I loved the fact that as a young man and an early/mid adult, my weight never varied by more than a pound or two, regardless of what I ate.
I had read that most people add a pound a year, starting around age 40. Left to my dietary preferences, that pattern fit me, too. But my wife and I made a conscious decision to push back. (See http://techsmiths.blogspot.com/2012/10/and-so-on_11.html) We discovered, after some experimentation, that the South Beach Diet worked for us. But it can't be a one-time thing. We're now on a pattern to spend 2-4 weeks on it about twice a year: after the Christmas splurges, and after summer vacationing.
Which goes to say - we're on it now. Six pounds down after six days in. Pretty good so far. The South Beach Diet weans you from carbohydrates, and during the transition from fueling on carbs to fueling on proteins, normally I feel like gnawing on table legs because I feel hungry. But I know from past experience this goes away after a few days. And fasting one day a week, as we have also been doing this year, teaches you to accept and ignore the hungries.
So this cycle (so far) is not so bad...