I am in almost exactly the same position as you. Here's my story:
I did Wolf 30-day challenge. I thought that that was the only Paleo out there really. I did no dairy, no fruit, no nuts or seeds. I wanted to see what happened after 30 days. I didn't think about it, I just did it through sheer will and determination.
I lost weight, and a lot of it.
After the 30 days, I thought perhaps I could try expanding a little bit. Wolf says as much, that maybe some fruit and some nuts/seeds were acceptable after the first major metabolic shift phase. Also, in the midst of this I read Taubes. Taubes said absolutely no to fruit (which was confusing, since Wolf said it was ok in small amounts), but Dairy (as long as it's zero-carb) became acceptable again (which was confusing because it's not 'paleo' and I don't think Wolf goes for Dairy). So, it's not "Paleo" but it's low-carb. Ok.
So, I dealt with the confusion by having dairy and fruit. I figured I could always go back.
I kept losing weight.
Then I had this week where I literally just couldn't stomach any meat. I was repulsed by it. I posted on Paleohacks for some help and a lot of people thought I was just having a carb craving, but that's not how it felt. It felt like I literally had "bottomed out" with the no-carb Paleo. This theory accords with the Perfect Health Diet and Archevore. At a certain point you just need some carbs. I had pretty much lost the 20 lbs I was aiming to lose. It's not that I didn't have any more fat to burn, but it just felt like my body wanted a different source of energy.
So, I had potatoes for a few days.
I kept losing weight.
I was able to start eating meat again after a few days, but now I felt like I was onto something. I found out about the "set-point" reward stuff from Seth Roberts, I found out about Archevore, and I found out about Primal Diet, and I found out about Perfect Health Diet.
I started eating rice, corn, and continued with the potatoes, the fruit, and the dairy.
So, pretty much my diet came down to a gluten-free, sugar-free diet.
But by now, I wasn't really losing weight anymore.
The convenience of rice for dinner, versus going out and buying fresh meat and preparing it started to win out. Now most of my calorie intake was from potatoes, rice, corn, and dairy, not that much different than the way I used to eat when I was 90% vegetarian. The only thing I wasn't eating was wheat and sugar. Which is good, but still you see my point...carbs feel like easy fuel, so when you're tired after work, that's the go to. Also, after not having it for four months, I was enjoying the foods that I hadn't been able to have for the last little while.
And then I got the Perfect Health Diet book and somewhere it said something about Ice Cream, and how it was ok. Yeah, yeah, they say to make your own, but who's gonna go make their own ice cream after a long day at work? So, I bought some ice cream.
I started eating more Indian food buffets, which are light on the protein. I started craving Indian sweets which used to be a big treat for me.
You can see where this is going...
Just in the last week or so I feel like I've basically been on a junk food bender. I feel terrible, sluggish, and I've already gained back three or four pounds in just a week. Sure, I could start feeling bad about myself, but I don't really do that anymore, because I don't believe in perfection anymore like I used to strive for when I was younger. I'm much faster to accept my imperfections.
But, I do feel like crap physically and I don't really want to gain those 25 pounds back after getting such great feelings of accomplishment from losing it this summer.
So, I'm exactly where you are, at least in terms of "rules." Extreme no-carb paleo works to lose weight, but then there's these new guys (and even Wolf) saying that some carbs are good , and that a fully ketogenic diet might not be good in the long run.
So, I'm looking back at the journey and trying to figure out the moment where I got on the slippery slope back to my old diet.
Was it the fruit?
Was it the dairy?
Was it the potatoes?
Was it the rice and corn?
Was it the ice cream? Hah!
Well, I think I was ok with the fruit and the dairy (high-fat, zero-carb), and actually even with the potatoes I think I was ok. The problem came the moment I had enough choices for calories (adding rice and corn) that I got lazy about preparing meat-&-veggie centered meals.
My theory is that it's not the inclusion of any particular food item (be it a piece of fruit, be it a dollop of sour cream, be it mashed potatoes, be it rice or corn, or even gluten-free ice cream), I think it's when you start including easily digestible and easily preparable calories (in the form of carbohydrates) that you can lose your discipline with ensuring you focus on meat and vegetables. I could literally eat rice with soy sauce on it and feel full. I could eat a baked potato with cheese and feel full. That's the problem. Carbs create the impression of nutrition, but that's actually your body storing them for energy.
So, how to deal with the confusion?
The one thing they are have in common is that you shouldn't have wheat/gluten and you shouldn't have processed sugar and you shouldn't drink your calories.
Then, the major differences have to do with how many carbs you let yourself eat.
My goal for the next period is not to worry too much about how many carbs I eat, but how many meat and vegetables eating carbs encourages me to get lazy about.
Also, I think the amount of carbs you can get away with just depends on activity level. I know that I can't get away with a lot because I don't really have a lifestyle with so much activity and don't want one.
But yes, I have experienced the difficulty when you're not sure which plan to stick with. Everyday you read something different and then it changes how you act that day, and since you're not sure what you're doing there are more moments where your bad habits can get more momentum and strength.
I have an idea. Since I'm struggling with the same thing, I'm going to make a list, right here, right now, and I'm going to try to stick with it. You can try this for a month.
Acceptable Dairy (heavy cream, sour cream, cheese, butter, ghee)
Fruit (mostly melons, berries, and apples)
My only carb source will be: tubers (potatoes, sweet potatoes, yucca) and bananas
Even though Archevore and Perfect Health Diet says it's ok, I am going to skip rice and corn (Archevore says yes, PerfectHealth says no so there's another confusing thing for you)
No wheat and no drinkable calories and no sugar in anything.
My only treat will be this awesome combo I came up with: Baker's chocolate, Bananas and coconut milk.
Care to join me?