London: The most common trigger for women changing their lifestyle regarding their being overweight is an unflattering photograph, a new study has revealed.
Subtle changes in size and shape can be hard to notice, but looking back at holiday snaps forces us to assess ourselves objectively.
The surprise leads to impressive results, however, with women dieting after seeing an unattractive picture losing a staggering 14 pounds on average.
Embarrassing double chin moments are now frequently displayed to more people than we want them to be through Facebook, making many women see photographs as a very public measure of their worth.
Half of the 1,000 women surveyed by eatwater.co.uk admitted to having been shocked into slimming by a photograph that highlighted unwanted bulges.
Other popular reasons for starting a diet included struggling to fit into clothes and catching sight of a reflection in a shop window.
Old photos as well as recent ones were seen as highlighting weight issues, with 42 percent of women dieting after noticing how many pounds they had piled on since pictures were taken.
“Sometimes it takes something like a photo for people to acknowledge the fact they even have a problem with their weight,” the Daily Mail quoted an Eat Water spokesman as saying.
“It is all too easy to become complacent with our body shape and size, and think we are doing okay, when really we’re carrying round a few extra pounds.
“A photograph can be like a bolt from the blue - often people are absolutely flabbergasted that they could have let things get so bad,” the spokesman said.
For some people, wanting to look good for an event such as holiday or wedding was the main impetus to start slimming.
The most negative triggers included feeling fat in comparison to work colleagues, a dwindling sex life, and being cheated on by a partner.
Some women said they felt too self-conscious when going swimming.
A desire for a new job or to fit into a favourite pair of jeans leads to an average weight loss of 10 pounds.
But just under half of women admitted that they find it hard to maintain weight.
The top 20 diet triggers for women are:
Being shocked at how big you look in a photograph
Catching a glimpse of yourself in a shop window or mirror
Realising you couldn’t fit into a favourite pair of jeans
Finding you have to buy a bigger dress size
Looking through old photos and seeing how much weight you have put on since
Preparing for a holiday abroad
Feeling self-conscious when swimming
Attending a wedding
A good friend loses weight and looks amazing
Attending a special party
Preparing for your own wedding
Realising you are the fattest person in the office
Being asked if you are pregnant
Your sex life has dwindled
A partner loses weight and you’re the only fat one
Getting back into the dating game after being dumped
Being cheated on
Envying a sibling who has lost weight
Starting a new job
Suspecting a partner is having an affair