I have never tried the food lovers diet. I did try the 6wbm and found it very restrictive as well. I have had success with the body for life system and exercise. The BFL is based on eating healthier and portion control. It does list protein shakes and the like but I didn't use them. I have lost 60 pounds so far...I still have about 50-60 to go. I was going to a gym but the gas got to be too much so I use videos at home. I also walk/run...I am training for a half-marathon next spring.
You can do it :) If you need someone to vent to while working at it feel free to pm me. There is also a HCW group on Sparkpeople.