In the quest to get the perfect body, almost two thirds of Brits are on a diet “most of the time”, new research has revealed.
The survey of more that 2,000 UK adults, conducted by retail analysts Mintel, uncovered that almost half (48%) of Brits have tried to lose weight in the last year.
That figure rose to 57% when researchers just looked at the results for women.
What’s more, of Brits who have tried to lose weight, almost two thirds (64%) said they do so “all or most of the time”.
Despite this, a quarter of those who’ve tried to lose weight in the past year admit they don’t know how many calories they consume on a typical day.
Despite official guidelines recommending that women consume 2,000 calories per day and men consume 2,500 calories per day in order to maintain their weight, the research revealed a major disparity between this advice and consumer eating habits.
Of UK women, one third (33%) said they don’t know how many calories they consume in a typical day. For those that do, one quarter (24%) said they consume between 1,500-1,999 calories and 31% said they typically consume more than 2,000 calories in a day.
The same trend was seen among UK men, with 42% saying they don’t know how many calories they consume on a typical day. Indeed, just 22% agreed they consume between 2,000 and 2,500 calories a day, while one in five (21%) said they consume more than 2,500 calories.
Nutrition consultant Charlotte Stirling-Reed, from SR Nutrition, said she’s not surprised that so many Brits are on a diet, but thinks the statistics are “a shame”.
“Many men and women spend a lot of their lives trying to lose weight by trying different diets and often they end up in a cycle where they start a diet, lose some weight, lose will power (often due to unrealistic expectations of many diets or the impracticalness of many diets) and then fall off the diet and end up putting weight back on,” she told The Huffington Post UK.
“Sometime down the line the cycle might start again. Crash diets are never a good idea and may lead to nutritional deficiencies and even weight gain in the long run.”
Stirling-Reed added that most diets are hard to stick to and to maintain a healthy weight, you need to develop healthy eating habits that suit your personal lifestyle.
“It’s important to help empower people to make healthy, small and realistic changes – over time,” she said.
“Not simply give them a ‘one size fits all’ plan, as we know from research that many diets simply don’t work in the long run.”