When everything is taken into account the average adult will try about 126 different diets in their lifetime.
This data comes courtesy of a new survey conducted by One Poll and commissioned by Love Fresh Berries.
The lucrative diet industry
The three most popular reasons the respondents picked up an emergency diet are as follows: “wanting to be more satisfied when looking in the mirror”(24%), preparing for holidays or a vacation where a lot of food will be served (21%) and getting ready for a big event (18%.)
A lack of consensus regarding long-term application kept the vast majority of the 2,000 participating respondents from seeing a diet through to their goal weight. Fifty-two percent of the study pool said that they didn’t really know what made one regimen more sustainable over another.
An additional 20% admitted that they have no idea where to find reliable nutrition guidelines. In fact, the respondents were so perplexed by diet science 33% thought that it was actually healthier to eat fewer fruits.
In their defense, nutrition standards are infamously inconsistent, especially as it pertains to fad diets. Sadly this is by design. As previously reported by Ladders, the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing identified four commercial tactics used by name brand companies to capitalize on emergency trend diets i.e underscoring things like “low fat” to belie the impression that a product is healthy even though there are a myriad of products that are low in fat and high in other things that do not contribute to optimal health.
There are plenty of trendy diets that offer substantive benefits but only if you adopt them with the long-view in mind.
Just about 50% of the participants looked to Google when in the market for a new crash diet, 27% would consult a medical professional, 15% rely on a combination of social media and self-help books and the remaining kept an eye out for whatever their favorite celebrity was doing it. These routes led to the Keto diet the most often, followed by intermittent fasting.
Irrespective of the method of discovery most dropped their diet plan after just six days.
Dropping the pass or fail mindset
Despite this average 16% said that they were so desperate to lose weight quickly they would drink 12 glasses of lemon juice every day if it meant they would. Some said instead of lemon juice they would use baby food and one in 20 said that they would eat a tapeworm to slim down.
The reasons for dropping diets were varied. For some, the side effects associated with the early stages of emergency diets, namely fatigue (21%), weakness (29%), and headaches (26%), were just too much to bear.
Others enjoyed food too much. Chocolate, bread, and pasta were the top three most difficult foods to cut.
“January tends to be the month when people embark on fad diets as a quick fix. However, we know that it isn’t a sustainable or even healthy approach,” explained Love Fresh Berries chairman Nick Marston in a statement. “Instead, nutritionists advise that we follow evidence-based nutritional advice and look for a well-balanced diet that does not cut out any food groups. Incorporating lots of fruit and vegetables is important, including berries as they have many important nutritional benefits.”
Sticking to a diet plan doesn’t exclusively come down to self-control. Research has shown that those who establish goals that go beyond cosmetics not only commit to their diets longer they’re also more forgiving of themselves when they breach them. This mindset is also helpful when finding transitioning to a regimen more aligned with your specific objectives.
Make a plan, consider a contingency and accept that lapses are inevitable.