These groups do not promote any specific weight-loss plan. Rather, members following various plans meet for support.

Each of these programs promotes a specific plan for losing weight.

Health care providers run clinical programs. They generally are very-low-calorie diets meant for people who have a lot of weight to lose.

  • The Commonsense Guide to Weight Loss for People With Diabetes. By Barbara Caleen Hansen and Shauna S. Roberts. Published by the American Diabetes Association in 1998. Scientifically sound weight-loss information tailored to people with diabetes.

  • Thin for Life: 10 Keys to Success from People Who Have Lost Weight and Kept It Off. By Anne M. Fletcher. Published by Houghton Mifflin in 2003. Weight-loss methods of people who have lost and kept off at least 20 pounds.

  • Weighing the Options: Criteria for Evaluating Weight-Management Programs. Edited by Paul R. Thomas. Published by the National Academy Press in 1995. How to find the right weight-loss program for you. Much useful information, but technical and somewhat dated.

  • Small Steps, Big Rewards: Walking Your Way to Better Health. Published by the American Diabetes Association in 2003. Advice and tips for walking for health. Comes with a pedometer to count every step you take.

If you want expert help, start by asking your doctor for a referral. If that does not work out, here are other places to find experts.