The One Science-Backed Rule for Losing Weight and Maintaining It

If you're trying to lose weight, there's an unending list of possible diets to sift through, each requiring different levels of discipline and promising results. From Atkins to the Zone Diet and everything in between, diets can be dicey when it comes to determining what's healthy, safe, and effective for you. With so many to choose from, it's a challenge to even begin to consider which to choose.

If you're looking to lose weight and keep it off for good, it turns out your success has less to do with which diet you follow and more to do with how you follow it. The science-backed rule for losing weight and keeping it off is quite simple: Be consistent. Scientists from The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analyzed a variety of diets to determine which is best at yielding results. While their research found that the greatest levels of weight loss were associated with diets that required low carbohydrate and low fat intake (like Atkins and the Zone diet), it also deduced that weight loss was most determined by ability to stick to the diet rather than the diet itself.

What does this mean for your weight-loss strategy? Looking beyond what's healthiest and best for your particular body, the diet that's going to be the most effective for you is the one you're going to be able to stick to long term. Avoid fad diets, crash diets, and any weight-loss plan that's going to be unsustainable in the long run. A well-balanced, healthy approach that covers your essential nutrients and meets your optimum calorie intake is going to give you results you'll be able to maintain.

Surprised to hear the strategy is so simple? Share your thoughts with us in the comments and let us know what approach you've found to be most successful.