An age old remedy for losing weight is right under our noses, known only to a few because most people believe that exercise is the almighty solution to shed off those pounds. It is a strategy most would think is nearly impossible to enact in your daily life but is the best bet against that pesky fat. Eating a balanced diet is the most likely scenario to lose weight effectively. If you’re looking for something fast and easy, look elsewhere. Studies show that based on the general consensus of what an average person eats, it is more likely they would gain weight by eating, for example, a donut, and exercising right afterwards than they would be if they just didn’t eat it at all.

In an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the authors – who include British cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra, an outspoken critic of the food industry, said, “Members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a ‘healthy weight’ through calorie counting, and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise.”

Let’s not play coy; most people know that the fatty, sugary, salty foods they are putting into their bodies are not good for them, and it doesn’t help with the added stress from watching commercial after commercial of Coca-Cola’s effervescent idea to associate their drinks with exercise and sports. This method isn’t saying that you have to cut these delicious but not-so-good foods out of your diet altogether, but to eat them in moderation and eat more healthy foods. That’s something you’ve probably heard before but never really paid attention to because it seemed like you could just go to the gym and all would be right again. Wrong.

In the long game, you can’t simply exercise and expect the weight to just come off; you have to integrate a good system for eating in everyday life that will work for the rest of your life, not just a couple of weeks on an intense workout or a juice cleanse.