Atkins? Scarsdale? South Beach? The type of diet doesn't really matter, according to a new study from the Harvard University School of Public Health.
It tried four diets on more than 800 people, adjusting for different levels of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Given the same amount of calories, all the diets provided the same amount of weight loss over a two year period.
"The key to losing weight is all about knowing how much you're really putting into your mouth," said Dr. Frank Sacks, one of the study's authors.
But while the dieters lost an average of 13 pounds in the first six months, they gained back four pounds in the next 18 months.
And while weight loss was the same, there was a difference in heart health. People improved their bad cholesterol level if they were on the low-fat diets, or one the high carbohydrate diet.
The study is in the New England Journal of Medicine