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 attention...at 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
Libra (September 23-October 22)
You're so flipping wishy-washy—sorry, magnificently diplomatic—that mid-diet you're liable to change your mind (wait, wouldn't the Zone be better?).
Best bet: A partner to keep you on track, mixed with a balanced, middle-of-the-road eating plan.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
You're infamously all-or-nothing in your approach to exercise and dieting. The nice part is that no zodiac sign has deeper reserves of willpower.
Best bet: Any extreme regimen that involves control over your impulses, mild self-flagellation, and full-body detoxification. Bikram yoga, anyone? Weeklong juice fast?
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Prone to claustrophobia, you require freedom, challenge, and open spaces filled with gaily chirping birds. You also tend to put on weight easily, particularly in the hips and thighs.
Best bet: Go hiking rather than sequestering yourself inside a gym. As for dieting, don't even think about it. Just try to eat for health and lead a vigorous, don't-fence-me-in life.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
You tender, quietly driven, and occasionally melancholic souls respond well to structure.
Best bet: A systematized diet and fitness plan favoring gentler exercise (yoga, Pilates, bands) to counter your tendency to stiffen under pressure. Remember, if you want to get ahead (Capricorns are nothing if not ambitious), it won't hurt to look your best.
Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
You are the "I'll do it my way" individualist of the zodiac, and by a long shot the most intellectual of the three air signs.
Best bet: Aquarius rules the ankles and circulatory system, which is why skiing, treadmilling, and dancing are excellent calorie burners for you. And diet? Follow your own regimen, the more off the beaten track, the better.
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
Kindly, dreamy, poetical, and occasionally self-delusional, you badly need structure in your life, or else you'll start drinking gin and writing god-awful song lyrics.
Best bet: Exercise that gives you the illusion of merging with the universe—yoga, rock climbing, running. To avoid going off the deep end, opt for a rational, three-meal-a-day diet—and hang on to your scales.
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