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Dateline NBC
updated 10/8/2004 7:45:07 PM ET 2004-10-08T23:45:07

The round-up
Experts generally agree that dieters can expect to lose one to two pounds a week, and usually more the first month. So by the end of the summer our dieters should have lost 24-48 pounds. What sets them apart? Let's take them in order.

Lorri, with her celebrity coach, leads the pack by dropping 36 pounds. What has she done right? Remember, Bob Greene believes that when you eat is as important as what you eat. Lorri's biggest changes have included no food after 7:30 p.m., eating breakfast and eliminating caffeine – four cups a day – altogether. But the biggest plus is exercise. Lorri has exercised five to six times a week for five months, pushing her limits each time.

In second place is our vegetarian Dawn. She's down 29 pounds. What are her secrets? Well first, she's cut out junk food. She's also eliminated pasta. Breads are gone, too. And though she's not crazy about cooking she's kept her diet interesting with spices, new flavors and new ingredients. She is also exercising five times a week.

Our star athlete, Jim, had lost 27 pounds on the un-glamorous, old school, government USDA food pyramid. His secrets? Jim has become an expert at food content and serving size, though he' s driving his co-workers crazy. And most important, he gives himself treats. So 80 percent of the time he's on the diet, 20 percent he's off. And he's exercising. Sound familiar? He too has been exercising a minimum of five days a week.

Next is Carrie on South Beach. By summer's end, she’s lost a somewhat disappointing 21 pounds In some ways, Carrie represents America's struggle with weight. She's trying to undo a lifetime of and bad eating habits. Her sweet tooth is so powerful that even with a national audience watching she keeps falling off the wagon. But here's her secret -- if you fall, don't give up. She's started South Beach all over again

Then there's Father John, whose focus has been exercise and not food. By summer's end, he'd lost the least, 16 pounds. He points out that he's lost five inches around his waist and dropped two pant sizes. While he may be more fit, it seems, to lose weight, he needs to eat less. But he feels what he needs is more time.

So that's how the summer ended. But things would likely change with three months to go before their 25th high school reunion. Dateline we will be there to see which of our volunteers goes to the head of the class by losing the most weight.

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