There is no shortage of weight-loss programs and diets to tempt you. From WW (formerly Weight Watchers) and Optavia to the Mediterranean diet and any number of fads (even potentially dangerous ones), diets make the rounds on the internet.

Really, weight loss is easy. All of these programs, diets and fads can result in weight loss. Heck, if you don’t eat for a day, you’ll see the scale numbers descend. But it may not be healthy or safe. And it most certainly won’t be weight loss that you can maintain over time.

If you’re eating meals based on an app or by eating like a caveman, you’re not really changing your behavior, your mindset or your lifestyle. That’s what it really takes to lose weight and keep it off.

(By the way, the Paleo Diet/caveman diet recommends you eat lots of proteins and only a few carbs, just like our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors did. But guess what? You’re not a caveman, so don’t eat like one.)

Your best opportunity for long-term success is education, flexible consistency and support.

This will help you better understand the nutritional and caloric value of the foods you eat, and also (maybe more importantly), the roles specific food groups play in your diet and well-being. In moderation, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, etc., all play a crucial role in your diet. You can’t just arbitrarily remove or reduce a food group. It’s not sustainable for your long-term health. On the flip side, you can’t exclusively rely on one food group. You need to understand that there is a balance. If you ate a few cookies during an office meeting, then it’s important that you know what food choices you might need to make at dinner to offset your sugary afternoon treat.

And that segues into the next key. You have to be consistent and committed to eating a healthy diet, but it’s not realistic to go cold turkey forever on some of your comfort foods. You must have some flexibility in your food choices, especially around holidays or special events. It’s important that you enjoy and participate in these activities. Sometimes that means having a slice of cake once in a while (a “slice” of cake, not a large chunk). It’s about moderation and making the necessary meal adjustments when you attend that party.

And finally, you shouldn’t try to go it alone. It’s so crucial to have a support system. Whether it’s family members and friends or the Pinsky Medical Weight Loss team, you need go-to people. They can help encourage and support you on your journey to a healthy life. A medically supervised program can take this support one step further. We’re going to be monitoring your progress and health every step of the way.

Remember, weight loss is easy. But it’s education, flexible consistency and support that will provide you with the best opportunity to keep the weight off and help you live a healthier lifestyle.