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Study: Average 29 days for Californians to hit their weight-loss goals

Fitness.+%28Light+Field+Studios+%2F+iStock+Getty+Images+Plus+via+StatePoint%29
Fitness. (Light Field Studios / iStock Getty Images Plus via StatePoint)

As the holiday season twinkled out, it left behind not just memories, but also an extra layer of ‘love’ around the waistline. The average Joe and Jane packed on a ‘festive’ 1.5 pounds. Consequently, many people leverage the New Year as a motivational springboard for health and fitness resolutions, aiming to return to their pre-holiday weight.

FeastGood.com recently carried out a survey of 3,000 respondents to delve into their post-festive weight loss goals. To do this, they determined the average weight gain during the holidays, the typical number of calories burned in a workout session, and the regularity of exercise routines among participants. After crunching the data, Feast Good was able to pinpoint the specific dates by which people in each state are likely to revert to their pre-holiday weight.

It was found that New Mexicans were set to have lost their holiday weight gain the soonest in America, on Jan. 21 to be precise. New Mexicans typically work out 5.1 times per week in the new year, burning 5,250 calories in the process. This equates to 15 hours of moderate exercise in order to lose 1.5 lbs of festive weight.

Following them are dieters of the Golden State, who will have to work out 3.6 times per week at the beginning of 2024 in order to burn 350 calories per session in the process. That means it would have taken the average Californian a full 29 days to hit their weight-loss goals — on Jan. 30 to be precise.

On the other hand, it was found that West Virginians would wait the longest to reach their dieting goals. In contrast to New Mexicans, they work out just 2.2 hours per week (although this is still commendable in Feast Good’s opinion), meaning it would have taken them 48 days to become new year fit — the precise date being Feb. 18.

Amanda Parker, a nutrition coach at FeastGood.com, has provided common missteps people take on their New Year’s weight loss journeys:

✔ Setting unrealistic goals: Many people start with a burst of enthusiasm and set goals that are too ambitious to achieve in a healthy, sustainable way.

✔ Lack of planning: Without a clear plan for diet and exercise, it’s easy to lose direction and falter.

✔ Neglecting nutrition: Focusing solely on exercise without addressing dietary habits can undermine weight loss efforts.

✔ Skipping meals: This can slow metabolism and lead to overeating later.

✔ Overestimating calorie burn: People often overestimate the number of calories burned during exercise and compensate by eating more.

✔ Underestimating calorie intake: It’s common to underestimate how much one is eating, which can halt progress.

✔ Fad diets: Jumping on the latest diet trend may yield quick results, but these are often unsustainable and can be unhealthy.

✔ Insufficient sleep: Not getting enough sleep can affect hormones that regulate appetite and hunger, making it harder to lose weight.

✔ Ignoring weight training: Many focus on cardio alone, but strength training is essential for building muscle and increasing metabolism.

✔ Lack of support: Trying to lose weight without support can make it harder to stay motivated and accountable.

✔ All-or-nothing approach: Viewing diet and exercise in a binary way can lead to a cycle of strict adherence, followed by overindulgence when a slip-up occurs.

✔ Not tracking progress: Without keeping track of progress, it’s difficult to know what’s working and what’s not, which can lead to a plateau.

“As people embark on their weight loss journeys at the start of the year, it’s crucial to approach their goals with realism and a structured plan,” Parker adds. “It’s about balance — incorporating the right mix of exercise, nutrition, and rest, while steering clear of quick fixes. The key is to foster habits that will last well beyond the initial burst of New Year’s motivation.”


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