This study evaluated effects of a behavioral approach which placed emphasis on tailored behavior counseling, diet, weight loss and weight maintenance. A one-year randomized controlled trial was conducted among 235 overweight/obese adults in Japan. The intervention group (n=119) received individual-based counseling using a behavioral approach and the changes made in the diet and physical activity were dependent on each participant as much as possible. One year later, the intervention group lost significantly more weight than the control group (-5.0 kg vs. 0.1 kg for men and -3.9 kg vs. -0.2 kg for women). Compared to the control group, the male intervention group reduced overall energy, cereals and dairy products consumption significantly, while increasing green and yellow vegetable intake, and the female intervention group significantly reduced intake of dairy products. Regarding behaviors, both male and female intervention groups increased the number of walking steps and women improved their irregular eating habits compared to those in the control groups. Behavior changes were related to weight loss; participants who maintained the action/maintenance stage or moved to later stages lost significantly more weight than participants who remained in the pre-contemplation/contemplation/preparation stages or regressed to earlier stages. After one-year follow-up, the intervention group maintained significantly lower weights, lower energy intakes and improvements in irregular eating habits. Our behavioral approach led to diet and behavior modification, weight loss and maintenance. Because modified variables differed between men and women, gender-specific approaches may be necessary.