Eight Keys to Success for Weight Loss

Is it really possible to lose weight and keep it off? Absolutely. Almost everyone who is a bit overweight can safely maintain a 10- to 20- pound weight loss, and some obese people can trim hundreds of pounds.

In fact, in a recent study of successful “losers” — people who lost an average of 66 pounds and kept the weight off for at least five years – researchers found that even people with the most stubborn weight problems, including yo-yo dieters and those who had been fat since childhood, were able to slim down.

What’s the secret? It’s no secret, really. Everyone knows what to do : To lose weight, you just have to burn more calories each day than you take in. What’s exciting is that both researchers and successful dieters are beginning to figure out how to do it. Here’s how you can, too:

1. Make a commitment.

Making a firm commitment is a critical first step toward successful weight loss, says Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., associate chief of the human physiology laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Research Center on