Losing weight is hard, but that's just step one toward a healthier life. The harder part is keeping the weight off year after year. We saw that struggle firsthand with a recent study that looked at contestants from one season of The Biggest Loser. All but one regained most (if not all) the pounds they lost. Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after "The Biggest Loser" competition. Fothergill E, Guo J, Howard L. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 2016, May.;():1930-739X.

In the weeks that followed the publication of The Biggest Loser study, many people offered advice for long-term weight loss (heck, we did too). One new, comprehensive study has a simple solution: Join (and stick with) a community weight-loss program (think Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig).

Researchers at the University of Colorado followed more than 65,000 participants in Take Off Pounds Sensibly, a nonprofit group, for five years. They found that 90 percent of people who stuck with the group for more than three years maintained their weight loss. It makes sense: The other members add motivation and accountability. So it's worth thinking twice about canceling your membership to one of these clubs once you reach your goal.

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