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The time is right... to start a diet

If you want to lose weight, make sure your hormones and other factors are working with you

17 FEBRUARY 2011

Dieting is tough enough at any time, so don't make it even harder for yourself by choosing a particularly difficult time to start. Whatever form of diet you choose, once you get into the habit, it all becomes that much easier, so it's important to get off to a good start.

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Christmas goodies, Valentine's chocolates, Easter eggs... all these temptations can really rock the boat at the start of a diet, so it's good to start your new regime when you've not got any major celebrations coming up.

There are internal factors to take account of, too, and hormones can play a really important part in whether your diet works or not. Most of us have noticed that we get the munchies at certain points during our menstrual cycle, when our bodies are building up reserves in case they have to deal with the demands of a pregnancy. Not only that, but we tend to feel more emotionally vulnerable and retreat to comfort foods, which tend to be high in sugars and carbohydrates.

So, if you want to start a diet, work with your body and try and choose a time when it's easier to create new healthy eating habits. Then, when the next birthday binge comes round, or when the monthly munchies strike, you'll already have the good habits in place and it'll be easier to stick to them.

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