Many people rolled out of bed this week determined to kick-start the new year by losing weight. I am one of those people. I have some unwanted pounds to shed and I am determined. Some people want to lose weight because they're on the brink of developing type 2 diabetes, their knees hurt or their blood pressure is too high. Others want their clothes to fit less snugly. Still others were shocked by the number on the bathroom scale.

People who want to lose weight always worry that they may fail. Personally I have lost quite a bit of  weight in my life. But I always seem to slowly gain it back. I thought for those of us taking the "weight loss" plunge, we could use all the helpful tips we can. So here are a few tips I found on-line at USAToday.com.

•Keep a food journal. Research shows dieters who keep a journal lose twice as much weight as those who don't. If after a few months you get tired of it, then at least try to write down your intake at the times of day that you're mostly likely to eat too much, Foster says.

•Step on the scale regularly. Weigh yourself at least once week and no more than once a day, he says.

•Get a weight-loss buddy. This might be your significant other, a co-worker, a registered dietitian, a family member or a friend, Blatner says. Your buddy can offer encouragement, try new recipes with you and exercise with you.

•Set realistic goals. Blatner advises aiming to lose half a pound to 2 pounds a week. If you're not losing that much, look for "calorie sabotages," such as big portions, sweets, sugary beverages and alcoholic drinks, she says.

One thing I have learned is to give yourself a break. Don't try and lose all the weight in "record breaking" time. That just sets you up for failure. I always like to have some sort of incentive, like a trip to NYC, or the beach. Whether you have some sort of incentive or not, make this the year the year you get healthy and lean - for yourself  first, then for the ones you love. Good Luck!