Your healthy eating plan is more likely to fail if you start it on a Monday
Why is it that new diets or fitness plans always have to start on a Monday? There’s something about the human mindset which makes it impossible to start afresh health-wise mid-way through the week; it just doesn’t work like that.
But the thing is, Mondays actually happen to be the hardest day of the week to maintain a healthy diet, and that’s not just because Mondays are shit in general. Women’s Health spoke to dietician Jaime Mass who explained why this is, and why it’s so common to end up on a pointless cycle of intending to eat well – failing – intending to eat well – failing – and so on.
Research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates the average pattern of our eating; we tend to eat the most meat on Saturdays and Sundays, the most carbs and alcohol on Fridays and Saturdays, and the most calories on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Shocker.
But it’s this, the dietician explained to Women’s Health, that prevents you from succeeding in your healthy eating goals. ‘Typically, the ‘I’ll get back on track on Monday principle’ is a dangerous one. It indicates an all-or nothing-mentality, which can lead to unhealthy eating habits overall,’ Mass explained. As soon as you cave, it essentially opens the floodgates and the next thing you know, you’ll be washing down your lunch of burger and chips with a milkshake and a doughnut, too. Not exactly the plan.
Your over-indulgence over the weekend also means it’s all the more tricky to start afresh on Monday because of the interruption to your sleep pattern. More often than not, if you’ve had a busy weekend, you get less hours of sleep – and worse quality sleep, if there’s alcohol involved. Monday rolls around, you feel knackered, and when your body’s tired it craves fatty carbs the most. Again, not exactly the plan.
This isn’t exactly encouraging information, but the dietician did have some advice for how to overcome it to ensure you stay on the wagon. ‘Remember that you’re making an effort to lead a healthy life, not just a healthy five days,’ she told Women’s Health.
If you adjust your mentality, believing your healthier approach to food can start at any time – and that it does allow for treats in moderation – you might just find yourself a little bit more dedicated to it. There’s your secret to success; and it’s got nothing to do with which day of the week you start your diet on.