How to devise a successful diet; no particular news, but a different angle that does shed some light on how people actually lose. Colvin and Olson worked with successful dieters who had lost between 20 and 275 pounds and kept them off for a period of years, to come up with a profile of the big-time loser. They found, first, that they were not ""superhuman. . .possessed of iron wills and endless self-discipline."" Rather, ""almost every one of them failed at weight loss more than once before."" Second, in spite of diversity in the sample, ""our winners followed a distinct, predictable pattern to permanent weight loss."" The authors thus propose that if others can follow the pattern, they will also lose weight. This may or may not prove true, since the actual advice and specifics offered here have all been presented elsewhere. The phases Colvin and Olson define are 1) slopping the vicious circle of dieting/weight gain; 2) starting the positive spiral to permanent weight loss; 3) dealing with success (a major life change for many occurs with large weight loss); and 4) maintenance. The question, of course, is whether dieters can set these phases up and then succeed, or if these phases follow some other initiating--and as yet unidentified--factor. Certainly worth a try, since the actual dieting advice is sound. But while thought-provoking, it is not established as an advance in nutritional knowledge.