A survey by LighterLife, less than a few weeks into 2010, revealed that 36% of women are cheating on their New Year's diet.
The results from 2,000 women, are no particular shock, but they do come as a timely reminder about good (and less good) weight loss habits.
If your diet is slipping already, here are a couple of common problems the surveyed women faced, and how to solve them.
40% of women were tempted by their partners eating something delicious
If your hubby (or best friend) is sitting on the sofa next to you, scoffing a box of chocolates, there's a good chance that you'll dip in too. Either get your nearest-and-dearest on board, and ask them to avoid eating certain foods in front of you, or brush your teeth (or chew gum) to avoid the temptation to snack.
25% were tempted when eating out at a restaurant
However good your intentions, it's very hard to just pick a salad when you're eating out. Try making a restaurant trip an occasional treat, rather than a weekly indulgence - good for your wallet as well as your waistline. Then you can have whatever you like, without worrying that it'll ruin all your efforts.
A History of Failure
The study found that "each woman polled had tried to slim down an average of eight times." This isn't much surprise, many of us attempt diets and don't succeed. But, I wonder whether the anxieties about "cheating" played a role in this.
A healthy diet is not a test. There are plenty of good guidelines about healthy eating, but no absolute rules. To lose weight, all you need to do is consume fewer calories than you expend, over the course of a week, a month or even a whole year.
One meal out at a restaurant, a couple of choccies which you don't admit to, or a slip-up where you eat more than planned, doesn't mean you've failed your diet.
More than half the women surveyed by LighterLife said that they'd lied about what they'd eaten. This probably reinforced feelings of secrecy and guilt. Rather than lying when you're having a bad day, find a friend who you can confide in - someone who'll support and encourage you, and who won't judge you or put you down.
If this diet is going to be the one that succeeds, by all means avoid sources of temptation, but don't label behavior as "cheating". That's the fastest way to give up altogether.