Revealed: Up to half of Brits trying to lose weight give up after one ‘blip’

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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  •  On average people have tried to lose weight seven times in their lifetime
  •  Chocolate, crisps, cakes and biscuits are top temptations that cause setbacks

Whether it’s scoffing a bar of chocolate or caving in to a takeaway, most people experience a ‘blip’ at some point when trying to lose weight.

But more than half of UK adults say just one setback can completely derail them from their weight loss goals, a study suggests.

Meanwhile, one in five said a setback made them give up on their diet altogether.

A survey of 2,003 adults found 77 per cent of adults said they’ve previously attempted to lose weight, and on average people have tried to lose weight seven times in their lifetime.

Of those who had experienced a setback, 38 per cent said the top cause was feeling hungry while 29 per cent said it was a stressful life event such as a bereavement, job loss or family illness.

77 per cent of adults said they’ve previously attempted to lose weight, and on average people have tried to lose weight seven times in their lifetime

Others said missing out on their favourite foods and not planning healthy meals are what derailed them.

The top temptations which can cause setbacks included having unhealthy snacks such as chocolate, crisps, cakes and biscuits in the house, takeaways, cakes a pastries while buying coffee, and fast food after a night out drinking.

One in 10 said an Easter egg was the item most likely to cause them to have a setback.

Between 6pm and 10pm is the time when people were most likely to stray from their weight loss plans, while almost a third said it took them more than a month to get back on track after experiencing a ‘blip’.

The survey was carried out by weight loss organisation Slimming World.

HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR BODY MASS INDEX – AND WHAT IT MEANS

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on your weight in relation to your height. 

Standard Formula:

  • BMI = (weight in pounds / (height in inches x height in inches)) x 703

Metric Formula:

  • BMI = (weight in kilograms / (height in meters x height in meters))

Measurements:

  • Under 18.5: Underweight
  • 18.5 – 24.9: Healthy
  • 25 – 29.9: Overweight
  • 30 – 39.9: Obese 
  • 40+: Morbidly obese 

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Dr Amanda Avery, Slimming World’s health and research consultant dietitian, said learning how to handle setbacks is crucial for long-term weight loss success.

‘As we’ve seen with the results of this research, setbacks on a weight loss journey are to be expected,’ she said.

‘Things don’t always go perfectly to plan and that’s life. What’s key when this happens, is to be kind to yourself.

‘Learning to accept that a setback is part of your slimming journey can help stop you being derailed altogether.

‘The results of the survey support this, with more than half of adults questioned agreeing that learning how to deal with setbacks on their weight loss journey helped them to navigate the ups and downs of weight loss.’

The survey also revealed the most popular way people had tried to lose weight was through exercise, followed by calorie counting and fasting.

Commenting on the findings James Stubbs, Professor of appetite and energy balance at the University of Leeds, said: ‘For anyone looking to lose weight, it’s important to remember that this is not a quick fix, it’s a gradual process.

‘As with any journey it is good to be prepared, to have plans, tools to help you navigate and coping strategies for when the journey can get difficult.

‘Behaviour change plays a key role and there will be days when setbacks will be experienced and things don’t go so well, which is perfectly natural.

‘Learning how to navigate setbacks is what helps people develop the skills needed for lasting behaviour change.

‘Even people who are highly successful at losing weight and keeping it off have setbacks and revisit some of the strategies they used to lose weight initially.’

Weight Loss

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