My mission is to lose 85 pounds in 20 weeks. I'm not going to make it.
I have lost 62 pounds in 15 weeks. That has earned me quite a bit of attention, and many people have asked for my "secret." Regular readers of this series may suspect my answer already, but I tell everyone the same thing: You must want to lose the weight more than just about anything else. There are many ways to turn that into a pretty slogan, but I've resisted them. "You must want to lose the weight more than you want to remain fat" is a little too "cute," while "You must want to lose the weight more than you want to eat" gives the wrong impression entirely. It really needs to be a priority worth reordering your life.
It did not start out that way with me, though, and that is where the low-carb, low-calorie diet helps. As long as you can commit for a relatively short amount of time, say two weeks, a low-carb, low-calorie diet should ensure you will lose a good amount, maybe even 5% of your total body weight! I lost a simply ridiculous amount of weight that first week, and I still can't explain it, but it sure made it easy to loosen my grip on food!
My wife has lost 31 pounds in seven weeks, and that's after already having been on another diet on which she lost five pounds in five weeks. Usually the first week of dieting is the most effective, primarily because of "water weight." My wife missed that first-week effect, and still lost so much in the first couple of weeks on this diet that she has decided to stick with it. She is now almost as dedicated as I am, after initially refusing to even consider the diet.
Of course, I'm not a doctor nor even a nutritionist, and the way it worked for my wife and I (and my mother and my father) may not be the way it works for you.
One thing I can say, though: picking nearly any diet plan and deciding to stick with it will help you. No, that chocolate truffle is not worth it. No, you do not need that slice of pizza. No, you can try that new flavor of Doritos after you're thin, by which time just a few chips ought to be quite enough. Before you start, everything sounds like it will be miserable. You think of all the things you will miss, and how awful that will be. Once you're losing weight, none of that matters nearly as much as being thinner. If you are like me, you'll find yourself sleeping better, and feeling fantastic. Clothes that had somehow shrunk in the wash on you will fit again. Even my severe allergy symptoms almost completely disappeared (This may be more the result of avoiding certain foods than just losing weight; I don't know). There is simply no way to compare the entirely trivial consequences of missing out on certain foods to the profound benefits of losing weight. The challenge is that the consequences start immediately, while it takes a few weeks — even on this diet — for the benefits to become obvious.