My theory is that the best way to lose weight is through diet and exercise. To work the diet has to include foods you like to eat . All carbs, no carbs, packaged food in the mail, special shakes, etc etc etc may help you lose weight but it's hard for me to understand how you can expect to maintain for a prolonged period. I am also not one to go in front of a group of strangers and tell them how much I weigh or to cheer on someone I barely know because he/she lost 2 pounds last week.
A few days ago I found an iPhone App that that looks great for me. It is named Lose It!. When you get started you enter your age, weight and goal. You also specify how fast you want to lose the weight with a maximum of two pounds per week. The app then calculates how many calories you can eat per day, if you do no exercise. Then each day you enter EVERYTHING you eat and any special exercise that you do. It then shows you how many more calories you can have that day and still maintain your goal.
At this time Lose It is free. So far I have not been bothered by annoying ads or attempts to up sell me. I have also found it easy to enter the data.
Obviously this is similar to keeping a food diary of everything you eat. However it is easier since you generally have the iPhone with you so no need to carry a notebook or to try to remember later just what you ate. Just entering the data helps control what you eat. Do you really need that candy bar knowing what it will add to your calories consumed? Likewise, you see how you can reward yourself after doing some exercise. You can also use it for planning, if I a snack now can I still have a glass of wine later?
Lose It! has a web site where you can establish an account to back up your information. You can also use nutrient information for foods but I have not bothered with that feature as yet. There may be more features that I have not yet discovered.
I am sure that there are other similar apps. If so I would like to hear about them. Lose It! seems great for me.