Jeff Angileri
Feb 11, 2009, 6:52 PM

It's that time of year again when people who made New Year's resolutions fall off the wagon. In fact, if you're still on track, you're doing well because most people lose momentum by mid-January.

Last New Year's, Jan Phillis made a commitment to get healthy.

I was an obese child, an obese teenager, an obese mother, everything, she said.

Now, Jan is 78 pounds lighter. She's in shape, has lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. She started walking a little bit everyday. It made her feel better. Then, she joined a gym and hit the machines.

As I would start to see the results I would get excited about trying something else.

That included small changes to her eating habits. She didn't rule out any foods. Instead, she measured portion sizes to make sure she didn't over eat. And she didn't worry about stumbling -- experts say that's important.

The hit a plateau, and then they're like 'Oh, I'm off of it, I might as well go back to my cheeseburgers and french fries.' Don't think that way, said Tammy Fumusa, dietitian at St. Mary's Hospital.

Drastic changes can be hard to sustain. Nutritionists recommend gradually working in fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein into your diet. Remind yourself the changes you're trying to make are worth it.

Because it is a lifestyle change, it's something you need to do all the time, said Fumusa. It shouldn't even be a resolution.

Just remember that it's not temporary, said Phillis. It's your life. You can either feel like you did before you made the change -- and you probably don't want to feel that way again. Or you can take it one day at a time.

Some information & video courtesy: Mayo Clinic.

Online: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/WT99999