Millions of Australians are focusing on their health in 2024 and plan to diet, new research reveals.
A survey by comparison site Finder revealed 27% of Australians – equivalent to 5.5 million people – would try a new diet this year.
Aussies are most eager to try intermittent fasting (15%), along with the keto (10%), pescetarian (9%), and vegetarian diets (9%).
This is followed by going vegan (8%), gluten-free (8%), or trying a low FODMAP diet (8%).
A further 7% will strip their cupboards of processed foods and attempt a paleo diet.
The research found 1 in 4 (24%) – equivalent to 4.9 million people – already follow a food regime of some kind.
How to make your diet stick:
Start small. As with any resolution, play the long-term game. Instead of making drastic changes, try taking small steps every day. If your goal is to ditch meat, start with 1 meat-free day a week and go from there. If your goal is to reduce your sugar intake, swap the soda for orange juice to phase out your cravings over time. Changing your habits slowly will make it feel like a natural transition.
Grab a buddy. Starting a healthy diet on your own can seem intimidating, so why not face the challenge with someone else? Having a friend will keep you motivated and accountable, so you’re more likely to maintain your new healthy lifestyle. Plus, they can be your workout buddy too!
Make it affordable. Don’t listen to any business that tries to sell you a fitness program or home delivery meal service as part of a diet. The healthiest foods – like seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes – are also the most affordable foods, and can be found at your local supermarket. To save money, stock up on bulk items like frozen veggies, canned beans and big bags of brown rice and forget about meal replacement shakes and superfoods.
Finder's money expert, Angus Kidman, said Aussies were putting their health first in 2024.
“The new year is a great opportunity to improve your diet and pursue a healthier lifestyle," he said.
“Diet-related resolutions are popular but changing your food habits is often trickier than people anticipate.
“Extreme switches often end badly, so make sure your planned changes are realistic, and set small achievable goals to keep yourself motivated.”
Mr Kidman said adopting a healthy eating routine doesn’t have to break the bank.
"As meat prices increase, limiting your meat consumption can add a few dollars back in your pocket.
"Planning your meals means you're not splurging on stuff you don't need that also don’t align with your goals. Compare prices prices online for groceries to make sure you know where the best deals are.”
Mr Kidman urged Aussies to focus on building healthy habits rather than quick fixes.
“Be wary of fad diets that promise quick and easy weight loss in a short amount of time.
“At the end of the day, your diet choice needs to resonate with you.
“It’s incredibly hard to stay motivated if your food goals don't align with your values,” Mr Kidman said.
The diets Australians plan to try in 2024:
Intermittent fasting 15 per cent
Keto diet 10 per cent
Vegetarian 9 per cent
Pescetarianism 9 per cent
Veganism 8 per cent
Gluten free 8 per cent
Low FODMAP diet 8 per cent
Paleo 7 per cent