Today is the day when willpower is at its lowest and is when most will break their New Year’s resolutions, according to a survey commissioned by UK motorway service station operator Welcome Break.
The survey of 2,000 people revealed that the south west is the region with most people wanting to lose weight and give up fatty foods this year.
It found that 58 per cent of people in the south west wanted to live a healthier lifestyle in 2014.
But it also found that today is the day when willpower is at its lowest and is when most will break their New Year’s resolutions.
A combination of a stressful first week back at work after Christmas, loss of weekday routine, a big night out and pressure from friends and family were all given as reasons for why people in the south west would find it so hard to stick to their resolutions this weekend.
The survey found that 46 per cent of those in the region break their New Year’s resolutions in the first week, with 57 per cent throwing in the towel before the end of January.
Five per cent admitted they can’t keep them for even two days, with a further nine per cent not even starting the pledge they made on New Year’s Eve.
Only 24 per cent of people in the south west managed to keep their New Year’s resolution beyond the spring, according to the survey.
Lack of willpower was cited by 50 per cent of respondents in the region as the main reason they break their resolutions while 89 per cent of respondents blamed breaking their resolutions on events such as travelling, tiredness, a big night out and a break from their usual routine.
When looking at the dieting habits of people from the south west, 14 per cent of those surveyed didn’t manage to stay on their diet for more than a week, whilst one per cent admitted to lasting just one hour.
The average weight gain over the festive period for respondents is around 5lbs, with nearly three per cent admitting to putting on over 10lbs.
And the survey revealed that those from the south west have a strong liking to social media as 33 per cent stated the longest they’ve managed to go without using Facebook and Twitter was one week and 24 per cent admitted they can’t last longer than half an hour without it.
Eight per cent even admitted to using Facebook and Twitter in the middle of their Christmas dinner.
Dr Simon Moore, chartered psychologist for the British Psychological Society, said: “It’s important to understand that any resolution cannot be maintained with ‘willpower’ alone.
"Cutting out things we have grown used to requires a gradual process of change.
"We need to wean ourselves into new behaviour patterns slowly, giving our brain and body time to adjust.
"So, rather than cutting something out altogether, for most people a better strategy would be to reduce the intake week by week.
"My advice is to chaperone willpower with slow change, ask friends and family for their support and have a clear goal of what you’d like to achieve. Sudden changes are prone to failure as they cause psychological and physiological shock.
“So if you want to change a habit, such as diet, planning ahead is key.
"With a clear idea of what you intend to do, it’s much easier to stay on track and avoid temptation.
"With a planned gradual change our brain and body wont rebel and resist as hard, making it easier to substitute poor behaviour with more positive ones."
The survey was conducted by Welcome Break, which has produced a menu of over 100 meals under 500 calories to make it easier for customers to stick to their healthy eating New Year’s resolutions whilst on the country’s motorways this January.
Rod McKie, CEO, Welcome Break, said: "The survey clearly revealed a break in routine such as travel was one of the key factors in causing people to break their diets.
"We have therefore created a 500 calorie meal menu to help our customers make clear and simple choices from the range of well-loved brands available at Welcome Break such as Starbucks, Subway and Waitrose across the UK.
"There are a huge variety of delicious, low calorie options for travellers looking to kick start their healthy eating plan in 2014 and we look forward to helping our customers stay on track this year with the offering we have available.”
Information on the ‘100 meals under 500’ can be downloaded at www.welcomebreak.co.uk/500