Americans Spend More Than $ 20 Billion to Lose Weight but Most Fail

The top ranked diet programs: Why they work and which ones don't.
3:00 | 01/07/14

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Transcript for Americans Spend More Than $ 20 Billion to Lose Weight but Most Fail
And next here tonight, the new year's resolution to lose weight. Today, "usa news and world report" released its list of the best diets. And at the top, the dash diet, which emphasizes portion control. Also on the list, the mediterranean diet, which focuses on fruits and nuts, vegetables and fish. And of course, weight watchers, which uses that points system for food. But next here, you're about to meet a handful of people who not only lose weight but know how to keep it off. So, how do they connect it to their happiness? What are their secrets to success? Abc's linsey davis tells us right now. Reporter: Meet an elite group of superdieters. I lost 60 pounds. Reporter: People who've beaten the odds. I lost 75 pounds. Reporter: The 15% of dieters who've not only lost weight but kept it off for years. The total weight loss of 158 pounds. Reporter: More than 10,000 of these long-term losers are being tracked by the national weight control registry. Their secrets, stored in a database. We asked them in the registry, what made this successful effort different from all your past unsuccessful efforts? And they say that this time, they were more committed to losing weight and keeping it off. Reporter: Steve porter is a registry member. I started having back issues. And the doctor said I'm happy to give you injections as you need them. But where are you going to be five years from now? Reporter: After initially losing 105 pounds, he managed to keep off about 75 of those pounds for the last 3 years. And he says maintenance is the hard part. But it's possible for him, with daily exercise and meticulously recording everything he's going to eat. We plan our meals very carefully. Keep everything on an excel spreadsheet. Itosted on the refrigeratrefrigerator. Reporter: Getting on the scale, for many of them, every, single day. And exercising on average, an hour a day. Rather than thinking of it as a diet, it's including exercise, and good health, eating habits, as the new normal. Reporter: That new normal is all about being conscious and careful. That's the key for kaeyen moss. You can be healthy and love yourself. Reporter: At 179 pounds, she's at her lowest weight as an adult and committed to losing even more. Linsey davis, abc news, new york. And another interesting note about the new year's resolution. Half of the people in the weight loss registry used a diet program. But half did it on their own.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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