Friday, January 15, 2010

Diet - the simpler the better

An interesting study here,

Sticking to Diets Is About More Than Willpower -- Complexity Matters
Many people think the success of dieting, seemingly a national obsession following the excesses and resolutions of the holiday season, depends mostly on how hard one tries -- on willpower and dedication. While this does matter, new research has found that a much more subtle aspect of the diets themselves can also have a big influence on the pounds shed -- namely, the perceived complexity of a diet plan's rules and requirements.

Regardles of the hormonal effects, it is easier to stick to simple diets, with simple rules.

How about "Eat Real Food" or "Eat food, as much as you like, mostly animals", or "Meat Leaves and Berries".

Here is the abstract:

When weight management lasts: Lower perceived rule complexity increases adherence

Maintaining behavior change is one of the major challenges in weight management and long-term weight loss. We investigated the impact of the cognitive complexity of eating rules on adherence to weight management programs. We studied whether popular weight management programs can fail if participants find the rules too complicated from a cognitive perspective, meaning that individuals are not able to recall or process all required information for deciding what to eat. The impact on program adherence of participants’ perceptions of eating rule complexity and other behavioral factors known to influence adherence (including previous weight management, self-efficacy, and planning) was assessed via a longitudinal online questionnaire given to 390 participants on two different popular weight management regimens. As we show, the regimens, Weight Watchers and a popular German recipe diet (Brigitte), strongly differ in objective rule complexity and thus their cognitive demands on the dieter. Perceived rule complexity was the strongest factor associated with increased risk of quitting the cognitively demanding weight management program (Weight Watchers); it was not related to adherence length for the low cognitive demand program (Brigitte). Higher self-efficacy generally helped in maintaining a program. The results emphasize the importance of considering rule complexity to promote long-term weight management.


Chainey said...

I agree.

I've had the most success with the following:
B: Bacon, eggs, coffee (no toast)
L: Protein shake (recipe from 'Six Week Cure for the Middle Aged Middle' by the Eades, but I add two whole eggs)
D: Some kind of meat/fish/chicken - minimal condiments.

That's it. It's easy to live with for months at a time, satisfying, and works.

mc said...

makes sense to me: change is hard, it takes a lot of effort to rewire. make it too complex, kill any possibility of flow, and it's not going to happen.