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Weight loss plans are something that we frequent in from time to time – but what are the main reasons we begin to lose weight?
New research shows that while mums’ main priority for family meals is keeping everyone else healthy and happy, when it comes to their own diet, it’s more about how they look and feel.
Ill-fitting clothes, unflattering photos and health concerns are the top three reasons why mums are spurred on to lose weight.
The survey, by Wholegrain Goodness, revealed that when mums stray from their diet, the overwhelming feeling is that of guilt, but other feelings range from feeling fat, to happy, naughty and satisfied.
The top ten reasons mums gave for going on a diet in the first place were:
1. Clothes not fitting
2. Seeing unflattering photos
3. Health reasons
4. Having children
5. A friend or family member losing weight
6. Advice from a doctor or health professional
7. Encouragement from a friend or family to lose weight
8. A celebrity losing weight
10. Something I read in the media
Perhaps driven by their desire to lose weight, many mums indicated that they think they have the healthiest diet in the household. However the survey also shows there is some confusion about healthy eating and wholegrain foods in particular. Although wholegrains can play an important part in a healthy balanced diet, including assisting with weight management by helping make you feel fuller for longer, many mums failed to correctly identify which foods contain wholegrain and which don’t.
More than one in three mums questioned didn’t correctly identify that wheat biscuits were a wholegrain food. Only some identified popcorn, quinoa, wild rice or even porridge oats as wholegrain. Meanwhile 54% incorrectly believed that a granary loaf was wholegrain with one in three believing the same was true of lentils. About a fifth incorrectly thought baked beans and flaxseed were wholegrain. While 12% also thought sweetcorn was a wholegrain food and one in ten thought the same about the sweet potato.
Commenting on the findings, psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos said: “There are a number of factors behind the decision to try to lose weight, and sadly because we live in such a visual and image driven society it’s no surprise that the results indicate that for many a big motivator is appearance. However beyond trying to fit into a favourite pair of jeans, maintaining a healthy weight is really important for our health, wellbeing and overall quality of life. It is possible to enjoy a balanced diet that still includes treats – and frankly we shouldn’t feel guilty for indulging from time to time. It is disappointing though, to see that many mums don’t have the knowledge about healthy foods like wholegrains that they think they do as they can offer many nutritional benefits for the whole family.”
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