Every diet plan is essentially the same - eat higher quality food in smaller portions (w/ the exception of Atkins which for most people is hard to do for a lifetime). I have tried several "diets" in my life - weight watchers, slimfast, atkins, south beach, etc. I already ate healthy (whole grains, veggies, fruit, lean protein, low fat dairy), but I ate too much of everything. I needed something I could stick to for life, so I began to count calories and exercise 5 to 6 X per week. I wrote down what I ate and how much of it at first to get an idea of how many calories I was taking in. I soon began to incorporate veggies and fruit in every meal/snack and then I only needed one portion of carbs or protein or dairy because the fruit and veggies really bulked up my meals. I have gotten creative with low cal/low fat dessert for special occasions. So, there really is no "perfect" plan - it's whatever you can live with and stick to. In anything that's worth accomplishing there will be sacrifices you make along the way. I have a 18 month old and it's been hard to find time to be able to exercise and cook for myself, but I do a lot of pre-planning and I exercise when he's napping. There are plenty of other things I could be or would rather be doing besides cooking and exercising, but if that's what it takes to become more healthy and lose weight, then so be it!
I hope you are able to find something that works for you.