How to Stay on a Diet to Lose or Maintain Weight

Nine tricks for making your diet plan stick.

Best Diets 2014 -- Feet on a scale

7. Have many measures of success. "Don't just judge a diet by the pounds on the scale," Jackson Blatner says. "Monitor energy, sleep quality, mood, clothing and self-esteem. On weeks when the scale doesn't tell you what you want, you can focus on other motivating results to keep you going."

[Read: A Look at 'Fast Food Facts 2013'.]

8. Photograph your dinner. Believe it or not, research suggests that dieters who keep a photographic record of everything they eat lose more weight and are likelier to stick to their diet than those who don't. An online photo food diary holds you accountable: You have to look at every bite you consume, which discourages overeating and mindless munching. Launch your own weight-loss blog, or post the photos to your social media profiles. Cellphone cameras make instantly uploading photos a cinch. If you'd like more anonymity, and don't want your food photos to be linked to your Facebook or Twitter accounts, check out Foodspotting, Chowhound and FoodCandy. You can create a profile that's not immediately shared with everyone in your online social circle.

9. Role-play. Heading to an event where you'll be tempted with hors d'oeuvres that ooze calories, an extensive dessert spread and high-calorie alcoholic beverages? Plan how you'll politely but firmly turn down food, and practice ahead of time with a friend, colleague or yourself in front of the mirror. And consider inviting a healthy-eating date who will keep you on track, so that you avoid waxing rhapsodic about the cheesecake.

[Read: 10 Tips for Saving Money on a Plant-Based Diet.]

Updated 01/07/2014: This is an updated version of a previously published story.