The Worst Time Of Year To Start A Diet

There is never a wrong time to get fit. Taking the initiative to make healthier lifestyle changes can be done at any point — it is never too late or too early. However, certain time frames may prove more feasible than others. 

Let's face it, we've all yo-yo'ed before. As defined by Healthline, yo-yo dieting is the act of initiating a diet and following it for a brief period of time, only to hang it up and "quit" before actually reaping the results that you want. Many people find themselves doing this repeatedly, causing an up-and-down, back-and-forth cycle, almost like a yo-yo. 

Now, why do so many diets fail? Or, why do so many people find it difficult to commit to one? Well, it simply may not be the right time. Modern research suggests that the time of year that you initiate a diet can make all of the difference in your success, and certain times of year should be avoided altogether. 

Avoid making diet-related New Year resolutions

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.

A better time to start a diet

Want to know a better time to get started on your diet? Well, it's as simple as whenever you feel ready! WebMD suggests that picking up a new diet when you feel mentally, physically, and emotionally compelled to is the route that often leads to quality, desirable results. When you move at your own pace rather than in the confines of a time restraint, you'll feel a lot more confident and capable, which then leads to success. Ultimately, do away with the deadlines and take things day by day!

Mondays are generally a great time to start, too, according to Fit Day. The beginning of a new week often brings a more motivated, optimistic mindset, which is a must-have for any lifestyle change that you seek to make. Monday mornings are the perfect time to blend up a green smoothie or prep some healthy lunches to take to work throughout the week.