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The best method to lose weight is to stick with an eating plan. See more weight loss tips pictures.

So you've decided to lose weight. But how do you do it? There are many ways to lose weight, but the best method is to choose an eating plan that is healthy and balanced and that you can stick with in the long run.

As difficult as losing weight may seem, the real challenge is keeping the weight off. To be successful, you'll need to replace poor eating habits with healthy ones that are realistic and flexible enough to be followed for life.

Some diet programs promise weight reductions of more than two or three pounds a week, but such claims are not completely honest. Ten or more pounds in the first few weeks is possible, but that quick weight loss won't last.

Initially, weight reduction comes mostly from the loss of water and the breakdown of muscle protein, not fat. When you eventually replace these vital substances -- as will happen when you resume normal eating habits -- you are likely to regain the weight. Diets that promote transient weight losses can do psychological harm. Few things are more discouraging than watching a 10- or 20-pound weight loss evaporate into a 2- or 3-pound loss.

Weight Loss Tips

The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) was established to document effective behaviors shared by those who successfully lose weight and keep it off. The NWCR found that those who successfully lost weight dropped an average of 66 pounds over 5.5 years. To achieve this, individuals not only adhered to a low-calorie, low-fat diet that included breakfast and closely monitored their weight and food intake, but they also engaged in high levels of physical activity.

That may sound difficult, but you can find motivation by learning some of the benefits of losing weight on the next page.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.