The majority of the posts here reflect perfectly the attitudes of society, I haven't read anything past the first page but whomever made the comment about the calories is dead on.
Ignore the magazines, and the advice you read in them. Even personal trainers are an extension of this REDICULOUS industry, and you'll even find people quoting "scientific" papers which just so happen to be funded and designed to reach pre arranged conclusions. If you want to lose weight, consume less calories, 200-300 below your maintenence. It's not just about getting a flatter stomach I imagine, that is the means to an end. The "end" being, looking more attractive..
In reality and in most cases (minus mental conditions, eating disorders etc) when someone says they want to lose weight, what they actually mean is they want to look better. Firmer, tighter, curvier.. strength training in the gym will assist with this.
If anyone reading this is interested in further reading, please give the following link a read. I'd hazard a guess that 95 percent of my fellow brits, are in fact nutritionally illiterate, opting instead to buy into the products and testimonies of paid athletes and companies promising the world.