I am not sure that I can answer your questions but maybe I can give you some ideas. Some of this may be a bit basic but if you already understand it maybe some other new member will find it useful.
Acheiving a Calorie deficit consistently is how you will lose weight. This means that calories in are less than the calories your body burns. How big the deficit is determines how fast you lose. 3500 calories = approx. 1 pound of body weight, so to lose a pound a week you need to average a 500 calorie deficit daily (500 X 7 = 3500). To lose 2 pounds a week you need to average 1000 calorie deficit daily. 1 to 2 pounds per week is the suggested safe rate to lose although many will see larger amounts of weight loss during the first few weeks. Your body may be able to sustain more aggresive weight loss but not everyone can. Most of us have a point where are body reverts to starvation mode and although we are consuming less calories our body (because of a large calorie deficit) slows down our metabolism in an attempt to hold on to all the weight it can. What the specific deficit is for you is a very individual number. Many women (especially those who are veritically challenged or short lol) find they cannot sustain a 1000 calorie deficit without sending their body into starvation mode.
What you eat can also play a role in how succesful you are in your weight loss journey. If you search around the forums you will find individuals who have better success when they maintain 30% of their calories from protein (I am one of these). But you will find others that find success from a lower protein (10%?) diet. The point is you need to find what works for you. A 30/30/40% diet (Protein/Fat/Carb) is a good starting point. Simple carbohydrates like sugar, white bread and fruit juice are the easiest forms of nutrients for our bodies to metabolize. As such, they are also the most likely to be stored as fat. Try to reduce or eliminate these and replace them with harder to digest complex carbohydrates like Whole grain and whole fruit choices. The difference is the fiber that occurs in the complex carbs.
Last is timing. Another subject you will find lots of opinions on. I believe once again that this is because not everyone's body reacts the same. Most people try to spread their calories thoughout the day. This avoids a huge intake that your body has to deal with (when some of the calories get stored as fat) as well as helping you to stave off the hunger pains.
Hope this helps someone. There are some others on here who are much more eloquent and educated on the subject than I am.
Male, Age 53 Height 5'-11"
Start, Spring 2009....,.. 270.0 lbs
January 21, 2010. ....,...255.0 lbs (Joined Fitday)
September 10, 2010..,..223.8 lbs. (-46.2lbs)
Mini-Goal......................225 Achieved 9/21/2012
Mini-Goal......................220 Achieved 10/26/2012
Current.........................216.2 lbs. (-53.8 lbs)
My log: http://www.fitday.com/fitness/Public...Owner=rpmcduff