I have wanted to lose about 10 pounds for more than 10 years! How do I finally break through and get down to my happy and healthy weight?

Weight loss is a simple equation: You need to create a calorie deficit every day. When you do so, your body will burn off excess fat and the scale will start to tip the other way. The Mayo Clinic says you must burn about 3,500 calories to lose one pound. To lose 10 pounds, you need enough exercise to burn a net of 35,000 calories. How fast you lose those pounds depends on your age, weight, diet and type of exercise you do.

STEP 1: Determine how many calories you’re consuming each day. The easiest way is to write down everything that you eat and drink. There are many online calorie counters that you can use to find out the numbers of calories in the foods you eat.

Once you have a clear idea of your average daily intake, try to cut your daily diet by 500 calories. Do so by replacing a high-calorie snack with one
 less calorific, eating smaller portions or avoiding alcohol or sugary products that will be higher in calories.

STEP 2: Commit to some kind of cardiovascular exercise three to five times a week. Cardio exercise makes your heart and lungs work harder to send oxygen into your bloodstream. Your muscles use the oxygen to burn fat or glucose; by burning more calories this way, cardio helps you to lose weight. Twenty to 30 minutes can be sufficient.

STEP 3: Strength train three to four days a week. Strength training builds lean muscle, which also burns fat and boosts your metabolism, therefore helping you to lose weight faster. Try to do 20-30 minutes of strength training in your sessions and target each main muscle group.

To get you started, it might be good to consult with a personal trainer to develop a plan that sets out your goal. Make sure there are milestones along the way for you to hit so that you are motivated by your achievements.

There are no miracle cures or diets that will rid you of those 10 pounds. Honestly, despite all the commercials nothing works better than a serious, well-planned approach. How long it takes you depends on how much you eat and how much you exercise.