Yeah, carefully counting the calories I take in and burn puts me in the "looney-bin" category for most people, but it really does work. If "calories in vs. calories out" is the real issue, then counting them is the only way to make sure your weight is where it should be, and that you won't be under-nourished for your workouts.
If I just relied on my bathroom scale for weight management, I'd mistakenly think I was under-eating right now! I actually weigh less than I did before my Mexican vacation, and two Christmas feasts, the heaps of yummy leftovers, cookies, drinks, etc. But since I count calories I know that I am, in fact, merely halfway there. I have lost half of the one pound I gained. The other loss is from glycogen depletion.
To lose weight you have to run your glycogen levels dangerously low. That puts me at risk of bonking on big workout rides. But so far my strategy of eating big before workouts, bringing sports drink on them, and starving myself afterwards (well, not really; just feeling slightly hungry) has worked great! I should be back to my normal weight in a leisurely week or two, even with New Year's Eve looming.
This morning I had a huge quinoa cereal breakfast to prepare for my next workout ride. And away I go....