From the blood type diet to the personality type diet, so many programs now advocate weight loss regimens for your specific, well, type, we half expected to see the astro diet. The zodiac, after all, is the world's oldest classification system. Just for fun, we asked our favorite amateur astrologer, Peter Smith, what the stars might say about the future of your shape.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Headstrong and passionate, you are terrific at kicking off a diet, not so great at sustaining one.

Best bet: A short-term, intense regimen that grips your least until you get sick of it. Or try a weight loss competition with a friend. You can't fathom coming in second.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

No sign is more blockheadedly sedentary or accumulates pounds faster.

Best bet: Regular physical activity and constant dietary vigilance. You'll cheerfully and steadfastly stick to a fitness routine if it's predictable, slightly boring, and shows practical results.

Gemini (May 21-June 21)

Thanks to your innate distractibility and near-hysterical nervous system, you burn calories the way a veld brush fire hurls off sparks.

Best bet: Graze daily on a half-dozen small, varied, mealettes that you can pick at while you're doing something else (reading the tabloids, watching TV, listening to your iPod, etc.).

Cancer (June 22-July 22)

Cancers are emotional eaters, before bedtime snackers, and inveterate food hoarders.

Best bet: With your love of domesticity, retrain yourself to prepare soothing meals that aren't over-the-top fattening. Tenacious and hardworking, you respond beautifully to any long-term fitness program.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

Warm, regal, and enthusiastic, you are identifiable by your innate flamboyance (you have a weakness for gold) and inclination to grasp people very tenderly on the arm when talking to them.

Best bet: Appeal to your own vanity by joining a gym, where you can work out in full view of the minions and fantasize ad nauseam about how dazzling you'll look once you've dropped a few pounds.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

Practically everything on the planet repulses you, or just plain gives you the shivers (you're the kids who'll eat only beige food one month, organic chimichangas the next), and you're maddeningly (to some) hypersensitive about dietary matters.

Best bet: Vegetarianism, or any fringe diet and fitness program that's pragmatic, detailed, purifying, and ferociously organized.

Next: Diet strategies for Libras, Scorpios and more
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.


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