I have said before that I am not a fan of counting calories. I just think there is no need to track them if you simply focus on eating the right things. Eat high quality, nutrient-dense foods and everything falls into place.
Although I will always feel this way, at the end of the day calories do matter. If you are dieting and want to be successful, you will need to be in a caloric deficit. Being in a caloric deficit simply means that you will be expending more energy (calories) than you are consuming.
Lets assume that your goal is to lose weight, and you don't want to work out. It is obvious that to lose weight without exercise you will need to eat less food than what you are eating at your current state. Since you won't be exercising to expend any extra calories, consuming fewer calories is what you will need to do in order to get you to a deficit.
Most people understand everything up to this point.
What tends to confuse and frustrate people when they are dieting is why they feel hungry all the time.
Well, the reason is simple. You are eating (sometimes considerably) less than you are used to.
You shouldn't feel full.
You shouldn't feel satiated.
You should feel hungry often.
When dieting, you are training your body to operate on fewer calories consumed. You are forcing your body to tap into stored energy.
The overall message is that you want to feel hungry when you are dieting. It is actually a good thing and is an indication that the right processes are taking place in your body. People are quick to give up on their diet when hunger comes around. If only they recognized that this is a sign they are on the right track.