Can you afford to be on a diet?

By January 31, 2009Uncategorized

At this time of year thoughts inevitably turn to resolutions.  First on the list for most of us is a determination to be a mere shadow of our former selves next Christmas.

The experts tell us the way to achieve that is with diet and exercise.  Times are tough and getting tougher so before we madly sign up to the latest fad diet or enrol at the local gym, it’s worth taking a moment or two to think about how much it all might cost. 

A few years ago, Forbes Magazine (the influential US mag for the leaders of the business world), decided to take a good hard look at the numbers (as business people often do).  They looked at the 10 most popular diets in the US, calculated how much the special foods required would cost and averaged out the membership cost (if there was one).  They then compared this to the average amount spent by a single person on food ($84 per week).

They found that being on a diet cost up to $210 per week (or $126 more than not being on a diet).  If you sign up to a gym you can add an extra $20 a week to that.  If you’re feeling really gung ho you can add a personal trainer for an extra $80 a session.

But in the spirit of all good resolutions, let’s assume we can manage to stick to the plan for 12 months.  Over a year we can expect to spend an additional $6,552 on food and an extra $1,040 on gym membership for a total cost of $7,592 without the personal trainer or $11,752 with the trainer (assuming you train with them for one hour per week).

US Government research suggests that most of us are back to where we started (or worse) within a year.  So the eleven and a half grand would probably be better spent putting down a deposit on a house (ok well that’s not really enough but perhaps some nice shoes?).

Traditional diets don’t work and cost a fortune, but there is a better way.  Sweet Poison describes a lifestyle change which anybody can make without costing them a cent (except for the book of course).  If anything, you will spend less on food as your appetite control is restored to normal.  There’s no gym fees to pay. In fact if you don’t feel like it you need not exercise at all.  There’s no meetings to attend and no program fees to pay.  There’s no special food to buy and there’s no menu plan to stick to.  All you need to do is avoid things which taste sweet.  The End.  That’s it – oops, now I’ve spoiled the ending … 

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