The reason many people fail when it comes to weight/fat loss is because it isn't easy. It takes some hard work and people often don't like to work at it to achieve it.
Throughout my time as a personal trainer I have seen many quick fixes that people are on. I see many people who are not prepared to invest in themselves and subsequently use meal replacement shakes which essentially are not sustainable from a dietary perspective as they have little to no food enzymes that are essential to healthy digestion, i.e no fibre.
Others turn to ridiculously low calorie diets which in the long term will not give you the overall results you want. Reducing your calories to a very low level will down-regulate everything you need to up-regulate to keep your metabolism running fast. Low calorie diets over time slow the metabolism down and the breakdown of energy (essentially fats in this case) slows right down.
Clients have came to me that have been following a low calorie diet and the first thing I need to do with them is increase it back up over time! This then correctly allows them to lose the body fat they want to lose and become stronger.
To allow your body to lose weight/fat you only need a slight caloric deficit of approx. 200-500kcal (max) a day from what you normally consume - which is different for everyone! So going on a 1500kcal a day diet as your friend has done it and successfully lost weight will not necessarily work for you - it could in fact have an adverse effect.
The best advice you could ever get to successfully lose weight/fat and become stronger is to consume real nutritional foods from all the macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) and have a great training programme to follow that fits in with your life!!
When you start to eat real nutritious food, the body realises this and then allows it to work the way it should. Any metabolic damage created from short term fixes can be repaired. Once the body starts to work the way it should your aims and goals become significantly easier.
Processed foods will not allow the body to function how it should!!
We live in a world of convenience and speed. We want everything yesterday. You want to lose 1 stone before the wedding you have in a month. You want to be able to run a 10km race in 50 mins within 8 weeks.
We now have mobile phones and smart watches that give us everything instantly... self scan checkouts at the supermarkets to get us through the tills quicker. Payment systems at petrol stations to save us walking into the garage to pay. News apps on our phones to save us going to get a newspaper. Everything in the world is evolving to make life faster and more convenient.
Why shouldn't weight/fat loss go with it?
Bad news... it can't.
It has to go the long way round. But on that long way round you learn a lot and experience a lot. You learn how to make it work long term. Not just for that one occasion that afterwards you put the stone back on. You learn how to fit it in with your life and still make it enjoyable. You can still go out for dinner with your friends and not have to sit with your meal replacement shake hidden under the table and only order water!
And guess what... take the scenic route and in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years time you will still have the weight/fat loss. It will have stayed off and you don't have to repeat things over and over again.
Find a diet that works for you!
Find a training plan that works for you!
Stick with it and don't rush it!
Enjoy it and embrace the learning!
And you will succeed and not fail!!!