Dropping pounds is never easy, but it's not impossible. We asked Cooking Light Diet community members what their secrets are for losing weight, and then keeping it off. Here are 6 tips from members who have successfully lost—and kept off—up to 62 pounds.

"A purpose of human life, whoever is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved." That's a quote from late author Kurt Vonnegut, and it's awfully poignant. We're all on this planet together, so might as well love one another. And part of that is helping one another, however we're able.

Something that a lot of folks around us need help with is weight loss. It's not easy. Gaining weight is easy. In fact, it's too easy. Food is SO GOOD, y'all! But shedding the pounds we've put on after gaining them is no small task. So, to spread the love around and help others who might be struggling with their weight, we asked Cooking Light Diet community members who've successfully lost lots of weight to share their best tips to keeping off the pounds.

  1. Flip your mental switch to "On"... then break the switch.
    It all starts in your head. Member Joan Rasmussen said her "secret" to reaching her goal weight—and maintaining it since December—was to flip her mental switch from "want to lose weight" to "I will lose weight, because what I'm seeing in the mirror is not the me I want to be." She said she didn't plan that, rather it hit her one day while looking in the mirror. Having that "must" attitude made adhering to the Cooking Light Diet's provided menus a lot easier, and the Diet made it easier in general because the food is "delicious and healthy."
  2. Exercise is a must.
    Rachel Nelson recently hit the 50 pounds lost milestone, and she credits exercise with helping her hit that mark. She's now training for a half marathon—go, Rachel, go! Likewise, member Christy Price, who's also dropped over 50 pounds, says "working out is key to losing quicker."
  3. Set non weight-related goals.
    Sometimes you have to take your focus off the scale and find inspiration in other ways. Patrick Moore says he's got 27 pounds left to get to his goal weight of 199, and is motivated "to fit into the two new pairs of Levis I bought that I can't quite get on yet."
    When you get the urge to snack or reach for another serving of food, curb it with some high-quality H2O! As Christy Price puts it, "Lots and lots of water. I never knew how important it was until I started my weight loss. Weeks when I didn't drink enough I didn't lose as much."
  5. Treat yourself. Then get back to it.
    Sometimes you just have to indulge, and that's okay! Life happens. Just remember to get back on the horse. Member Kelly Becker says that part of why she's been able to maintain her weight for 8 months is she allows herself a cheat day. "No counting meal calories or how many veggie fruit servings or water intake I have had. I eat what I am craving, have a lovely ice cream date with hubby, and indulge in some wine. No guilt and, come Sunday, I pick right back up with my meal planning, water intake, and controlled snacking. I have never felt deprived or restricted. It works for me!" Uh, if Kelly can have a cheat day every week and still maintain the same weight for 8 months... I'll have what she's having!
  6. Don't go it alone.
    Form a superteam of motivation/inspiration with a loved one or loved ones! Katie Anderson says: 
    And Cyndie Moran, who's lost 62 pounds, credits her success to having her entire family on board with the Cooking Light Diet. "They love the meals and look forward to them. They can request family favorites or special recipes and I can always find a CLD version of it that is on my plan. Knowing how much they support me, admire what I have accomplished, and depend on me to keep making them delicious and healthy meals keeps me going."

These are just some of the many tips Cooking Light Diet community members shared as to how they've been successful losing and keeping off the pounds. For more, join the Facebook group, or subscribe to the Cooking Light Diet. Cheers!

*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose 1/2 lb. per week.