Diet fads may come and go, but I know that I can always stay at a healthy weight by eating foods I love. I try to make most of my food choices smart ones but there's a place for pizza in every diet plan. No food is off limits as long as I keep calories in mind (and remember that 3,500 extra ones will cause me to gain a pound).

Here are my 4 favorite tricks for keeping the weight off:

1. I seek out yummy recipes that seem decadent but actually are low in calories and packed with healthful ingredients. One of the quick low-cal dinners I've been making a lot recently is Pepperoni Pizza: its cheesy, saucy topping hides the fact that it delivers only 280 calories per serving. (And it provides a healthy 25 percent of the daily value for calcium and it takes only about a half hour to make! What's not to love?) Get the recipe: EatingWell's Pepperoni Pizza.

2. I know how many calories my body needs and generally what that looks like in a day of eating. If the pounds start creeping on, I write down everything I eat to make sure I'm hitting my target.

3. Whipping out measuring cups or a kitchen scale at every meal and snack simply isn't my style. So I use other tricks to keep my portions in check. For example, I know that my soup ladle is 3/4 cup and, if I use it to serve up my chili, two scoops equal a satisfying 1 ½-cup portion. I eat ice cream out of reusable plastic containers designed to hold exactly 1/2 cup of food. (I fill them right to the top.)

4. I've learned what reasonable portion sizes look like on their own (e.g., 3 ounces of meat is about the size of a deck of cards)-and on my plates. One serving of Cheerios (love 'em!) fills my cereal bowl about halfway.

These tricks help me to eat a diet that satisfies me physically and emotionally-without breaking the calorie bank.