There's no doubt that the habits are the hardest things to establish. It's also very helpful to keep a log, if just to see where the bad habits are. (I learned I eat way too much cheese, for example.)
Here's where I find it confusing. Obese people tend to lose LBM while dieting, right? Is that because they are on a calorie restricted diet and aren't geting enough to support their LBM? (Try running Berardi's numbers with a 350lb man at 50% BF for example. No diet will ever recommend that caloric intake to lose fat.)
So, what do I think? After cogitating for a couple hours, I think the best thing is probably to establish what caloric level is being consumed NOW, and put that in context of Berardi's numbers. Is it high, low or close to LBM maintenance numbers? If it's actually low, then the body might be in starvation mode and actually need more calories. If it's too high, bring it down to about 85% of maintenance.
Then I'd work in appropriate macronutrient ratios and appropriate food selection.
How does that sound Socrates, I mean, TT?
Kevin521, where do you get the number 12? Is there some formal basis for it?