I'm going to weigh in here, having both personal experience and professional expertise on the matter--trained chef, former restauranteur, engineer, obsessive chow dog.
I'm 6'3", 235 pounds, body mass index for the first time in years less than clinically obese. I ain't yet skinny and likely never will be--but I'm holding my own as over a period of two years recently, I lost 60 pounds and have kept it off.
It was imperative to me that during that time and since that I continue to eat well. Its my essential nature. And I have, albeit a little differently than before.
Before You Start, Some Wisdom.
Probably the most important insight that I can share is that there are an infinite number of ways to lose weight. No one way is the magic path. What you have to do is find the way that works for you. If you are already taking diabetes medicines, your task has become that much more complex.
A little more wisdom: when it comes to weight and stature in general, there are only two kinds of people, differentiated by how we eat when undergoing stress. Those of us who reach for food when stressed are the fatties, while the second group, they get stressed, they don't eat for days.
Whichever you are, you already know. Me, I've taken to having some mint tea after dinner instead of a box of cookies. Diet cookies? Forget about it, tastes like *hit.
Preacher, Please, Let Me Now Testify.
I woke up one day, couldn't hardly fit in my clothes, found that I was tipping the scale at 295. It was either lose weight or buy more clothes.
First thing I did was eliminate desserts. No more cake/cookies/candy/ice cream. That helped. I lost a few pounds.
Then I got to thinking. Thinking about the fact that as far as our metabolism is concerned, our bodies quickly convert refined starches to sugar automatically. So in effect, eating refined starches such as bread, pasta, beer and so forth is for all intensive purposes the same as eating cookies and candy. Bing. No more refined starches.
To substitute the bulk that was missing, I ate pretty much any quantity I felt like of grilled meats and a ton of vegetables. Cabbage and leeks. Kabocha squash, tomatoes and pasilla chiles. Steamed broccoli. Roasted squash. Roasted sweet potatoes. Turnip greens, collards and kale. Fresh black eyed peas cooked with chicken stock and onion and a little garlic.
Bear in mind my (OUR, kimosabee--and LTH brethren)nature. I'm a chow dog, I MUST eat, and eat I did.
Over a period of two months, still, I lost about 20 pounds. Not bad, but I then hit a plateau.
During that time I woke up one day thinking some more about sugar. The ten watt bulb went on.
I googled 'glycemic index'. Found a wealth of info. Found that foods like stone fruit, potatoes, carrots, beets were high on the glycemic index. Doh. Why didn't I think of that? If you can make vodka and eau de vie from it, its got to have serious sugar. So eliminated all those foods. Still could eat unlimited watermelon--so for a month or so in the summer at the peak of the season, boy do I eat watermelon.
Lost another ten pounds, thirty pounds after five months. Down to 265. Hit another plateau.
Sometime in and around there I came across info about how we process complex (i.e. unrefined) carbohydrates differently from refined carbohydrates. As a result, switched breakfast from my lifelong bagel to steel cut oats (cook 'em like a grain) with dried wild dried blueberries (the dried cultivated kind were too sweet). Found that with this foundation, I could skip lunch.
Continued to lose about a pound to a pound and a half a week. Held level during the Thanksgiving/Xmas holidays (a serous victory), and while traveling. Never ate sandwiches at lunch, only salads if it was a biz type thing. After six months I had lost about 45 pounds, down to to 250.
But no more rice or noodles at Chinese restaurants. Ups the check some, but hey, I'm still eating very well thank you. Explains why I favor TAC on my Chicago visits--lots of flavor, low to moderate (not no) carbs.
In summary: its still working. I'm holding my own. I still eat very well indeed. Once every three months or so I make some pasta when we entertain, in 1-/1/2 to 2 ounce dry appetizer sized portions. Sure, I miss eating mass quantities of pasta, but I don't miss it that much.
We had fifteen folks at Thanksgiving this year. Since most were from out of town, I fed them Wed and Fri too. Wed night was Ragu Bolognese. Easy, easy to adust timing for airport arrivals. 'Poop and Scoop' is what we used to call it in the restaurant days. Salad. Broccoli. I grilled a couple of whole chickens splayed flat too, ate a bare spoonful of pasta and lots of chicken.
Falling Off The Wagon, Occasionally.
And I'm still first in line for a dim sum dumpling or two at a Chinese restaurant, just not mass quantities. I ask to substitute tofu for noodles in say a dish like Shehilon with Shredded Pork Noodle, or Beef Stew Noodle. Salt and pepper squid or calamari--Hey, bring it on. Likewise Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken, but not the french fries with hot dogs.
Must admit, if there is something REALLY good, like french fries cooked in duck or goose fat, or Jacques Torres chocolates or Katz' pastrami, I'll eat my share. But then I am sure to balance it out later.
Tacos are good too, as a sometime treat during severe weight loss, then a little more often once stable--they feature a controlled quantity of carbs which is a good thing.
Keeping In the Flavor.
Buy 15 lb fresh free range turkeys (I've found the 'Murray's brand to be pretty good). Quarter them. Make stock from the backbone and neck and wing tips. Freeze the quarters. Stuff garlic cloves, thin sliced lime and fresh thyme/rosemary/greek oregano under the skin (breast or thigh/leg), salt well and cook over indirect heat at about 325-350 on a covered grill, using a thermometer to pull at 160, then let rest 15 min before slicing.
Or Rapini and Beans. Broccoli rabe, sausage, cannelini beans with garlic, red pepper (omit the pasta, see?), sharp grated cheese at the end. Complex carbs. Think about it.
Please feel free to PM me. This is important stuff. But its potentially do-able.
Chicago is my spiritual chow home