‘New year new me’ never lasts: Why healthy habits are hard to keep and how food manufacturers can help

As winter turns to spring, it’s likely that those who started 2024 with grand plans to revamp their lifestyle through healthy eating and exercise, have already reverted to their former ways. That’s according to a survey commissioned by active and wellness nutrition brand, Smart Protein, which looked at the diets of two thousand individuals wanting to overhaul their food choices and make changes to their lifestyle. Though many started with the best intentions, the majority dropped their plans in less than three weeks. 

Why people want to live a healthier lifestyle

There are myriad reasons why people are inspired to make significant changes to their lifestyle, from new year’s resolutions to a health scare. However, improved fitness, energy levels and weight loss are typically the desired results. So why don’t new, well-intentioned habits last?

“If we’ve been eating a certain way for a long time, it takes time and effort to sustain changes. With many demands on our time and energy, it’s easy for our efforts to fail”

Why healthy habits are hard to keep

Humans are creatures of habit and breaking these habits, which have been embraced and nurtured over many years, is always going to be challenging.

“If we’ve been eating a certain way for a long time, it takes time and effort to sustain changes. With many demands on our time and energy, it’s easy for our efforts to fail,” Bridget Benelam, nutritionist at the British Nutrition Foundation, told FoodNavigator.

These changes are also often made under unusual circumstances, when emotions might be heightened, such as Christmas, when people have plenty of time to contemplate the new year and reflect upon the year that has passed.