The real question for researchers, Dr. Sacks said, is what are the biological, psychological or social factors that influence whether a person can stick to any diet.
Might have something to do with how full the food makes the dieter feel, how free the dieter feels to occasionally indulge in something the dieter really likes, and whether the dieter is okay with keeping the changes long term. Long term defined as “rest of life.”
Scientific American’s take:
Weight-Loss Winner: A Diet High in Fiber, Low in Calories: Scientific American:
Another weakness of this study, according to Susan Roberts, a nutrition professor at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, is that it did not recognize the importance of fiber … She speculates that is because fiber—which is found in veggies, fruit and whole grains—creates the sensation of fullness after eating
Protein and fats do this too. Satiety is a big, over-looked factor in diets. If you feel hungry all the time, you’re going to want to eat, and you’re going to be unhappy with your diet.
Science Daily actually mentions a physical activity component which I may have missed elsewhere:
Just Eat Less! Heart-healthy, Low-cal Diets Promote Weight Loss Regardless Of Fat, Protein And Carb Content:
While the design of the POUNDS LOST study called for physical activity targets to be set at 90 minutes per week, many people need more physical activity in order to achieve their weight loss goals.
Everyone wants the easy diet. I consider my “diet” to be pretty easy, but I’ve gotten used to how much work it is. I’ve kept track of my daily calorie intake and output for two and a half years. I’ve figured out what low calorie foods make me full and happy so I can have a beer or a doughnut when I want one. I know how much exercise I need to maintain my weight. I occasionally throw a fit when the restaurant I want to eat at doesn’t have nutritional information. After two and a half years, I’m still learning and have no idea whether I will eventually give up or get tired of keeping track.
In the meantime, kids are easy to make neurotic:
What’s Eating Our Kids? Fears About ‘Bad’ Foods – NYTimes.com
I remember when my brother was about twelve and completely freaked out about dark matter and black holes. He got over because, well, dark matter isn’t a day to day factor.