I don't even bother with counting calories, It is good if you don't eat super healthy or workout but all in all if you eat clean you will see a difference. But by no means am I against counting calories!! It is great to help you be aware of how much you eat a day and be more conscious of it! I just found it had me stressed about food and eating when I shouldn't be.
Basically cut out fried food, processed food, high fructose corn syrup (your tummy will thank you!), I cut back on milk, and rarely drink soda, drink LOTS of water. As for eating little meals throughout the day, I like to because it keeps me full. I eat every 2-3 hours smaller meals or snacks. I also have one "crappy" or "yolo" meal every other day (when you start off I would do once a week). The reason for this is because you confuse your metabolism by changing up the diet and your caloric intake which makes it work even harder
A great site that REALLY helped me is this one http://www.blogilates.com/
she has all sorts of recipes that are super yummy and still good for you. She changed my whole outlook on working out and eating right. Don't make it a "diet" make it a healthy lifestyle change and your body will thank you for it. I have so much more energy esp for those "night before a con last minute sewing parties" :P
One thing I learned also was to make your meals AHEAD of time. Like on your "rest" day cook 3-4 days worth of lunches and dinners. This will stop you from buying the fast and cheap McDonalds burger or dominoes pizza, if you have it ready you have no excuse :P! Also remember, results take time, I know after the 2nd week i wanted to give up cause I didn't see the results I wanted, 5 weeks later and im down 10lbs
It is possible to "eat what you want" and just workout like crazy to loose weight, but I honestly couldn't do it. I had ZERO energy and could never bring myself to workout when i ate w.e. It may be hard to cut out your favorite snacks but after 2 or 3 weeks of eating better you will be thankful you did, trust me.
And I know I am rambling on (sorry its something im very passionate and excited to talk about!) but last little tip that helped me. Pick one day that is your rest day (i chose Sunday) and make that your "craving day" so throughout the week if you really want that bag of flaming hot cheetos (YUM) tell yourself sure okay, I'll eat it on Sunday. What about that box of cookies? Sure, Sunday! Half the time by Sunday, I don't even want it anymore :P! But if you do, help yourself!
Okay Ill shut up now ^_^;;
I hope some of that was helpful :3