Top diet excuses revealed

‘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 revealed today.

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 favourite excuses 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 84 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent 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.

Eighty-five per cent 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 quitting a diet or healthy eating plan:

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