A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds the best way to lose weight is to limit the amount of calories--regardless of the type of diet plan you choose.
If you're looking to drop a few pounds and keep it off calories not the proportion of fat, carbs or protein could be the most important ingredient.
That according to an extensive study that found overweight adults who focused on caloric intake, shed the pounds regardless of the diet plan.
"It's all about calories, its energy in and if u take too much in your body is going to store it and that's what happens over the long run," said study author Dr. Frank Sacks of Harvard School of Public Health.
Over a two year period, participants lost an average of 13 pounds and maintained an average weight loss of nine pounds.
Rudy Termini followed a higher fat, regular protein diet but cut his calories by 500 a day.
"I used to eat a lot of ice-cream, that is now down to a cup, I have a piece of fruit 1 glass of wine a night," said Termini.
Researchers say sticking with heart-healthy, low-calories foods, along with moderate exercise, can reduce the risk of health and heart problems.
"It's the balance between reducing calorie intake and then increasing the number of calories we burn through exercise and physical activity," said dr. Elizabeth Nabel, Director of the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute.
Diet and fitness experts say the findings should give millions of obese and overweight Americans hope they can achieve their goals.
Another factor to losing weight and keeping it off, is having a support system.
"The support group played a huge role in my success, made a huge difference," said study participant Debbie Mayer.
A huge difference in helping shed unwanted and unhealthy pounds.
The study followed more than 800 overweight and obese adults ranging in age from 30 to 70.
Each followed one of four diets.