It’s basically a universal rule: diets start on Monday.
But is that the best idea?
The second or third day of a diet is typically when things start to get a little tough as the body and mind both start saying, “ok, that’s enough of this nonsense, let’s get back to how we normally eat.”
Under the Monday starting paradigm, that means that the hardest part of the new venture happens in the middle of the week, when life is already crazy, where there’s already a mental and physical grind when we’re not trying to diet. Stress is building and fatigue is increasing and we are asking our will power to overcome the body’s pretty strong desire to no longer be less well fed than it’s used to. That’s a lot to ask of anyone, particularly if they’re not extremely motivated.
If we do manage to make it through the week without breaking down then we are physically starving and our resolve is worn down by the time Friday night comes around. Not only is it hard to not overeat and reward yourself after a week of dieting, the body is extremely receptive to calories after stress. That means if you’re not careful with your weekend then you’re back where you started come the following Monday, and sometimes up a pound or two.
However, what if we were to start diets on Thursday? I think we might have a little better chance.
Here’s my logic:
Our resolve is best the first few days of a new diet. Let’s make those tough days (Friday nights, Saturday nights, Sunday) happen while you’re still focused and haven’t been worn down yet.
That also gives you days 3 and 4 on the weekend, where hopefully your stress is a little less and you’re a bit more rested, which both tremendously help diminish your sweet tooth and overeating in general. Nothing drives you toward bad food faster and harder than stress and under sleeping, which is why dieting during the week can be really hard.
Now it’s Monday and you’re already on day 5, where the body usually starts making some good changes. Combine that traditional Monday motivation with your 4 day head start and a body that’s made it through the tough portion and you are primed for a good week. Take that momentum into the following weekend and see if you’re not feeling quite a bit different on Friday and Saturday night.
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.
The best time to start a diet might also be 20 years ago but the second best time is on a Thursday.
Thanks for reading, have a great day!
P.S. If for some reason you don’t make it through the weekend, then you can start your diet on Monday. 🙂