Back when I was a practicing RN, I gave a few seminars on nutrition. My favorite illustration is to have everyone divide the food they like to eat into four groups: high energy-high nutrient (peanut butter), high energy-low nutrient (candy), low energy-high nutrient (spinach), low energy-low nutrient (cucumbers). Energy is defined as calories and nutrients as protein, vitamins, soluble fiber etc. Make sure what you are eating comes largely from the high nutrient categories and replace normal high energy-low nutrient snacks with high energy-high nutrient snacks. THEN adjust your activity level to achieve your desired weight.
Now, let's talk for a minute about real food. There's lots of information about real food out there right now, but I want to put in my two cents. American eaters have chosen quantity over taste. We eat bland, corn-laden, sweet food and LOTS of it. Real food has more taste, natural nutrients and is satisfying in smaller amounts. So, I have been slowly replacing what I can with a real version. It's a struggle even for me. I like sweet, bland, corny food.
So, wish me luck. I am officially chasing my body down one adventure at a time.