Losing weight, at least on paper, is a simple process. There's only one rule you need to follow to shed those pounds: burn more calories than you eat. There are two steps you can take to put this rule into effect: eat less and exercise more, there's nothing else that will help you lose weight.
There are a lot of people that say diets simply don't work and those people are right and wrong. A diet is a state in which you decrease your calorie intake to lose weight. Some people see a diet as temporary, "I'll go on a diet, lose some weight and then go back to my old habits." In this sense a diet doesn't work. As soon as you go back to your old ways, the weight will come right back and you'll have to go on another diet to lose the weight all over again.
Permanent Lifestyle Change
If you use a diet as a permanent lifestyle change, then it'll work a lot better. Instead of thinking of a diet as a way to lose weight, think of it as a way to get healthy. Start off slowly. Making changes to your lifestyle quickly won't give you enough time to get used to them. Instead of simply cutting calories, focus on replacing unhealthy foods with healthy ones.
Cook instead of buying processed, ready to eat meals, eat more fruits as snacks instead of junk, cut out high calorie drinks such as fruit juices and soda and replace them with water and, eat foods high in fiber, vitamins and minerals (fruits, vegetables, brown rice, whole wheat bread/pasta, oats).
The Bottom Line
Once you make these changes (8 Steps to Improving Your Eating Habits) you'll notice your calorie intake will decrease and the weight will start to come off. If you think of a diet as something that you have to deal with for a few weeks, you'll be disappointed in the long run. Change your lifestyle instead of going on a diet.