Forego the artificial sweeteners; they can actually cause you to gain weight. Opt for Stevia instead.
You can switch to whole grain pastas and bread, brown rice, etc. While they do contain carbs, potatoes are very good for you. A baked potato with the skin, provides more potassium than bananas, plus they have other essential vitamins/minerals. Most often, it's the condiments, such as gravy, butter, sour cream, cheese added to the potatoes that cause the weight issues.
None of the pills work. Some are even so dangerous, they can kill. There is no way to loose weight fast. The faster you loose weight, the faster and the more will be back on your hips.
The only way to loose weight effectively is to do it slow, and to make changes to your diet for life.
There are several approaches to do this, my favourite is: think of how much you are willing to change. Make your own short term goals, which are achievable, like 3 kgs lost by the first monday next month. Do not fret or give up if weight stagnates...this is normal, and still better than gaining it back.
Never forbid yourself something: you will only crave it more.
If you have trouble to radically change the way you eat, exchange instead, bit by bit: frozen yoghurt instead of icecream, sweetener instead of sugar, yoghurt instead of mayo or cream, etc. The Press here in NZ published a list of things you should avoid with ideas on how to exchange:
Then try to cook your favourite food in a different, more health way. I love pizza, but since I make it myself, it is low on calories (little oil in dough, low fat cheese, lost of veggies, wholemeal flour). I only eat half, and if I am still hungry, I eat a side salad, with lemon juice instead of dressing. Look up the healthy food guide for fast, easy and low calorie recipes.
Another, more radical approach is: no more carbs. Eat lots of veggies, one portion of fruit only, one handful of raw nuts, low fat dairy, high fat fish, lean meat. The increase in protein will keep you from getting hungry and on the long term completely abolish any cravings. Also, no deep frying, no butter, but olive oil and canola instead. No more rice, pasta, potatoes, flour....
My Dad eats that way for 5 yearsby now, is very healthy and lost 30 kgs during the first year.