Drink only water
Eliminate all fried and deep-fried foods
Eliminate all pre-packaged snacks
Eliminate all dairy
This will work, guaranteed. I did it to start my weight loss and I dropped from 255 to 235 before I could blink. But I had a terrible time maintaining that level of discipline. But just dropping calories from drinks (pop, beer etc) and from ranch dressing will help. If you gotta have ranch ... no fat sour cream + ranch mix works wonders.
I am 33 years old and 6'4" tall. About 1.5 years ago I was 255. I am now 185 with a final goal of 180. My weight loss wasn't as fast as some. But, studies show the faster you lose, the more likely you are too put it back on. If your true goal is a healthier, happier self, then the best way is to change habits, not force yourself to binge under-eat.
DO NOT go below 1200 calories a day. At that level every single thing you eat needs to be very high in nutrition or you can do damage to your body. Plus, at 280, regardless of your height, it's not necessary.
Before I was eating a 12" subway sandwich as my only meal with any real nutrition. Unfortunately I was having a large soda and 2 cookies with it. After work I would drink 2-4 cans of Mt Dew and eat half a box of cookies. Snacking on other junk the whole time and going 2-4 times every weekend to consume monster 1500 calorie meals.
Now, Clif Bar, greek yogurt in the morning. Sandwich with 1 slice of cheese, whole wheat bread and ~6 pieces of lunch meat at first break. ~350 calorie salad for lunch. Builder bar for last break. Beer and something light (apple) when I get home. Comes out around 1700 calories. Then, I add a little more if I have a particularly active day. When I strictly stick to this, 1.5 lbs a week like clockwork.
The simple fact is that weight is dependent entirely on calories in vs out. Period. Well ... or surgery. Body composition (amount of muscle vs fat etc) is dependent on working out and what kind of calories you eat.
Body composition also effects your basal metabolic rate (BSM: the rate at which your body innately burns calories). The more muscle, the more calories burnt while sitting. However, I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to maintain a workout routine until I dropped a bunch of weight. It was too tiring and I'm too much of a wuss. So I dropped the lbs first. Easier to lose weight by doing less (eating less) than by doing more (working out). If you walk at 3 mph for 2 hours you will burn ~500 calories ... aka a Big Mac. So, eat 1 less Big Mac, or walk briskly for 2 hours.
One of the most important things for me has been cheat days. I go out with my girl and get a beer and a burger or something on the weekends. But, because my habits have changed, that beer and burger basically puts me at my maintain calories for that day. Not losing any ground. If you do this, make it a GOOD beer and burger, not McDonalds and a Budweiser. If you slip up, scold yourself and go back at it. Become stronger, be stubborn, and be sick of being an overweight lazy burden on your body. Don't be afraid to be hard on yourself, but turn that into drive to do better.
Now I gotta figure out how to get some muscles on my scrawny ass ...