I lost 40 pounds in the last year and it was mostly by balancing my meals and running. I would eat closer to 2000 calories a day and I would try to eat more proteins through food. This mean.. no shakes or anything that I had to buy specifically for that. So I would buy a lot of chicken breast and eat a lot of chicken breast. When I calculated how much protein/carbs/fat I was eating and compared it to what people suggested, I quickly realised that my diet usually consisted in a lot of carbs, a bit of protein and a bit of fat. It seems that everything you buy these days are really high in carbs and low on everything else.
I blame the fat-free movement greatly for this. Nothing has fat anymore and we need some of the good fats if we want to eat calories that aren't carbs.