If you're anything like us, you've dabbled in your fair share of healthy eating strategies—from the Mediterranean diet to veganism to Gisele's method of choice. Some are downright ineffective (and even cruel—ahem, Master Cleanse), while others get the job done. And of course, a lot of it comes down to personal preference and what meshes with your lifestyle.
Still, weight loss is a science, which is why experts render some eating plans far more useful than others. And of the handful of more effective methods out there, it turns out they all have a certain factor in common. During a talk at a research conference in New Orleans earlier this month, Stanford University scientist and professor Christopher Gardner highlighted exactly why some diets work while others don't. The key, it turns out, comes down to eating less calories—which seems obvious, but there's a catch.
In many cases, consciously restricting calories won't work: You're likely to end up hungry, which is a recipe for unsustainability in the realm of dieting. Instead, you want to choose an eating plan that will keep you so satiated, so you'll eat fewer calories by default. In other words, you want to get the most bang for your buck.
There are 15 scientist-recommended diets that fall under this category, which typically include a steady balance of carbs, fat, and protein. Gardner noted that the best eating plans also avoid sugar and refined grains, and are heavy in fiber-rich veggies. Unsurprisingly, that's another win for the ever-popular Mediterranean diet.
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