- New research reveals over £5 billion worth of clothes left abandoned in British wardrobes as our waists expand
In the grip of recession, each British woman owns a shocking £259.20 worth of clothes they're unable to fit in to, leaving the nation with over £5 billion worth of clothes left redundant in wardrobes across the country.
The new research, conducted by Weight Watchers, reveals three quarters (72%) of women own clothes they can't fit in to, with one in five (20%), admitting this is at least half of everything they own.
Over a third of us (34%) admit to having bought clothes a size too small to inspire us to lose weight and the wasted wardrobe situation is also exacerbated as we're all increasing in weight by almost a pound each year according to Weight Watchers' data.
We're also in denial about what size we actually are with 68 per cent of obese women unaware of their condition. Our unrealistic view of ourselves is further contributing to unworn clothes in the back of the closet. Further, we're not only in denial about our own size, but also the size of celebrities; most of us incorrectly thought Nigella Lawson is a size 14 when she's actually known to be a size 16 and nearly a third (31%) thought Holly Willoughby was a size 10 or smaller when she's a size 12.
Psychologist Linda Papadopoulos comments "Having so many clothes that are too small for us could end up having the adverse effect so rather than encouraging us to lose weight, there's a danger we feel like a failure because we can't fit in to so many clothes. This can result in comfort eating and becomes a vicious circle that's hard to break."
Ditching the diet
Not only are women wasting hundreds of pounds, they're also piling on the pounds and failing to stick to weight loss plans. Nearly three quarters (69%) admit they ditch the diet before achieving their weight loss goal for reasons including the stress of Christmas preparations (17%) and giving into temptation when indulging at family gatherings and Christmas parties (90%).
Despite the fact that over three quarters of us (77%) say we want to lose a significant amount of weight and drop at least one dress size in time for Christmas, most of us (63%) don't know how much weight we need to lose to achieve this goal or how long it will take; over a quarter are allowing just one month to drop a dress size (typically a stone).
Zoe Hellman, Weight Watchers UK Company Dietitian comments "Having one smaller item of clothing to aim to fit in to is a great target but women are being unrealistic about the time it takes to lose weight, which inevitably leads to them losing motivation and giving up, citing the following as the things they struggle with most:
1. Feeling hungry (37%)
2. Lack of time to exercise (23%)
3. Eating less (12%)
4. Resisting eating due to emotions (11%)
5. Eating healthy foods (10%)
Hellman adds "Women should really be leaving around 8 weeks to drop a dress size so now is a great time to start a Christmas weight loss plan. The Weight Watchers Discover Plan helps women make smarter, better informed food choices so you don't need to feel hungry and go without foods you enjoy, making you more likely to succeed. Unlike typical weight loss plans, we help tackle the obstacles that cause you to overeat like boredom or stress so you're more likely to lose weight and really keep it off for the long haul - and reduce all number of unworn clothes languishing in the back of the wardrobe!"
Other findings from the research include:
" Women are as concerned with dropping a dress size (44%) as they are about improving their health
" A third of women (32%) said compliments from friends and family make them feel successful at weight loss, proving that dropping a dress size shouldn't be the only measure of success
" One in five women don't even know how many pounds there are in a stone
For more information visit www.weightwatchers.co.uk.