Forget US News's Easiest Diet, Try Their 7 Diet Tricks for 2012

Healthy Diet Food

U.S. News & World Report has just released its easiest diet rankings, but unfortunately the diets chosen easiest are also among the priciest. Experts believe that a preferable—and more affordable—diet plan is one that involves lifestyle changes rather than prepackaged portions. To help dieters on a tight budget to match their tight jeans, U.S. News & World Report also offers 7 diet tricks to help you stick to your diet in 2012.

U.S. News & World Report is well-known for offering the “best of everything” rankings for colleges as well as a number of other public resources. After ranking what they consider to be the “best diet” plan of 2012, they also added on an “easiest diet” plan ranking to their report. For the easiest diet plan, Weight Watchers came out on top followed by Jenny Craig, the Mediterranean Diet, Slim-Fast and Volumetrics.

The problem with such rankings is that “the best” or “the easiest” does not necessarily imply the most practical. With over 1/3 of the U.S. meeting obesity rankings by the health community, many cannot afford to put their weight loss efforts and budget toward pre-packaged portions of diet meals and support services to ensure that they stick to their diet.

The good news is that U.S. News & World Report also offers health news and tips for dieters that are affordable. One example is a recent article by U.S. News & World Report health journalist Angela Haupt’s “7 Stick-to-Your-Diet Tricks You've Never Heard of for 2012” article that rather than ranks a diet, provides tips on how to stay on your diet whatever type it may be.

The following is a summary of the article’s 7 unique diet tricks for 2012:

Diet trick #1: Picture yourself
This trick involves carrying a photo of yourself at your best or your worst—whichever works the most for you—as a constant reminder of the person you want to be again or no longer be when it comes to your weight and body shape. The photo is a constant reminder whenever you are confronted by temptation to go to a vending machine for a snack, open a bottle of sugary pop, or stop at a local Dunkin’ Donuts to not give in, but save yourself for the one in the photo—you.


Diet trick #2: Bet on it
Researchers have found that the practice of “Diet betting” results in more successful weight loss by dieters who compete financially in “the most pounds lost” contests than dieters who do not. Typically, diet betters will compete with friends and family. But for those who have neither, there are online services that will take your credit card info and place you in a weight loss competition with other subscribers to the service.

Diet trick #3: Color your way thin
Color therapy that involves reaching for a crayon and coloring book rather than a cookie has been found to be a useful distraction technique that is relaxing and meditative when faced with stress related or mindless snacking. Keeping your hands and mind occupied on a task will keep you distracted from your temptations.

Diet trick #4: Brush your teeth
Brushing your teeth before cooking and immediately after a meal will respectively stop you from sampling your dishes as you cook and give you pause after a meal to see if you really do need that second helping to satiate your appetite. Eliminating the habit of pre-meal nibbling and post-meal seconds will in turn eliminate a significant number from your calorie count.

Diet trick #5: Shoot your dinner
Shooting your dinner with a camera is a remake of the well-known diet diary method in which you record every single bite on a daily basis. Keeping a visual record, however, may be more effective—especially if it is shared on a social media site with like-minded dieters or supportive friends.

Diet trick #6: Spice things up
Adding more flavor to your food with spices such as mustard powder, mustard seeds, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper will not only stimulate your taste buds and make each bite more tasty, but it will also make each bite more filling. In addition, a candy snack like the infamous Atomic FireBall your cousin tricked you with during your childhood is both sweet and spicy and will calm your appetite.

Diet trick #7: Role-play
Just as you may have practiced your 30-second elevator pitch to a client, you can also practice your polite, “No thank you please, I’ve already tried your delicious cheesecake and want to save some for others to enjoy” speech before going to a party or event where food is waiting to get you off your dieting track.

For those who find the U.S. News & World Report’s easiest diet choice financially unpalatable, their 7 diet tricks as well as numerous other free tips from celebrity doctor shows such as The Dr. Oz Show are better fitted for budget conscious dieters concerned about their bottom line as well as their bottoms.

Reference: U.S. News & World Report, Angela Haupt, Jan. 2012 online issue.
Image source of a healthy dish: Flickr. Used under Creative Commons Licence.