It’s January. If, like most everyone, you are imperfectly disciplined, it is probably only today that you have begun to think seriously about your New Year’s resolutions. So let’s start with the obvious one: How do you lose 10 pounds in a week?

You’ve probably asked yourself this question many times, probably heard friends say this aloud at least as often. Seems 10 pounds is the single most common dieting goal. It’s as if we all think we will be far better off when we are exactly 10 pounds lighter... and naturally, we would like to accomplish that goal really really fast. Why not 7 pounds or 15? Why not lose it in two weeks instead of one? These are the great mystery questions of dieting.

10 Tips/Diets for Losing Weight

Below we’ve sketched out 10 ideas about how you might begin to shed some of your unloved and unwanted pounds. Please understand three things. First, no diet can guarantee you anything. Due to the individual way in which each of us metabolizes food, there is no surefire way that any one diet will help everyone lose a set amount of pounds in a set amount of days. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. Second, any diet proposed below has not been doctor-approved for you; if you want to be absolutely safe, you will do further research to make sure you remain within the borders of healthy eating.

Third thing to remember? The only diet that works is the one you stick with... like white on rice. So let's begin:

The Division Game

1) Eat and do everything you usually do with one small change: Divide all your portions in two, and then eat one portion and save the other for another day. Not only will you lose weight, you also will cut your food budget in half and spend about half your usual time in the kitchen (though reheating food does take a minute or two).

No Snacking

2) For one week, eat only three proper meals a day made of all natural ingredients and cut all the snacking. By proper meal we mean follow the USDA food plate: a small portion of protein, large portion of vegetables (prepared without sauces), large portion of fruit, one portion of rice, grain, or potato, and some dairy. And by natural, we mean none of the foods should be packaged, pre-prepared, or processed foods. This simple diet will, at the very least, take away any left-over holiday bloat while helping you.

My plate USDA

Go Japanese

3) More specifically, eat as if you lived in Okinawa, where it is said people commonly use the Hara Hachi Bu rule: They stop eating when they are just 80 percent full. Add to that a mostly plant-based diet with plenty of fish instead of the usual meat. Include high fiber whole grains and substitute rice for your usual starches (yes, we mean potatoes). Finally, take a walk after your meals. The combination of calorie control, healthy foods, and exercise all add up to lower rates of heart disease and cancer.

Cut All Sugar

4) Do not eat any sugar, whatsoever, for a week. While you may only lose a modest amount of weight and possibly not a full 10 pounds — but, hey, you never know — you will learn a great deal about your actual day-to-day diet and come to understand how sugar can creep into even a healthy diet, as this brave writer who went sugar-free attests.

Diet Apps

5) Try a new diet app. Sure, most diet apps do nothing more than encourage you to think more wisely about what you are putting in your mouth, but hey, sometimes that’s all you need. Jawbone UP24, for instance, helps you log your food and water intake and then provides simple suggestions about how to change your usual choices in order to become healthier. SuperTracker from the USDA is FREE and helps you track your calories. MyFitnessPal not only helps you keep the usual record of your meals, but also logs your weight, your height, age, activity level, and workout routines. Plus, this app helps you get to your goal weight, in part by connecting you to other users for support and motivation. Instead of snapping pics of your food, use your smartphone to help you get rid of the pounds.

Diet App Lars Ploughman

Follow the Moon

6) Become a werewolf and eat (or actually fast) in accordance with the moon. OK, this one is a little bit wack, but there is some thought behind it. Essentially, since it is known the moon exerts atmospheric pressure on the earth’s oceans and rivers, the removal of fat and toxins from your body may occur at a faster pace when the moon is full. The Werewolf Diet suggests, then, that you fast when there is a full moon and then eat with certain restrictions at all other times of the month.

Go Veggie

7) Eat like your vegetarian friends. Simply switching up your diet in any way helps you to become more aware of what you are putting into your mouth and naturally inspires you to eat a little less. By the way, the most important part of eating vegetarian: Don't be BORING! Make it a point to try something new — stop reaching for the same old tired fruits and veggies you always eat and pick something different. In other words, practice mindfulness when eating.

vegetarian soup
a vegetarian friend Wonderlane

Weight Watchers

8) Get thee to a Weight Watchers meeting (or at least the website). Good ol' WW has been around forever, it’s doctor-approved, it provides you with all sorts of helpful information, and it’s all about the power of friendly support. Loads of people swear by it, and annually it makes the U.S. News and World Report list of best diets. However, unless you begin at a very high weight, you may not come anywhere near to losing 10 pounds in a week on this plan. Slow and steady, as opposed to quick and dirty, is more the Weight Watchers’ motto.

The Rice Diet

9) The Rice Diet focuses on high in fiber foods, while reducing salt and processed food. In other words, you will be eating plenty of veggies, fruits, and grains while avoiding meat and cheeses. According to lore, Dr. Walter Kempner developed this special diet in 1939 as a way to target not only weight loss but also to help reduce high blood pressure and rid the body of kidney problems. Since fiber is key to bowel function and since processed food is what often clogs the pipes, this diet may be moving things along quite a bit. Be forewarned.

Cooking rice Tom Anderson

The Cabbage Soup Diet

10) Last but not least, there’s the Cabbage Soup Diet. Warning: This is not considered the healthiest diet, and some people claim that really all you will lose is water weight. That said, it’s been around forever and it’s an unlimited eating diet, which appeals to many. In its way, the diet is very simple. You basically make a ton of cabbage soup and eat that for seven days straight, with a few additional items listed below on the daily menu, courtesy of MarieClaire:

Day 1: Unlimited cabbage soup and fruit (excluding bananas).

Day 2: Cabbage soup and additional vegetables. One baked potato with butter for dinner. No fruit at all. Day 3: Unlimited cabbage soup plus any fruit and vegetables you choose (excluding potatoes or bananas).

Day 4: Unlimited cabbage soup and skimmed milk. Plus up to eight bananas.

Day 5: Unlimited cabbage soup and 565g of beef and 6 tomatoes. Drink 6-8 glasses of water today to flush extra uric acid from your body.

Day 6: Unlimited cabbage soup and limitless beef and vegetables (excluding potatoes).

Day 7: Unlimited cabbage soup with a little brown rice and vegetables.

And this is how you make the soup:

  • 1 head green cabbage, finely shredded or chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 16 to 28 ounces canned tomatoes, chopped with juices
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
  • 6 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 pound green beans, stem ends snapped, sliced on the diagonal
  • black pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, sage, dill, cilantro, or thyme

Put all the vegetables in a large pot and cover with water. After you bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and boil for 10 minutes. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until all the vegetables are soft. Bon Appetit.