A couple of years back, I lost about thirty pounds myself. That makes me seem to have been massive, but my body has an equal-distribution policy which many fat people have called “progressive” so while I was definitely out-of-shape, I didn’t look too bad. I didn’t really set out to lose the weight, either - it just sort of happened. Here’s more or less what I did. By the way, I’m not professing to understand anything about the weight cycles of the human body, just summarizing my experience.
Stopped drinking all forms of soft drinks. The soft drinks were a killer to me and once I was off them, I didn’t miss the fizzy sugar syrup at all, since all they do is make you feel thirstier. Instead, I now drink massive amounts of water - at least two gallons a day. And while I enjoy the occasional Coke or something, I don’t really crave them and never keep them in the house anymore. This was actually probably the biggest step. Drinking Coke is a bad habit, not really a craving.
I’ve always enjoyed walking, but in the evenings, I’d light up my pipe and go for a simple hour’s walk. This is actually a good idea for even people who don’t want to lose weight or keep in shape, just because it stimulates ideas.
I stopped snacking and adopted the European model of eating (I was living in Belgium at the time), with a nice meal at around 1 or 2 and then a small cheese sandwich in the evening. Most of these meals were vegetarian. Having an entire day to burn off most of the food you have eaten makes a lot of difference, and, though I enjoy meat, a vegatarian-emphasized diet makes you feel lighter after a meal and also helps with “regularity”.
I never ate so much that I was “full”, just satisfied. Actually, even now, I can’t understand why I used to eat to the point where I just felt stuffed and bloated. It is incredibly unappealing. Yet just a few years ago, I could eat a large pizza all by myself.
There were other things that helped, including a tour through the Middle East carrying a 50 pound backpack at all times, but those were the main lifestyle changes I unconsciously made. I remember in horror the idea of a “diet” a few years back, but once I switched into it, it was amazing how little impact it had on my life. I still eat anything I want - the difference is that instead of going out for lunch and wanting to gorge myself on a double quarter pounder with cheese, fries and a milk-shake, I now tend to crave a salad, a light sandwich and a glass of wine. I very rarely get a craving for snacks and when I do, I would tend to make myself a cheese sandwich or eat a couple of cookies instead of drinking a two-liter bottle of coke and an entire bag of Doritos. I also don’t work out besides an evening walk, and although I’m probably 5 pounds heavier than I ideally should be, I’m not in bad shape and I know I could probably lose those 5 pounds if I gave up on my addiction to cappucinos.
Really, the vast majority of people are fat because they have terrible eating habits. Change those and you’ll be all set. I myself didn’t find changing them to be that hard. Good luck!