Lifestyle modification therapy for overweight and obese patients combines specific recommendations on diet and exercise with behavioral and cognitive procedures and strategies. In completers it produces a mean weight loss of 8-10 % in about 30 weeks of treatment. However, two main issues still to be resolved are how to improve dissemination of this approach, and how to help patients maintain the healthy behavioral changes and avoid weight gain in the long term. In recent years, several strategies for promoting and maintaining lifestyle modification have been evaluated, and promising results have been achieved by individualising the treatment, delivering the intervention by phone and internet or in a community setting, and combining lifestyle modification programs with residential treatment and bariatric surgery. These new strategies raise optimistic expectations for the effective management of obesity through lifestyle modification.