When I learned how to lose weight (fat) the right way I had been out of school (college) for a couple of years. It's funny because I majored in exercise science, a pre-med major at BYU, and really didn't learn anything about weight loss. I went to the gym but mostly did only cardio. I ate fat free food because that's what I learned in the 90's. It wasn't until I got a job as an exercise and nutrition consultant that I figured it out. I had been married for about 6 months and was at the highest weight I had ever been. When I started working as a consultant I also started a nutrition and exercise plan that my boss made for me. I went from 150 lbs and 30% body fat to 131 lbs and 20% body fat in 12 weeks. But let me tell you. I was strict. I did everything that my boss told me to do and I got amazing results.
Because I spent 12 weeks eating perfectly proportioned and balanced meals, I learned what to eat and how much of it I can eat. I'll be honest, I measured everything during that time and I often measure my food now. I usually don't add up my calories for the entire day because I eat 5-7 meals and I just can't be bothered with that. Instead I count the calories for each meal. I know that if I stay between 200-400 calories I will hit my caloric goal. For example, if I want to eat 1400 calories I can eat seven 200 calorie meals/snacks or one 400 calorie, two 300 calorie and two 200 calorie meals. That way I only have to know the calorie count of what I'm eating at the time. It works for me.
Here is a list of the food that I eat. I make sure to have protein at every meal. I usually have something from the carb list, and I try to have at least 3 from the green veggie list every day. At breakfast I have a protein and two carbs (1 egg, 1 extra egg white, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 apple). If I have a late night snack it is usually just a low fat protein (like an egg white omelet with stuff from the green veggie list).
String Cheese/Low Fat Mozzarella
Fruit -- Apples, Bananas, Berries, Oranges, Grapefruit, etc.
Low Carb Tortillas
Reduced Fat Wheat Thins
Sara Lee 45 Calorie Whole Wheat Bread
Low Sugar Cereal