I have been very good at adding 2 to 3 lbs per year, and at my age it really adds up. My husband had even worse problems as his medications were putting on 2 lbs. a month. Since he is a diabetic, his choices of acceptable diets are very restricted. Looking the current crazes over, and seeing that the South Beach Diet says explicitly in the book that it is not suitable for diabetics, we crossed our fingers and tried Atkins (which whether you know it or not, you personalize to suit you. You definitely need to read the book before you start, and you should get your cholesterol and so forth blood work done beforehand.)
We hoped it would work, because our oldest son lost 90 lbs on it and has been able to really keep it off. There is no doubt that there are genetic factors in weight loss and gain, so we hoped.
We went on the diet at Easter and are still on it. My husband has lost about 50 lbs, and I have lost 2 sizes (I don't weigh..I have found it to be too counterproductive) His cholesterol is better than when he started: 140 with the bad cholesterol being 38; which in his case means that his medications are still controlling it. His blood sugar is in total control, and he has been able to cut his diabetes medications.
Exercise and drinking water definitely, definitely help.
If you are going to do low carb, be sure to take your vitamins and calcium, because when you cut out a large block of things you can eat, you should make an attempt to fill in the blanks.
And be sure to get your blood tests done to determine whether the diet is adversely affecting you.
In our case, we found that the weight first came off our faces, then legs and upper torsos, only then did the stomach fat start to come off visibly. Not the order one would desire.
In general, we both felt as good or better than we did when not on the diet. Hunger is not a problem on this diet, which is very very important to staying on any program. My hair, skin, and fingernails are all in much better shape.
I too have a bunch of recipes now and would like to share with others. This kind of diet is not cheap and the cooking is a lot of work.
Read all the food product labels. You will be surprised and shocked at how many products have added sugar, corn syrup, high density fructose. Even if this diet does not work for you, it is a huge education.
It may not work for you. But then again, it might.