Late update incoming!
Two weeks down and my first weigh in has come and gone. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had lost 9.3 lbs!
It's hard to pick out any one thing to attribute my success so far to but if I had to pick my top reason I would say it would be my calorie counting. Counting calories has really made me evaluate what I eat and has made me realize that so many of my meals were far bigger than they needed to be. It also helped with snacking because I would look at my calories and think hmm, if I only need these many calories and I'm already at my limit, am I actually hungry? Most often the answer is no but for the few times that it isn't I have some small snacks to satisfy those little cravings.
I've also changed the way I buy food as well. Instead of buying one large item and getting a good deal I've instead been buying a greater number of smaller items. I know that I wind up spending more this way but I also know myself and that my own lack of self control would cause me to eat the entire stash. But, if I buy smaller portions I can eat a single grab a single portion, walk away, and then the cravings are easier to control.
Some people reading this have pointed out that counting calories doesn't mean you're eating better. You could eat nothing but pizza in small amounts and theoretically stay under your calorie limit but a diet of pizza alone would be extremely unhealthy. These people are 100% right and this is by no means a diet guide. This is my own personal experience and I visited a doctor to learn if there was anything I should be watching out for. In my case it was the sheer number of calories that was the greatest danger so that is my starting focus. Once that is under control I can work on other parts of my diet like lowering my salt intake for example.
I suppose the number one take way from this should be that before starting any changes in your diet you should visit a doctor to see if there's anything you need to keep an eye out for. Assuming that you're in the same situation as me and weight alone is your biggest hurdle then counting calories is the way to go!
What I've learned:
-Buy a greater number of smaller items to help fight snacking.
-My body sometimes snacks out of habit, keep an eye on those calories to know if your body needs the food or not.