Some people swear by intermittent fasting to get that belly gone, while others say that counting calories is the only way to keep up consistent and successful weight loss in the long term. Well, as some scientists intrigued by the question of what works best recently found in a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, it may not really matter much.

The randomized clinical trial went from 2011 to 2015, and tracked 100 obese subjects in one of three groups for one year. Group one was on an alternate-day (also known as intermittent) fast, which featured 25% of calories needed on fast day, and then 125% of daily caloric needs on the other days. Another bunch of patients were given a regular daily calorie restriction diet of 75% of the calories needed each day, and the third group remained a control.

Once the year was up, researchers found that the weight loss between the fasting and calorie-restriction groups was not significant—6% vs. 5.3%. The study concluded: “The results of this randomized clinical trial demonstrated that alternate-day fasting did not produce superior adherence, weight loss, weight maintenance, or improvements in risk indicators for cardiovascular disease compared with daily calorie restriction.”

At Men's Fitness, we support both protocols when trying to lose weight. Take a look at these diet plans to help you on your journey to a slimmer you with a beach-ready body. But don’t forget that exercise is an essential component of losing weight, as it will build muscle and increase your cardio to reveal a healthy, strong body underneath your fat.