If you want to clear the crap out of your diet but aren’t ready for obsessive calorie-counting or using complicated points systems to track your meals, don’t sweat it. Start out small by picking an eating plan that lets you call the shots—with a few quirky caveats. Try your hand at one of the no-think diets below and see for yourself that healthy eating doesn’t have to be a hassle.
The No "S" Diet
The gist here is simple: Eliminate sweets, seconds, and snacks—except on days that start with "S" and any special days (holidays, birthdays, anniversaries...you get the idea). Even if you pile your plate high during weekday meals, the No "S" Diet should still work because you're getting rid of all the junk that typically throws off your healthy-eating game. Dying for dessert? You only have to hold off until the weekend.
The Small-Plate Diet
Weird fact: The average dinner plate size has increased from about 9 inches in diameter to about 12 inches in the last century. And guess what? The bigger your plate, the more grub you end up piling on top—by as much as 25 percent, according to a study from Cornell University. The Small Plate Movement suggests eating your largest meal of the day off of a 9 to 10-inch plate for one month. The likely result: You'll cut down your consumption simply because you're working with less tabletop real estate.
Vegan Until Dinner
Another way to cut out junk without completely depriving yourself: Try eating only vegan foods until dinnertime, then you're allowed whatever you'd like. This plan worked for New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, who lost 35 pounds in four months--plus cut down his cholesterol and blood sugar levels--when he switched to the plant-heavy diet. He's recorded his experiences in a book called Vegan Before 6:00, which will be out in April.
- Can Cheating on Your Diet Help You Lose Weight?Setting aside a day to bend the rules—within reason—gives your willpower muscle a break and ups your odds for sticking to a diet plan.
- Eat Better Instantly with Three Simple Food SwapsEating healthy doesn't always mean you have to change your entire diet. Simply swap out these three products for their healthier alternatives.