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Complex Weight-Loss Plans Fail

Wednesday, 20 Jan 2010 08:50 AM

The more complex a person's diet plan, the sooner the person will abandon it, a new study finds.

The finding came from a study of 390 German women who were using one of two diet plans. The simpler plan provided shopping lists for dieters and a meal plan they were to follow. The more complex plan assigned point values to every food and instructed participants to eat only a certain number of points each day.

The women completed questionnaires over an eight-week span.

"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," Peter Todd, a professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University, said in a university news release.

The effect endured even after the researchers accounted for the influence of significant social-cognitive factors such as self-efficacy—people's belief that they're capable of achieving a goal, such as adhering to a diet regimen to lose weight.


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The more complex a person's diet plan, the sooner the person will abandon it, a new study finds.
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