Did you know the average woman is on a diet for thirty-one years?!

Despite best intentions, three quarters of those who begin their New Year with the firm resolution to lose weight will give up by the end of the week!

That’s because the average diet lasts just one to three weeks with a top end at five and a half weeks. I think if people really understood this as fact we would all have a much better chance to be healthier all the time.

The biggest reason people drop their diet is because their strict diet regime leaves them moody or depressed, which is not only hurting them but the people around them. Interestingly, one study revealed that nearly two thirds of the UK population are unhappy with their body and feel that being thinner would make them happier.

Did you catch that?

People are unhappy and depressed about their body so they diet. Then they end up unhappy and depressed because of the radical shift in what they are eating, and then they end up unhappy and depressed because they feel like losers when they don’t have the willpower to stay on the diet!

According to the study, involving 1,446 men and women, the average woman spends thirty-one years of her life on a diet and men twenty-eight. Simply put, they spend an average of six months a year trying to stay on top of their calories in a never-ending quest for the perfect body. For many men and women struggling to keep slim, dieting can seem to last a lifetime—and it actually is…well…half of it!

So, in a world where we are trying to be more in tune with God and the universe, let’s consider and accept that dieting has a negative affect on the way we view ourselves. (That’s been proven scientifically over and over again.) And this isn’t so great for the world we live in.

The medical community appears to be baffled that our intelligent society is less healthy in relation to food despite all the information we have on the topic. But I have always believed that it’s because dieting is mentally stressful, which means we are preset to fail.

Try this two-step experiment for just a few weeks…the same length of time a diet usually lasts.

Just watch the transformation when you approach food from a peaceful and easy formula, rather than from an unfamiliar and difficult one!

STEP 1: Grab a piece of paper and ask all family members which five dinners they would like to eat in the busy workweek. Write them down and go get the groceries for those five dinners. (The number one obstacle people have with eating dinner at home has to do with figuring out what to make.)

STEP 2: The night before, make sure everyone is aware what the dinner will be the following evening. (People instinctively choose different foods than what they know they will eat later in the day—they will naturally balance their food intake without even thinking about it)

Sandi Richard is considered by many to be North America’s leading meal planning expert. She is the three-time award winning creator and host of Fixing Dinner on Food Network Canada, American Life TV, and Discovery Asia. She is an international bestselling author of seven life-changing books in her Cooking for the Rushed series. Sandi is the mother of seven children, and when eating became the enemy in her house, she began searching for solutions.

*Image courtesy of omefrans.