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According to YouGov research¹, nearly two thirds of Britons (63%) are planning to make New Year resolutions. When asked which, if any, New Year resolutions they were planning to make, 35% of respondents to a 2015 YouGov poll said losing weight, while 33% wanted to get fitter and 31% wanted to eat more healthily.
But, according to University of Scranton², only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution.
So why is this, why are people so concerned about their health at this time of year, and how can you make sure you stick to your goals for a long term change?
After Christmas overindulgence we feel even more accountable to start a new diet and fitness programme. The truth is that what makes us gain weight is not what we do between Christmas and New-year, but the other 358 days between New-year and Christmas.
A new year with new hopes and new beginnings and time to flip a page. Many of us turn to the latest fad diets at this time of the year looking for the quickest results, but the statistics highlight that many of us don’t stick to them, and even those that do, a lot of these “celebrity” diets have not been medically studied over the long term. Quick weight loss from specialist diets often has more to do with malnutrition than healthier eating.
How often have you heard someone say “oh I can’t, I’m on a diet”…The truth is we are all on a diet, 100% of the time. Many people have misinterpreted the word ‘diet’ to mean a short term change, but the word diet actually comes from the Greek word 'diaita,' which means way of life. So when considering a new “diet”, think of the changes you want to make as something permanent.
When considering your options, before making any drastic changes, ask yourself if you are happy to make these changes, forever? The new you needs to become the new normal. And your new diet needs to allow for flexibility otherwise you are in danger of becoming stuck in a guilt/binge/treat cycle if you feel too restricted.
The other side of the coin is exercise, and combining diet and exercise will yield results far greater than one or the other alone, and together they will help you reach your goals (and keep you there) faster and for longer.
So, you have a goal, you have a plan, but sticking it to it…that is the hardest part…
“According to University of Scranton², only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution.”
¹ Source: YouGov/Pier Marketing (December 2014)
² Sources: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology || http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/
³ Robert B. Cialdini. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. (New York: Morrow, 1993).
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