Although an impressive wave of ‘New Year, Same Me’ hashtags have graced the internet this year, for many, January means a new year and therefore obligatory New Year’s resolutions. And what do the most common resolutions revolve around? You guessed it… diets.
According to a new study, the average Brit will start (and fail) a whopping 189 diets in their lifetime. That’s on average three diets every year that end entirely unsuccessful!
And why? Well for a start, the word diet doesn’t exactly come with positive connotations, does it? To most, the word diet conjures up thoughts of saying good bye to the food we love and living off nothing but rabbit food for as long as our willpower will allow. Which, when you’re throwing yourself straight into the deep end of dieting, isn’t ever very long.
The survey also showed that on average, a diet is only stuck to for seven weeks. And yes, while this is long enough to result in some changes (Brits aim to shift more than 10lb on a diet, however the reality is an average of 5lb loss), most changes are undone shortly after going back to ‘normal’ eating habits.
‘GOOD’ VERSUS ‘BAD’
Whether you’ve ever tried to or not, it’s clear that denying yourself certain foods in an attempt to diet is unrealistic. Similarly too, that labelling foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is only going to lead to unnecessary guilt when an impending ‘snaccident’ happens.
Did you know women are the most likely sex to throw in the towel on a diet after just one ‘snaccident’? Over 51% of women also said that once they’ve fallen off the wagon, that’s it for the diet. It’s well and truly out of the window. Why?!
In today’s day and age, we already have so many things that stress us out, we don’t need to add the digestive that dunked so perfectly into our tea, or the slice of cheesecake in the fridge that we definitely couldn’t let go to waste, to the list.
If our approaches to eating healthily were less short term – and therefore less drastic – a minor bump in the road wouldn’t seem like such a big deal. It definitely wouldn’t leave us feeling like we’re awaiting imminent doom that’s for sure.
REALISTIC METHODS TO ‘FIT AND HEALTHY’
If you’re serious about making a change to your health/fitness/weight (delete as appropriate), you need to look at the long term. Counting calories and weighing out foods may seem like a good way to keep on top of things, but the chance that these methods can be stuck to for long periods of time is pretty slim.
It kind of goes without saying, but the most effective way to make permanent changes to our diets is to swap processed, sugary and convenient options for foods that are fresh and full of all the good stuff. Choosing to cook nutritious meals from scratch over dining on shop bought meals will make a world of difference without any major compromise, and as for snacking… being smarter with our choices (yes that means snacking is allowed – fuelling ourselves when we’re hungry is necessary!) will result in a better chance of us being able to uphold a healthy balanced diet for longer.