One in two Brits give up their health kick – because they find healthy food boring, it has emerged.
The study of dieting habits found three in 10 believe just the thought of ‘boring’ healthy food stops them from eating as well as they could.
It also emerged the average diet lasts less than three months before dieters revert back to their old ways, and three in 10 are sick of eating healthily within the first month.
Despite two thirds of dieters admitting they enjoy eating healthy food, 47 per cent said they find healthier cuisine more boring than food which is bad for them.
And it all appears to be in the lack of feeding the senses.
One third miss the smell of unhealthy meals when they are in the midst of a health kick, and one in eight thinks junk food has a better texture than any leafy greens.
And three in five think trying to eat healthily reduces the enjoyment they get out of eating.
The study also found to ensure they get more of an enjoyable eating experience, Brits turn to sugary, fatty foods over healthier alternatives.
Forty two per cent identify the sweet smoothness of chocolate as their healthy eating Achilles ’ heel, while a third are undone by the flavoursome crunch of crisps.
Registered nutritionist and cookery writer Rob Hobson, who has partnered with Tilda, said: “The perceptions around food boredom is a key factor for diet fatigue and the reason why many dieters quickly revert back to old eating habits.
“It’s clear from the research findings that our senses have a huge role to play in the food choices we make.
“We seek great tasting flavour, appearance, smell and texture in our food.
”But it is clear we reach to unhealthy foods such as the flavour of chocolate and the crunch of crisps to satisfy these needs as the perception of healthy dishes hitting a multi-sensory note is more difficult to achieve.
“Convenience and ease of preparation are also highlighted as reasons why people find it difficult to stick to a healthy diet, with 44 per cent of dieters of the view that they would eat meals that are better for them if they were easier to prepare and more readily accessible.
“If you combine this with all the other misconceptions around healthy food this creates a huge barrier to eating well.”
When asked to consider the factors which might convince them to stick to their diet for longer two in five said they would be more likely to stick to a diet if they could find healthy meals which they found delicious.
One in four said they would stick with a diet if the meals they ate looked more appetising.
And 54 per cent thought a visible improvement in their appearance would help to spur them on to keep living their healthy lifestyle.
A resounding 95 per cent of dieters can name a specific dish which would tempt them away from their healthy eating habits that deliver the multi-sensory hit they are craving.
These include pizza, curry, chips and the waft as well as the sizzle of bacon cooking.
However, three in 10 think eating unhealthily is more convenient than a greener plate, according to the study by OnePoll.
A spokesperson for Tilda added: “The notion of multi-sensory eating has previously been considered the territory of Michelin starred chefs, but at Tilda we believe in not only enabling the home cook but the health-conscious cook looking for convenience”.
“With this in mind, we have created stand-out, multi-sensory Supergrains recipes in partnership with nutritionist and cook Rob Hobson, which deliver on all the senses to make healthy eating a daily sustainable reality using our range of natural, wholegrain, gluten-free rice & grain pouches in delicious flavours such as Sweet Potato, Chilli and Coconut”
Hobson added: “Taste is the sum of all the senses, which includes flavour, smell, sight, texture and sound.
“It’s time to ditch your misconceptions around healthy eating and do your diet a favour by exploring the multi-sensory world of healthy eating.
“Understanding how to combine multi-sensory foods to create simple tasty dishes that stimulate all of the senses will help to change your perception of what it means to eat well and improve your enjoyment of healthy food”.
Top 10 foods most likely to end a diet
Chocolate / sweets
Fish and chips
Cookies / biscuits