Once you decide to start taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle, it's important to follow some certain criteria in order to ensure success. From experience, the following things are what I think are imperative to any successful weight loss plan. Set Reasonable Goals-If you have 50 pounds to lose, don't plan on losing it all in two months. Losing 1-2 pounds a week is reasonable and maintainable, but not much more than that. So if you want to lose that 50 pounds, plan on doing so over a course of 6-7 months instead. This will not only be much easier for you to maintain if you drop at a steady rate, but it will also be a much healthier approach.