The Best Day to Start a Diet (and the Worst!)

best day to start a diet

You’ve decided it’s time to cut down on sweets, maybe hit the gym a bit more often… but what is the best day to start a diet? Most people choose Mondays, the first of the month, or some other special day to change their lifestyle. So, are these the best days or is there some untapped secret day that we should know about? Keep reading to find out!

The BEST Day to Start a Diet

Ready to start a new habit and actually stick to it? Pick one of these days!

Monday

As cliché as it sounds, research shows Monday may actually be the best day to start a diet. You know that “new week, new me”, “I can take on the world” feeling you get sometimes? Scientists call it the “fresh start effect” and you should take advantage of it to start your diet! Harness that energy to pull off a diet makeover , clean out your pantry, or hit the gym. People that start diets on Mondays are among the most successful in maintaining their healthier habits.

That same feeling comes at the beginning of the month as well, so if the first is right around the corner, it’s also a good candidate for Day One of your new habits!

The only caveat: if you fall off the wagon, don’t wait until the next Monday (or 1st of the month) to start again. Every meal is a new chance to make healthy choices, and every day is a new opportunity to start again. If you mess up once, don’t throw away all your work. Just start again at the next meal or next morning!

Sunday

Sunday enjoys the same “fresh start” benefits as Monday, but you probably have a little more time. If one of the things you need to be better in your new healthier lifestyle is planning/preparation, Sunday may be the day for you. If you start your new habits on a day when you don’t have to work, you’ll have ample time to go grocery shopping, prepare meals or plan your new gym routine. If you really need to overhaul a lot of aspects of your lifestyle, consider Sunday as your Day One.

The Day After Your Birthday

The final effective “fresh start” day best day to start a new diet is the first of a new year for you – the day after your birthday or anniversary are popular choices. Some people prefer these annual events to a random week or month because it makes the goal more concrete. You may have heard about people starting on these days when they’re one year before a big number, like turning 40 or celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary.

With an Event/Program

Apart from “fresh start” starters, the other group of dieters that enjoy above-average success rates in sticking to their plans are people that start with a group/for an event. This actually holds true for people trying to get healthier in other aspects of their life too, like quitting smoking. So, if your school or workplace is hosting a “get healthy” challenge soon, think about signing up! In addition to the concrete time frames for goals, the competitive nature of these challenges helps a lot of us resist temptation and keep pushing.

The WORST Day to Start a Diet

Now that you have some great options for best day to start a diet, you should also know there are certain days when you shouldn’t start your diet. If it’s one of these days, wait until the next Sunday or Monday (you choose) to start.

Tuesday

Studies show that individuals who start diets on Tuesdays have the highest drop-out rate come Friday of that same week. So, if you missed Monday, better wait until the following Monday than start your new, healthier lifestyle on a Tuesday.

New Years Day

This one may come as a surprise. Are you thinking, “…but you just said the fresh start effect was key to success, and New Year’s is definitely a fresh start…”? Well yes, it is. But we historically place unreasonably high expectations for ourselves on New Year’s, which leads to a higher drop-out rate. Better to start on another first (or the beginning of the week) when there’s not as much pressure to change everything. After all, slow and steady wins the race!

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