The best weight loss tactic is to count calories, not approximately, but as precisely as possible. Cutting fat sucks, but you can minimize how much you have to endure by using this technique. Most people dismiss this option because it's less convenient than other techniques, but it works best for a few reasons.

Many people who do it are surprised by a few of their regular foods. For example, I used to eat trail mix in the afternoon at my desk at work, but it turns out that I was eating 500-1000 calories worth of food! After I bought another kitchen scale for my desk at work, I realized this mistake and stopped eating trail mix.

Counting calories (paired with weighing yourself) gives you information about how many calories you're burning each day. Not an approximation from a website calculator, but real data from your actual body. You can use this information to design meals to meet your goals.

Tracking food also has a psychological aspect for some people, because it will keep them from eating free snacks or dessert because they don't want to put it in the app.

How to start counting calories?

Buy a kitchen scale. This one I have is fine, but there are plenty of good accurate ones out there. You can also use it to measure coffee beans!

Install the MyFitnessPal app on your smartphone.

Set up an account on Trendweight, and buy one of the wifi-enabled bodyweight scales that are compatible with it.

Start tracking everything you eat. Everything. If it isn't possible to track something, don't eat it! This is a gigantic pain for the first few days, but it gets a lot easier. Once you learn to use MyFitnessPal's features you can reuse past meals with a single tap, and add foods by scanning the package's barcode. You can either weigh the food you eat, or enter information from restaurant websites. Chain restaurants like Dos Toros have nutritional information on their sites. Make a "Meal" in MyFitnessPal of your usual orders so you can add it with one tap.

When you set up MyFitnessPal, set a daily calorie target, and aim for that each day. Don't make any adjustments until you've stuck to the plan for 2-4 weeks so you can be sure your weight loss is not due to water weight, but is actually fat loss. Trendweight is a tremendous help with this, because it uses a statistical technique called "moving weighted average" to extract signal from the noisy signal of scale weight. For an explanation of this, read The Hacker's Diet chapter titled "Signal and Noise."

I recommend going on youtube and finding fitness content creators you like. Fitness content creators usually make videos about their meal plans, meal prep techniques, body recomposition plans, etc. that you can learn from.

If you'd rather read a book, the best one I've read is this one by Jeff Nippard. I reviewed it on goodreads here.