I lost 45 pounds in 18 months and still kept some bad habits. You don't have to be a monk to lose weight, you just have to be smarter about how you let yourself go. I would stick to 2000 cal a day, but hey that could be five bags of chips if I wanted. And I always treated myself to a cheat meal of at least 1000 cal if I made all my workouts for 5 days.
Gradually over the first few months I realized I could do better if I cut out some crap and ate more intelligently, but I still splurged from time to time. As long as you put in the work, AND THAT IS KEY, you will still lose weight.
However, once I got close to my goal weights, I realized diet is completely the answer. Clean up all your crap eating (and drinking!) if you want to hit your goal.
So, I'm saying you don't necessarily have to start out like a monk to get where you want to go. Cut out the most obvious crap in your diet, work like a fiend, cut out some more crap, work like a fiend, and finally realize that if you really want to maximize yourself, cut out all the crap and eat real food to reach your goals.
Lots of ways to skin a cat. Find yours.
I am Anton Zdravko Martin!
Best meet lifts: Sq 150 Kg (330 lb), Bench 120 Kg (264), DL 160 (352) @89 Kg (197)
Best gym lifts: Sq 375, Bench 280 (pause), DL 385 @205 or less
Goals beyond my wildest dreams, 600 Kg raw total, 200/160/240
Hack away at anything which isn't essential. Do what you love, and do it often. Fazc.
Everything competes for recovery so more assistance is not always the best idea. miked96