New  Year's Diets are now either in full swing -- or they have completely blown up and  gone the way of the unicorn. If you are among those still working at it, good job! Keep in mind when it comes to reaching your weight loss goal, the last five pounds may be the toughest five pounds to lose.

Pretty much anytime you start a diet, if you are faithful to it, you are bound to show significant results early on. How many weight loss programs have you seen promising you will lose five pounds in the first week? The fact is, that will be the easiest five pounds to get off. Unfortunately, it only gets tougher from there.

I am in the seventh week of my new year's diet - with the goal of losing 20 pounds by April 18th. So far, I've dropped 15 pounds, and I'm happy about that, but I can tell you that it is getting harder and harder to shed poundage. Fortunately, experience has taught me that this is how it is, and  consequently, my expectations are lower at this point. I'm not expecting to see a decrease of two pounds in any one week. As long as I see some decline, with the expected occasional fluctuation,  I am happy.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel - six weeks left until my target date - and five more pounds to lose. That's less than a pound a week for the next six weeks. It is definitely doable, but at the same time I can't expect it to be easy. I have to stick to my eating plan -five"meals" a day -a consistent exercise regimen and continue to say 'no' to Mr. Doughnut.

At this point, I have worked too hard, sacrificed too much, and made too much progress to digress now. Those are my motivating factors when it comes to eating right - and finding the energy and desire to exercise even when I really don't feel like it.

Maybe your weight loss goal is larger than mine, and you have further to go to get there. I encourage you to stick with it. Keep you eye on the prize -and don't forget how far you've come. You knew going in this was going to be a slow process. Slow and steady - that is the key to successful weight loss. Just remember, the closer you get to your goal, the tougher it's going to get. Don't give up!