First off, I'm pretty firmly of the opinions that dieting (mostly) doesn't work. While weight is a complex and not-thoroughly-understood issue, my intuition says that making excessive temporary changes is going to lead to (at best) temporary weight loss, and that's exactly what happens to most people with yo-yo dieting. Rather, I think that permanent weight loss comes from persistent lifestyle changes. To that end, I've been on something of a non-diet.
Rather than forcing myself into a specific set of rules, I'm making a habit to just generally eat better. Portion sizes are fairly high on the list of what I see as stupidity in the American diet, so I'm trying to make reasonable choices there-- order the small, not the large, and if it's bigger than I think it should be I don't eat all of it. I don't eat if I'm not hungry. I don't reach for a snacky candy bar every time I walk past the front desk at work. I'm trying to focus more on lean meats and vegetables and less on starches, and I'm mostly staying away from extras like cheese and high-calorie sauces. Nothing is verboten and there are no limits, but I'm trying to build better habits.
I'm also trying to exercise, but that's been a mixed bag.
So the other day I noticed that my jeans were a little bit loose. I happened to be passing by the store that I buy jeans at, so I stopped in and bought new ones-- the same style that I've been wearing, just one size smaller. I figured that they'd probably fit OK in a few weeks, if I stayed on the same path. When I got home I tried them on just to satisfy my curiosity, and they fit! It wasn't even close. Sweet!
While I'm not counting and limiting calories, I'm sort of halfway keeping track of what I eat. It's kind of like the Heisenberg diet-- the act of observation changes what's being observed. For me, it just forces me to pay a little better attention than I would otherwise. A little while ago I was feeling a bit munchy, so I did a quick mental rundown of my eating for the day. I was shocked that the number was in the range of 600-700 calories. I wasn't trying to eat that little, but that's what my body wanted today.
Well, it also wanted peach crisp, so I made one. Nom nom nom.