As always, 2008 saw its fair share of diet books, promising everything from the perfect hips to freedom from hunger to losing 21 pounds in 21 days.

A whole new batch soon will be out to launch those new year’s resolutions. But if you want a jump-start on some calorie-kicking diets, here are the ones we liked best — in no particular order — from last year’s slate of reviews.

Diet: The Most Decadent Diet Ever!

Creator: Devin Alexander, a chef and former Los Angeles caterer

Who this is for: Someone who likes to tinker in the kitchen. This plan is mostly recipes, with lots of made-over comfort-food favourites, from burgers to mac and cheese to brownies. The fluffy mini cherry cheesecakes, for example, will satisfy any sweet tooth — and are only 99 calories apiece.

Diet: In Defense of Food

Creator: The award-winning writer Michael Pollan

Who this is for: Those who want to embrace, wholeheartedly, the notion of eating like their great-grandmother. Pollan eschews the modern-day food experience, which he says is mostly composed of “food-like substances,” and has developed a manifesto of eating: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Diet: The Wall Street Diet

Creator: Heather Bauer, a registered dietitian in New York

Who this is for: High-powered, Type A, time-pressured Bay Street types who are too busy to cook almost any meal at home. The diet is a list of strategies for eating out, and eating on the run, so execs can still wine and dine clients without having to sacrifice their health.

Diet: The All-New Atkins Advantage

Creators: Stuart Trager, an orthopaedic surgeon and medical director of Atkins Nutritionals, and Colette Heimowitz, the Atkins company spokesperson

Who this is for: This newest iteration of an old theme is for those who implicitly believe in the Atkins high-protein way of life — and who can live without fruit, whole grains and foods made with flour and sugar.

Diet: Women’s Health Perfect Body Diet

Creators: Cassandra Forsythe, a doctoral candidate in exercise science and nutrition at the University of Connecticut

Who this is for: Those who are up on their nutrition know-how and have less than 25 pounds to lose. They key here is glucomannan, or PGX, a soluble fibre supplement that expands in the gut to help dieters feel full faster and control hunger throughout the day.

Latest From ...