I've been at it just over 2 years now. I'm down 45 pounds from my starting weight and have kept it within +/- 4 pounds of that for the past year with no particularly serious effort. I've experienced significant pain relief for two arthritic thumb joints, my sleep has, on average, improved, and my energy levels are much higher. Even if I don't "feel" obviously energetic, I have crazy-good stamina.
FWIW, the 45 pounds I lost were pretty much all fat - I tracked my body fat percentage (tape measurement method) throughout the loss period and my lean mass stayed exactly the same the whole time.
I think what worked best for me was reading everything I could get my hands on initially, to try to understand the fundamentals well. That has allowed me to have "treat" items occasionally while knowing how I was likely to react - and what I might need to do to recover. It was also fun to be at a hotel-based meeting for 3 days last week and be able to eat quite well (they offered real breakfast items, so I ate bacon by the plateful) and lose about a pound in the process.
If you opt for VLC/ketosis to spur weight loss, I advise you to supplement with potassium, magnesium citrate (or any mag supplement ending in "ate"), and salt. I suffered pretty disruptive cramps in my calves at night for a lot of the first year before I got the balance ironed out - on the one hand, it was a good signal I was in a weight loss sweet spot, but jumping out of bed every night from a deep sleep was annoying (and yet, my sleep was still better than "before").