If you go mad at the merest sniff of a diet, have you ever considered increasing the amount you exercise in order to attain your weight loss goal? It's still possible to lose upwards of half a stone in four weeks by eating sensibly - no buckets of ice cream or giant takeaways - and working up a serious sweat.
In order to achieve weight loss of at two pounds a week - meaning by the end of the month you'll have lost eight pounds or more - challenge your body by varying the amount and type of exercise you do.
You also need to make sure the amount of exercise you do burns off enough calories, so you're creating a calorific debt. If you're eating around 1,500 calories a day, you should be aiming to work out hard enough to burn between 250-500 calories per session.
Forget slogging away on the treadmill for hours. If you weigh 10 stone, in an hour you'll burn around 450 calories hiking, 300 playing badminton, 400 going for a moderately paced bike ride and 500 roller skating or playing tennis.
If you have less time to spare, 30 minutes vigorous activity on the rowing machine, elliptical trainer or stationary bike will burn 300 calories. Vary the pace and intensity of your workout in order to give your system a challenge.
Aim to exercise five days a week, starting slowly so you don't injure yourself and remember to have two days of rest. Keep it up and you should be smiling at the scales by the end of the month.