WITH the excesses of Christmas almost over, Safefood is advising those who want to lose the extra pounds not to turn to quick-fix fad diets.
Safefood pointed to the latest survey by the Survey on Lifestyle, Attitudes and Nutrition which found that more than a third (34%) of women and almost a quarter (23%) of men in Ireland were trying to lose weight.
Dr Marian Faughnan, a nutritionist with Safefood, said: "After the Christmas cheer and with the beginning of the new year, many people are considering weight loss plans, but often resort to fad diets which are just that – fads. While many people who try these diets may initially lose some weight, all too often they end up putting the weight back on and enter a yo-yo dieting cycle. In reality, there’s no quick fix for losing weight and these fad diets can be very restrictive."
Research by Safefood shows for almost one in two people (49%) in Ireland the main factor that motivates them to lose weight is for health reasons, followed by general well-being (28%), and to look better (26%).
Dr Faughnan said: "It is encouraging that so many people mention health reasons as one of the main motivating factors in losing weight. However, it takes willpower and with the new year just around the corner, people can build on that resolution to start afresh with the belief they can reach a healthier weight."
Safefood has advised people to visit its website www.weigh2live.eu which is developed by nutritionists and dieticians and which it claims provides independent and credible advice on how to lose weight in a healthy way.
Margot Brennan of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute said: "Losing weight and keeping it off involves long-term lifestyle changes.
"Making small changes can have a big impact on your weight and health. This website is designed to help you take practical steps and get back on track when you are finding it tough."