When it comes to losing weight, the quality of your food beats the quantity of your calories, according to a new study.

Researchers at Stanford University's 12-month weight loss study of 609 individuals found the tactic of choosing whole, unprocessed foods and not worrying about calories resulted in similar weight loss for people following two kinds of diets.

Maya Feller, a New York based dietitian, said staying within calorie limits doesn't necessarily mean making good nutrition choices.

For example:  choosing to eat a 100-calorie pack of cookies would make it easy to count calories consumed, but it won't contribute to better health.

Feller recommends setting a goal to eat two to three servings of fruit per day and consuming a minimum of two servings of non-starchy vegetables at both lunch and dinner.

people concerned about portion size can focus on dividing their plates.  Here's more from abcnews.go.com.