Hi Piper,to start, I think that it's important that you know yourself. That you do a little self introspection to see what would be realistic for YOU, and that your program be tailored to where you are at currently. For example, it wouldn't help you if I suggested that you jog a mile if you couldn't yet walk a mile, or do tabata sprints if you couldn't yet jog a mile at a slow pace, see? Same thing with nutrition I believe. Fasting or intermittent fasting may give you the fastest results, but if you aren't yet accustomed to going more than a couple of hours without eating, it probably wouldn't work for you initially, partially because the will is not yet developed and the subconscious has been programmed to believe that your starving to death if you skipped breakfast, etc. I could tell you to eat nothing but a can of tuna and a carrot and restrict your calories to 100 per day-would it work? Probably for someone, but would it be realistic for you?..probably not. Having said that, what type of exercise do you believe that at your current level of fitness you could stick with and enjoy? Or how long do you think at this point that you could realistically refrain from eating on a daily basis (If you've never fasted more than 8 hours, then you wouldn't start at three days...see what I'm saying?) Also, what time of day is your appetite the greatest? I believe once you can answer those questions, you can begin to tinker with questions like how many calories do I need (based on height,weight,activity level,etc.) macronutrients and so on. I think that a program needs to be tailored to the individual as opposed to a one size fits all solution, know what I mean? Before long, those friends you mentioned will be coming to you for your advice and you will be in the cool position to help them too. You can do it.