Overall I am not in terrible shape, I just have a bit of a belly that I'd like to lose.
So far I've done lots of sit ups and ab crunches but no luck. Actually I think it might have even got worse!
I read in this article that it's not possible to reduce fat in a certain area. Is this true? I don't really want to have to do tons of different exercises, and I am not even bothered about having a "perfect body". Just want to lose the belly fat!
I don't think it is an affiliate link? But anyway thank you for the links. How important is calorie deficit? I read that "not all calories are created equal", so should I focus on the types of calories rather than the amount?
(Yes, it was an affiliate link, if these things are of interest to you, the affiliate standing to profit from that page is "hop=intofocus")
A deficit can be achieved by eating less than your non-exercise needs, or by exercising, or doing both.
There won't be any weight loss without a deficit - period.
You can lose weight eating any kind of food, however bad for you. You can lose weight on an all-cheesecake diet or getting all your calories from beer. That is a fact.
Making good food choices affects compliance (will you be able to stick with it) and it also affects your health, so in practice I would recommend going as healthy as you feel comfortable committing to, and to 'work' on yourself to be more healthier over time.
Here is the most "extreme" way of eating - a way of eating that is so healthy that if properly followed means you don't even need to count your calories! notice those vegetables at the base and spot where the grains and animal products are