I hear you on that. It is a very good way to go actually--and helps the grocery list a ton because you know exactly what you need to buy every week if you stick to the plan. This is actually a foundational habit that most people are lacking. When life is easy and the schedule relaxed most people can find a way to eat semi healthy--it is when life and work gets crazy and you're working long hours and doing a million things that the siets always go to the shitter. That's the time you need a plan--a written plan. Not to mention it helps you remember.
Keep that up at all costs.
What you need to know is that a lot of different diets work. There's not just one plan thats good and a bunch of bad ones. This isn't like math where there is one formula and 1 way to get the right answer...there are a number of different ways to get the right answer.
What that means is 2 things -- 1: it comes down to habits. You can have any plan you like but if you don't build and cultivate good habits the plan will go to shit when things get hard. Same way as studying for a degree, or building capital at your job, or training in a sport....you perform in a game the way you make a habit of practicing, so whether you're tired or stressed or angry or frustrated when you show up to team practice doesn't matter, you have to give it 100% and work on the basics the coach says. And when you screw up, you take the blame and get back up and back to practice.
2: it means different things work for different folks. Some people are natural athletes and get away with stuff that others can't (Lebron James), and some have to work harder than anybody else to make it to make up for not having raw athletic talent (Larry Bird). It doesn't change the rules of the game (biology is the same for everyone) it only changes what an idividual needs to do (some people can diet successfully easier than others, but everybody can get there).
So basic rules:
*have protein with every meal or snack. doesn't have to be a ton, but has to make up a good proportion of the meal or snack.
*don't eat or drink obvious shit. You got this one down.
*put the majority of carbs around your activities. if you work out in the evenings, then some healthy carbs in the meal before the workout is a good idea. Some carbs in morning prior to work is generally a good idea to duel brain power for thinking or muscles for physical work. Obviously it needs to be healthy (strawberries, oatmeals, etc).
*the more active you are all day the more carbs you can reasonably eat. Goes with the above. But you do have to earn them...none of this "I jogged 30 minutes so I can have a pint of ice cream" bullshit. And anyway oce cream violates the "don't eat shit" rule regardless.
*when you make diet changes, chisel off calories don't hack them off at the knees. Wait til the scale stops moving and THEN change something, don't do it if you're still making progress, even if its slower than you'd like. Get the most out of the least suffering (while obeying the other rules).
Thats really it. You need healthy fats to run your immune system and nervous system, and hormonal systems, so you can't kill off fats from your diet, they just need to be healthy and in proportion.
Low carb, high(er) carb...all that stuff is more along the lines of what you feel better on. And there's no point in trying to make a specific diet style/brand til you have build good habits and started writing everything down to know where you are. After all you can't know how to get somewhere if you don't know where you are starting from.
Keep meal times predictable--obviously life happens, but the more predictable your body can rely on it, it adjusts to that and starts to increase your metabolism. So don't skip meals and don't go very long periods without eating (5 hours or so), assuming you can stop work long enough to scarf something. Again, snacks count as meals.
Any time you eat should have at least protein and fiber, or protein and fat (jerky + small salad, or jerky + 1 punce almonds) No protein only meals