Q: I'm at my wits end with losing my last 20 lbs.  It just won't come off, although I work out vigorously 6 days per week with a moderate walk on the 7th.  I've been following Weight Watchers for several years now and have scale meltdowns on a weekly basis.  I'm maintaining 80 lbs. of a 102 lb. weight loss, but need to get the 20 put on about six years ago.  Do I dare buy into the Acai Berry craze?

First off - congratulations to you on losing the weight! That's a huge accomplishment and you should be really proud of the weight loss.

The last few pounds are always a struggle and you shouldn't be discouraged. You've mastered quite a bit in reigning in your lifestyle changes - incorporating daily physical activity and managing your portion sizes - so now isn't the time to fall prey to a fad diet that's been highly scrutinized for fraud and not scientifically proven for weight loss success.

That being said, acai berry is a fruit from Central and South America that is being studied for its antioxidant properties which may lend to some health benefits. However, to date, there are no human studies that have proven a link with this berry and weight loss or chronic disease like diabetes.

It's best to achieve optimal nutrition from whole fruits and vegetables versus nutritional supplements - which acai berries are commonly found in supplement pills or in ready-to-eat/drink consumer products. 

I suggest seeing a Registered Dietitian in your area for a complete run through of your medical history and dietary analysis to see where additional changes can be made. Visit www.eatright.org to find a dietitian near you. In addition, you might consider switching up your exercise routine by asking a fitness trainer for moves to challenge your body to drop the last pounds.

Good luck!

Jeannie Houchins is a Registered Dietitian in private practice with over ten years of experience. She was formerly the Director of Media Relations at the Institute of Food Technologists and has  contributed to Food Technology, Today's Dietitian, Flavor magazine, Natural Health, the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior,  and the American Dietetic Association Cooking Healthy Across America cookbook. She is an active member with the American Dietetic Association, American Society of Nutrition, and the Society for Nutrition Educators.