Three-quarters of Americans are planning to enjoy the end of the year and not worry about their diet — up from just half last year, according to a new survey.
Results revealed that 72% of the 2,000 Americans surveyed this year want to make the most of the end of the year, regardless of what that means for their diet, compared to 54% in last year’s survey.
That attitude may help explain why respondents in the sixth annual “Writing Off the End of the Year” survey expect to gain eight pounds before the end of the year — compared to five and a half pounds last year.
In fact, 50% of respondents admitted to having eaten so much during the end-of-year season that they’ve had to undo a button on their pants or loosen a belt — and 35% have even eaten until they felt sick or full to bursting.
Not only that, but respondents have also eaten more than three meals in a day (47%) or more than one dessert at a meal (42%) — and many have eaten more than one of the same meal in a day (59%).
Commissioned by Herbalife and conducted by OnePoll, results revealed two-thirds (66%) of respondents use the end of the year to postpone being healthy — a 24% increase from the previous year.
Seventy-two percent of respondents admit to having broken a diet at the end of the year — for 48% of those, it was due to the temptation of holiday food.
When it comes to gaining weight, 78% of respondents admit they gained weight last year, and 38% are still carrying some of those extra holiday pounds from 2022.
“The end of the year should be a time to focus on family, friends and self-care,” said Dr. Kent Bradley, Herbalife’s Chief Health and Nutrition Officer. “Identify specific, attainable actions you want to take to improve your health and your mindset, and if you can, bring your friends and family along on that health journey.”
Despite leaning into temptation at the end of the year, 68% of respondents are confident they’ll have healthy habits in the new year.
And it’ll take an average of about 19 days to get back on track with their healthy habits, or to start new ones.
As part of this, 47% are planning to make a New Year’s resolution for 2024. This compares to 32% who planned to make a resolution for 2023.
For 2024, the top resolutions are eating healthier (68%), exercising more (66%) and getting more sleep (56%). These were followed by focusing on self-care (54% and saving money (53%).
Of those planning to eat healthier in the new year, the survey dug into what specific changes they’re looking to make to their diet. Including more fruits and vegetables in their diet and becoming a vegan topped the list.
Others may be embracing a more flexitarian diet — planning to eat less meat, without making the change fully to vegan or vegetarianism, came in third in the list of healthy changes.
“As we approach 2024 and think of the ways to better ourselves in the new year, make sure you take the time to plan and prepare for the positive behavior changes you’d like to make and be kind to yourself in the process,” said Bradley. “Remember, the best diet changes involve specific behavior changes because those are the ones you can stick to.”
At the end of the year, Americans have….
● Eaten more than one of the same meal in a day — 59%
● Eaten so much they’ve had to undo a button on their pants or loosen a belt — 50%
● Eaten more than three meals in a day — 47%
● Eaten more than one dessert at a meal — 42%
● Eaten until they felt sick, unwell or full to bursting — 35%
Top resolutions for 2024
● Eat healthier — 68%
● Exercise more — 66%
● Get more sleep — 56%
● Focus on self-care — 54%
● Save more money — 53%
● Lose weight — 35%
● Improve my work/life balance — 30%
● Learn a new skill or take up a new hobby — 22%
● Make new friends/get out more — 22%
● Start a new diet/program — 20%