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It’s usually a jolt of recognition that persuades someone they are overweight and it is time to start dieting.
That could be struggling to do up a top button on a favourite pair of jeans, having to buy clothes in a larger dress size or noticing your thighs in the mirror one morning.
But the most common trigger for women changing their lifestyle, according to a survey, is an unflattering photograph.
Subtle changes in size and shape can be hard to notice, but looking back at holiday snaps forces us to assess ourselves objectively.
The surprise leads to impressive results, however, with women dieting after seeing an unflattering picture losing 6kg on average.
Embarrassing double-chin moments are now frequently displayed to more people than we want them to be through Facebook, making many women see photographs as a very public measure of their worth.
Half of the 1 000 women surveyed by eatwater.co.uk admitted to having been shocked into slimming by a photograph that highlighted unwanted bulges.
Old photos as well as recent ones were seen as highlighting weight issues, with 42 percent of women dieting after noticing how much weight they had piled on on since pictures were taken.
An Eat Water spokesman said: “It is all too easy to become complacent with our body shape and size, and think we are doing okay. A photograph can be like a bolt from the blue – often people are absolutely flabbergasted that they could have let things get so bad.”
For some people, wanting to look good for an event such as holiday or wedding was the main impetus to start slimming.
The most negative triggers included feeling fat in comparison to work colleagues, a dwindling sex life, and being cheated on by a partner.
A woman dieting after being dumped can expect to lose 6kg, while women shed around 5kg to feel more confident in their holiday bikinis.
A desire for a new job or to fit into a favourite pair of jeans leads to an average weight loss of 4.5kg.
But just under half of women admitted that they find it hard to maintain weight.
The average female goes on at least two diets a year, which last around three weeks each time.
Simone Brenner, a dietitian said: “A major difficulty my clients face when starting on a new diet is adjusting their eating habits so that they consume a smaller quantity of food with a higher nutritional value.
“Often they find themselves feeling hungry and turning to the very foods they need to avoid in order to achieve their target weight.” – Daily Mail
1. Thinking you look big in a photograph
2. Seeing yourself in a window or mirror
3. Not fitting into a favourite pair of jeans
4. Having to buy a bigger dress size
5. Looking through old photos and seeing how much weight you have put on since.
6. Preparing for a holiday abroad.
7. Feeling self-conscious when swimming.
8. Attending a wedding.
9. A good friend loses weight and looks amazing.
10. Attending a special party.
11. Preparing for your own wedding.
12. Realising you are the fattest person in the office.
13. Being asked if you are pregnant.
14. Your sex life has dwindled.
15. A partner loses weight and you’re the only fat one.
16. Getting back into the dating game after being dumped.
17. Being cheated on.
18. Envying a sibling who has lost weight.
19. Starting a new job.
20. Suspecting a partner is having an affair.