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“But it was my birthday!” – The top 20 diet-ditching excuses

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‘I’ve had a bad day’, ‘it was my birthday’ and ‘I couldn’t resist’ are the most common excuses for women to give up on a diet, a study has revealed. Researchers found that almost two thirds of women admit to finding any old reason to quit a healthy-eating plan – even it’s not actually true.

Other favourites included ‘life is too short’, ‘I was always thinking about food’ and ‘I was hungry all the time.’

The stats emerged in a study which also revealed that a massive 84% of women often give up on a diet sooner than they wanted too.

A spokesman for British Lion eggs, which commissioned the research, said:

”Many women start a diet with good intention of seeing it through until the end or they reach their target.

”But there are so many temptations, it’s inevitable that some lose momentum and give up before that point.

”If you are struggling to keep the diet up, it doesn’t take much to give in and something as simple as having a bad day looks like it can spell the end of a healthy eating regime.

”However, it also seems that there are some women who use any excuse they can think of to get out of continuing the diet.

”If this is something you do,  a diet based on low fat, high protein foods will keep you feeling fuller for longer and help you resist temptation which can be the difference between success or failure.”

The study of 2,000 women found that ‘I’ve had a bad day’ is the most popular excuse for quitting a diet, with 41% of women admitting to using this to enjoy a treat again.

‘It was my birthday’ came second, followed by ‘I couldn’t resist’ and ‘I needed cheering up’.

‘It’s hard to eat healthy when it’s cold and wet’ came fifth, with ‘I’ve been good and I deserve it’ at number six.

Seventh place went to ‘I haven’t got any willpower’ while ‘life is too short’ and ‘I was eating out’ was eighth and ninth respectively.

‘I was bored’ completed the top ten.

Other popular excuses to feature in the top twenty include ‘I enjoy eating unhealthy food or the odd treat’, ‘I had a hangover’ and ‘healthy food is too expensive’.

‘I found it too difficult to keep going’ and ‘there wasn’t anything healthy in the cupboard’ were also in the list.

It also emerged that the average woman goes on four diets a year, losing just over 6lb on each one.

And although eight in ten set themselves a target weight or clothes size they want to reach, 84% admit they often give up before they reach it.

On average, women will last just three weeks on a diet before returning to their usual food, with three quarters admitting they use any old excuse to give it up, even one which isn’t actually true.

But rather than being honest about quitting, 52% keep it quiet from friends and family and act like they are still watching what they eat.

Researchers also found that chocolate is the food most likely to cause you to abandon a diet, closely followed by cakes, bread and chips.

85% of those polled also admitted they reckon they would have had more success at losing weight if they had simply eaten healthy food rather than cutting particular foods out altogether.

A spokesman for British Lion eggs added:

”Research shows that people eating eggs as part of a weight loss diet feel fuller for long and eat less as a result – so starting the day with a boiled egg or having an omelette for lunch means they don’t need to find excuses.”

TOP 25 EXCUSES FOR DITCHING A DIET

1.    I had a bad day
2.    It was my birthday
3.    I couldn’t resist
4.    I needed cheering up
5.    It’s hard to eat healthily when it’s cold and wet
6.    I’ve been good and I deserve it
7.    I haven’t got any willpower
8.    Life is too short
9.    I was eating out and couldn’t resist
10.    I was bored
11.    Someone bought me sweets/chocolate as a present and I couldn’t waste them
12.    I enjoy eating unhealthy food or the odd treat
13.    I’m thinking about food all the time
14.    It was my partner’s birthday
15.    I always felt hungry
16.    I needed a sugar rush/energy
17.    I’ve got a hangover and I need unhealthy food
18.    Healthy food is too expensive
19.    I find it too difficult to keep going
20.    There wasn’t anything healthy in the cupboard
21.    Other people were eating cake
22.    It’s rude to turn food down when someone has made it for me
23.    It’s that time of the month so chocolate is allowed
24.    It was my child’s birthday
25.    It’s too difficult and time-consuming to make healthy food