If you're discouraged by calorie counting and can't bear the thought of fasting, slimming shakes or endless 'tasty' salads, perhaps you've considered giving the much-talked about caveman diet a chance? Many dieters are reporting that this is a real breakthrough plan for them, which stops hunger pangs and offers considerable, swift weight loss.
Does it sound too good to be true? Not according to the author of The Paleo Diet, Loren Cordain, who thinks the reason we find it so hard to lose weight is that we're not eating like our paleolithic ancestors.
Cordain's view is that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to adopt the eating habits of cavemen. He writes in his book that "built into our genes is a blueprint for optimal nutrition - a plan that spells out the foods that make us lean, healthy and fit. We need to give our bodies the foods they were originally designed to eat."
This means eating large quantities of lean meat and consuming much lower amounts of carbohydrate than we're used to. It also involves giving up dairy food (no fields of cows to milk), cereal grains, salt or refined sugars.
If you're an intrepid dieter, you may enjoy eating snacks of beef jerky instead of oatcakes, and breakfasting on veal with salsa, or trout and lemon juice. It's almost a given that you'll lose weight on this plan, as it's hard to choke down a piece of trout at 7am, rather than some toast and marmite.
The lack of dairy products is somewhat worrying, as it will be hard to maintain your calcium intake without using supplements or eating huge quantities of calcium-rich, non-dairy foods.
However, if you're determined to lose weight but don't fancy the meat-heavy menu, it might be worth adopting some of the principles such as protein and vegetables for dinner, but swapping toast for meat at breakfast time.