Best tip: Pick a range for your ideal weight instead of fixating on a particular number. This works because: You'll feel guilt-free when faced with the small fluctuations that occur naturally day-to-day.
Worst tip: Eat the exact same thing for lunchand breakfast too if you can stand itevery day. Why it's not so great: The lack of variety may bore you to the point of giving up on your diet.
Best tip: Try circuit training. This works because: The effective, total-body workouts will help you lose weight and inches, as well as boost your metabolism, strengthen your bones, and may even make you more resistant to stress.
Worst tip: Start your own competition à la Biggest Loser, complete with group meetings and registration fees. Why it's not so great: Without producers, camera crew and a six-figure salary, it's not worth the trouble.
Best tip: Read the ingredients. This works because: You won't eat anything you can't pronounce.
Worst tip: You must eat vegan. Why it's not so great: The dairy- and animal-products-free lifestyle isn't for everyone. Some may find it too extreme and limiting.
6 of 9Istockphoto
French Women Don't Get Fat
A French-born, NYC exec considers the differences in American portion sizes (big and bigger) and eating techniques (fast and faster) to that of her native country.
Best tip: Add "petit" and "peu" to your French vocabulary. This works because: You can have a little of everything if you stick to small portions.
Worst tip: Carry a sprig of lavender to smell as you pass the tempting aromas floating out of bakeries and restaurants. Why it's not so great: Even if this did keep your mouth from watering, it could also have you sneezing up a storm (and looking a little silly).
7 of 9Istockphoto
The Beck Diet Solution
Beck's approach is to change the way you think about eating so you can keep up any diet.
Best tip: Differentiate between cravings and hunger. This works because: If you can tell the difference between wanting to eat and needing to eat, you can cut out unnecessary calories.
Worst tip: Just say, "Oh well." Why it's not so great: If you're really dreading going to the gym, or just dying to have a few more fries, are you really going to be able to just say, "Oh well," and stick to the rules of your diet? Instead follow one of Beck's bolder responses to cravings.
Best tip: Reward yourself with the treats you miss the most while dieting. This works because: If you long for white bread but couldn't care less about chocolate cake, enjoy a serving of bread before dinner but skip dessert.
Worst tip: If a restaurant doesn't have whole-wheat pasta, bring your own. Why it's not so great: Celebrities might be able to have chefs cook off the menu, but the rest of us shouldn't bank on getting the star treatment.