It’s not uncommon for people on a diet to start out with their control firmly in place, only to let things slide by mid-afternoon. According to a survey by the digital health company Massive Health, it’s quite normal for dieters to slack off, especially when their day isn’t turning out quite like they hoped.

Over five months, Massive Health tracked down the eating habits of thousands of people through an app that allows users to send in photos of their daily dietary choices. The emerging pattern showed that people’s dinner choices tend to be 16 percent less healthy than their breakfast choices. In fact, the food people consumed became less healthy by 1.7 percent with every hour of the day that went by.

What breaks people’s resolve? According to the study, a stressful day is one reason. When you’re feeling particularly harassed, don’t you automatically look for comfort food? The hunger hormone ghrelin is also somewhat responsible for the breakdown of a diet. When you skip your meals, ghrelin pushes you to grab just about anything edible within your reach.

However, just because a lot of people can’t seem to stick to their diet doesn’t mean that you should give up on following a healthier diet. To avoid throwing your diet out the window before the day is even over, make sure you eat a protein-rich breakfast. It will help get rid of your consistent hunger pangs. Regularly snacking on healthy food and having vegetables with your lunch may also help you keep your diet together.

(Photo by Ken Fager via Flickr Creative Commons)

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