We really do make losing weight harder than what it is. It really is as simple as burning more calories than you eat. The more active you are, the more weight you will lose and the easier it will be to maintain. From MSN:
University of Tennessee researchers studied the Amish community because the Amish, who use no electricity, are highly active in their daily lives. Amish men—many of whom are farmers—reported an average of 10 hours of vigorous work activity per week and, according to pedometers they wore, took an average of 18,425 steps per day. One man took more than 51,000 steps in a day by walking behind his horses in the fields. Women—who engaged in more moderate intensity activity such as gardening, cooking and childcare—tallied an average of 14,196 daily steps.
The researchers observed that the Amish diet is typically high in calories, fat and refined sugar foods such as meat, potatoes, gravy, eggs, vegetables, bread, pies and cakes. But only 4 percent of those surveyed were obese (compared to nearly 33 percent of modern adults) and only 26 percent were overweight (compared to around 65 percent of modern adults), as determined by their body mass index. This study suggests that the Amish were able to maintain healthier weights because they move so much.