Four things you might not know about dieting

A recent survey makes some interesting discoveries about our weight-loss habits — and one positive outcome that offers (healthy) food for thought.

Woman eating a bowl of chopped vegetables

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How many diets will the average woman undertake in her lifetime? About 16, says a new survey conducted by a vitamin-supplement company in the U.K. And she’ll start her calorie counting and fat-gram calculating right around the age of 17, reports The Telegraph.

The survey also discovered that most diets last about a month and the average weight loss during that period of dietary discipline hovers between five to seven pounds — results that may make you question whether or not giving up your weekly cupcake is really worth it in the long run.

No surprise about why women diet. The survey revealed the usual reasons. Women diet because they don’t like the way their bodies look; they also diet because they want to feel sexier. Some also said they did it because they wanted to look good for an upcoming holiday.

The desire for visible abdominals isn’t all-powerful, however. Sometimes it’s downright boring. One in five women said they fell off the diet wagon because they got bored or couldn’t summon up the willpower to continue a life without bread, cookies, candy and pasta (I’m paraphrasing, of course).

Diets aren’t all bad, though. In fact, even when largely unsuccessful they can make a difference. Many of the women reported that while they may not be able to eat clean 24-7, they had made positive lasting changes as a result of a diet.