Re: what diet should i go on
Personally, I would NOT go for one of those "specialty diets" because most of them ONLY work for the short term. You can still lose weight rather quickly, but keep the results, with a healthy diet plan.
Out of the diets you mentioned, South Beach would be your best bet. Have you ever looked into the Five Factor Diet? It's awesome! It's more of a lifestyle change than a short-term diet but I got down to my goal weight within a couple months and felt awesome. Even better, I wasn't overly hungry or weak feeling. I felt good! The Five Factor diet (it's good to get the book or look up some info. online) has you eating 5 smaller meals a day, each meal with healthy protein and low glycemic carbs (no white breads, sugary foods, etc). Since eating this way, I've really cut back on my bread products and pastas and I mostly eat a lot of lean grilled and baked chicken, fruits, and vegetables. I still eat bread, but I buy a healthy kind and seldom eat white breads.
Actually I can give you some tips that have worked wonders for me for getting into awesome shape and losing some pounds. You can try some out without going on a specific diet:
*Drink lots of water!
*Avoid sugary drinks, including juice, unless it's a diet juice.
*Avoid white breads and potatoes, white pastas.
*Eat plenty of fruits and veggies.
*Stick with lean meats, grilled, roasted, or baked.
*Cut back on processed foods. Eat more FRESH foods, less frozen or canned meals, even if low in calories and fat.
*Watch your sodium intake. Too much salt can make you hold on to extra water weight.
*Do a good combination of both cardio and strength training, about 5 times a week.
*I eat artificial sweeteners in moderation, but stay away from them if you notice that they give you cravings for more sweets.
*Be sure to eat small servings of healthy fat sources, such as avocado, nuts, olive oil.
Hope this helps! Cutting back on the processed foods helped me so much. I used to eat a lot of lean cuisines and had a hard time losing weight. Now I prepare many fresh salads with meat for a lot of my meals. Things like the cookie diet use a bunch of preservatives and processed foods, the cabbage diet will likely not give you enough nutrients and has a possibility of too few calories, making your metabolism slow down. South Beach is better for you than Atkins and some low carb diets. Things like Slim Fast often have more sugar in them than if you just use some whey protein powder mixed with skim milk (plus you get more vitamins and nutrients if you make your own usually).