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Fad diets and extreme exercise regimes ‘not sustainable’, study shows

Credit: Frank May/PA Images

The majority of people who decide to go on extreme diets and take part in excessive exercise will quit at least once, research has found.

With the new year’s resolutions in full swing a poll, carried out by Diabetes UK, shows three quarters of people in Wales quit at least one attempt to start a healthy lifestyle.

Almost half of the survey’s respondents said they were planning to go on a diet this January, but the charity is warning a more balanced approach to dieting and exercise is more effective.

Dan Howarth, Head of Care at Diabetes UK said,

“We know the rising rates of obesity is putting people at risk of type 2 diabetes, but faddy dieting is not the answer.”

“There is no one-size-fits all approach to dieting - what works for you, might not work for another - so it is important that diets are personalised to lifestyle, and that they are balanced and sustainable.”

Diabetes UK said those who want a healthy lifestyle must focus on the long-term rather than a quick fix. Credit: Tim Goode/PA Images

The charity found 63% of people in Wales admitted they tended to gain weight over the festive period, with an average weight gain of 7lbs. In addition, 45% of people who said they eat a larger amount of food over Christmas, also said they felt the weight gain become “uncontrollable”, and can take nearly three months for the return of a normal diet.

Diabetes UK said those who want a healthy lifestyle must focus on the long-term rather than a quick fix, as this can cause people to fall back in bad habits like overindulging.

63% of people in Wales admitted they tended to gain weight over the festive period. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Images

Emma Elvin, Senior Clinical Advisor at Diabetes UK said,

“It is important any diet is safe, and helps people keep the weight off long term. Getting support from a healthcare professional, your family or friends can really help to keep you on track.”

The charity encourages those who decide to diet to ensure it includes more vegetables, fruit and wholegrains, and to eat less processed meat, refined carbohydrates and sugars.

Dan Howarth added, “Also try increasing your activity - it doesn’t have to be burpees and marathons - simply upping your step count will help you achieve your goal”.