Thank you for starting this thread, it's very interesting and I'm getting a lot of good ideas.
I've never been more than 25-30 pounds overweight in my life, and had always had good success losing the poundage with programs like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. Then, of course, the pounds would gradually creep back on due to the lifestyle choices I was making. I'm 44, female, and have Hashimoto's.
I read The Paleo Solution about 6 months ago and immediately started transitioning into that lifestyle. Didn't worry about calories or macros, but did track in MyFitnessPal just so I could have a record of what I was eating and how it would affect how I felt, etc. For months, I didn't lose any weight but I did feel a lot better. Still, with about 32% body fat at 161 pounds (at 5'4"), I wasn't happy with how I felt in my skin.
In December I started working with a trainer to learn how to "lift heavy things" properly. I've been consistently weight training 2-3 times a week in addition to any cardio I do (which is much less these days, maybe 3x a week). I also started really paying attention to calories and macros; partly because my trainer wanted to see and also because I was frustrated with the lack of movement on the scale. Through this I found the following:
1) VLC does not work well for me in terms of hunger management. I find on days when I add a small potato or some white rice to my meals I feel fuller, longer, and have more energy and less brain fog. My "sweet spot" seems to be 80 - 120g of carbs per day, which is still low carb by SAD standards.
2) If I eat more than 1400 calories a day on average I will not lose. It does not seem to matter what the macros are. I do find it relatively easy to feel satisfied on < 1400 calories a day if I eat primally, though. So for me, "calories in" do matter - a lot.
For so long, I was afraid to go to 1400 calories or less a day because I would be "starving". So I ate 1600-1800 calories a day on average and didn't lose an ounce. It was frustrating me because I kept hearing all of these stories of weight just "flying off" when people went paleo/primal. I'm finally losing weight VERY slowly at this caloric level, and I am maintaining my lean muscle mass, so apparently this is what I need to be doing right now.