The absolute worst time of year to start a diet is during New Year’s. Adopting a healthier lifestyle and picking up a new diet is a very common New Year’s resolution. According to Forbes, nearly 40% of all American adults reported setting health, fitness, and diet-related resolutions earlier this year. Statistically, though, Forbes found that only around 45% of people typically maintain their resolutions. Similarly, a study from the National Library of Medicine found that while January is the most popular time for new diet initiatives, most people begin to fall off from these New Year’s diets within only 6 weeks.
So, what’s the problem with New Year’s? Experts at UCLA suggest that during New Year’s, many people make the mistake of setting lofty, aspirational goals rather than more practical ones. People then attempt to dive head-first into these goals without much preparation first. This can often lead to a feeling of overwhelm and eventually contribute to burnout, which is ultimately what leads to “quitting” one’s diet. So, instead of cutting out your favorite foods cold turkey on New Year’s, it would be far more suitable to ease your way into a new diet, gradually making small changes.