The market is saturated with low-fat, low-carb and sugar-free foods. But despite the popular diets, "magical" pills and the latest, greatest fitness machines that all promise to melt away the pounds, more than half of American adults are overweight.
For true weight-loss success, health experts stress the importance of changing your lifestyle for the long term and exercising regularly. Here are some creative ways to make fitness fun again and help you win the battle of the bulge once and for all.
* Take "healthy" vacations. Make fitness part of your travels. Head to a spa where, along with a little pampering, you can enjoy hiking, rock climbing, kickboxing, aqua aerobics and yoga.
* Walk or run for a good cause. Training for a 5K charity walk, for example, may be all the motivation you need to get started on a regular fitness routine. Best of all, you'll be helping your favorite charity accomplish its goals.
* Dance. Join a ballroom or hip-hop dancing class. It's a great way to shed the pounds, learn how to dance and have fun.
* Strip the weight away. New DVDs featuring Carmen Electra help you spice up your regular workout routine and provide a fun new way to tone your body right in the comfort of your own living room.
"Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease" and "Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease - Fit to Strip" are fast becoming wildly popular. With the help of fitness experts, Electra teaches viewers how to trim down with high- and low-impact dance and fitness techniques. The strengthening moves are designed to help tone the hips, thighs, buns and abs. The DVDs' special features include a pop-up video display with workout tips and a customizable music track.
* Do Pilates. Find out what makes Pilates the workout of choice for countless celebrities, and why your gym's Pilates classes are always full. The "MTV: Pilates Mix" DVD, hosted by renowned Pilates and yoga instructor Kristin McGee, is perfect for those who want to add a more cutting-edge beat to their workout. The DVD features two half-hour workout sessions that focus on toning the arms, legs and abs, with a music mix that motivates you to get up and work out.
The DVDs are available online and in stores nationwide.