Complexity ruins diets

I'm unsurprised but vindicated to read of this research from the Max Planck Institute and Indiana U that says that diets are more apt to succeed when they are simple — complexity kills. I think this is why Atkins worked so well for me (80 lbs in about a year): low-carbing is just easy to do, all you really need to do is stop eating high-carb food:

"For people on a more complex diet that involves keeping track of quantities and items eaten, their subjective impression of the difficulty of the diet can lead them to give up on it," reported Peter Todd, professor in IU's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

Jutta Mata, now a professor of psychology at Stanford University, said this effect holds even after controlling for the influence of important social-cognitive factors including self-efficacy, the belief that one is capable of achieving a goal like sticking to a diet regimen to control one's weight.

"Even if you believe you can succeed, thinking that the diet is cognitively complex can undermine your efforts," she said.

Sticking to Diets Is About More Than Willpower — Complexity Matters

(Image: lunch, a Creative Commons Attribution photo from malias' photostream)