, and I decided I wanted to lose a few pounds.  My wife had done Weight Watchers a year ago and had a good experience with it, so I decided to give it a try.  The thing about my normal "diet" is that it's not hard to point to the foods that have caused me to gain a little weight over the years:  pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, alcohol, etc.  I work out regularly, but as the adage says, "Losing weight starts in the kitchen." 

So I signed up for Weight Watchers and started tracking my food intake.  Instead of tracking strictly calories or even fat/carbs/protein, Weight Watchers uses a points system which assigns you a certain number of points per day, with each meal or snack deducting from that point total.  Except that certain foods count as zero points, such as vegetables, fruit, lean meat, eggs, and a few other things depending on your particular plan.  Fatty foods, pretty much all carbs, and alcohol count as points, depending on their type and amount.  What this means is that you're incentivized to eat a bunch of zero-point foods while carefully choosing where you spend your points budget.  For example, a whole grain wrap for a chicken burrito costs about as much as a beer, so if I want to eat well, I might have to skip the beer. 

This was not a starvation diet.  At no point was I ever really hungry.  There were times when I was unsatisfied, but I was able to find some foods like apples and carrots that took away my cravings. 

The points system sounds like it won't work because you're not directly tracking calories, but it sort of works like magic.  It's a little annoying to have to trust a system whose internals you don't fully understand, but at the same time it's mentally easier to understand the cost of a 4-point beer in a 20-point program versus a 130-calorie beer in a 2200-calorie diet.  The math is just simpler. 

Long story short, I lost two pounds per week for about two months straight, and I'm down 18 lbs and counting. #lifestyle