I read an interesting article this week saying that many people's version of the 5:2 diet - eat in a fairly controlled manner for 5 days then eat and drink everything in sight over the weekend meant they were missing out on 30% of their potential progress with weight loss and getting fitter: 2/7 = 28.5%.
Now we all know it's not realistic to eat, drink and train like an Olympic Athlete all of the time - nor would most of us want to - and that's not our message at all, but the maths did get me thinking...bear with me!
From my own personal experience, and from working with people like you, the reality is that most people's weekends stretch to 3 days when it comes to eating and drinking.
3 x 52 (weeks) = 156
I'm reliably informed there are 8 Bank Holidays each year...
156 + 8 = 164
Then let's assume we take 4 weeks holiday...
4 x 5 = 20 (weekends already counted)
164 + 20 = 184
Let's assume another 12 days per year for birthdays, special occasions like weddings etc.
Plus another 12 for those days when “stuff” happens…
184 + 12 + 12 = 208
208/365 = 0.57
That's 57% of the time when our lifestyle choices are not aligned with our goals - and some of the estimates above are conservative.
That was a shock to me.
I like numbers, so this really hit home as a demonstration of why on-off/all or nothing diet approaches won't work in the long-term.
What's required are fundamental changes to lifestyle; some planning, accountability and a bit of honesty with ourselves.
People often think it's a choice: be in shape or have fun?
Actually, with a considered approach, you can have both, but have a think about those numbers!