Menu Close

Déjà Food? The Average Brit Attempts 17 Diets In Their Lifetime, Giving Up After Just Three Weeks

woman holds tape measure around waist

A new study of 2000 Brits* commissioned by David Lloyd Clubs, has revealed that nearly two thirds (64%) admit that they never see success from diet and fitness fads that promise a weight loss quick fix, with the average individual trying 17 new diets and spending £3290 on health and fitness products in their lifetime, only to see them fail. 

And after the indulgence of Christmas festivities which are inevitably followed by new year’s resolutions and ‘new year, new me’ messaging, it is perhaps no surprise that a fifth (21%) of Brits attempt to lose weight every January, with 15% feeling more pressure to do so in this month than any other time of the year.

This desire to lose weight has led to two-fifths (41%) of the nation turning to diet and fitness fads, with people under the age of 44 (73%) most likely to purchase a quick-fix weight loss product. 

The most common diet and fitness fads tried were Meal Replacement Shakes (18%), the Atkins Diet (17%) and the 5-2 Diet (16%), with one in ten (12%) Brits even admitting to trying Weight Loss Pills.

The fitness-specific fads included the Abs Toning Belt (7%), the Shake Weight (6%), the Ab Roller (5%) and the Waist Trainer (4%).

Some of the more bizarre fads included the Cabbage Soup Diet (10%), the Ice Cream Cleanse (3%) and even the Tape Worm Diet (2%).

Top 5 Diet and Fitness Fads 

1. Meal Replacement Shakes
2. The Atkins Diet
3. The 5-2 Diet
4. Weight Loss Pills
5. Carb-Free Diet

These fads are anything but helpful, however, with success seen less than a third (31%) of the time and the nation on average only lasting 56 days using them.

Over two-fifths (41%) cite the reason for this was because it was a quick fix rather than being manageable long-term, meaning they lost weight initially and then put it straight back on.

David Lloyd Clubs, is on a mission to encourage Brits to say no to fitness fads and yes to a lifetime of wellness, by teaming up with Actress and TV Personality, Nadia Sawalha, to launch the brand’s Wellness Pledge.

Supported by Body Image Expert, Holli Rubin, David Lloyd Clubs’ industry-first Wellness Pledge highlights how the brand is committed to encouraging the nation to focus on their wellness and feeling happy and healthy in their bodies, rather than just trying to lose weight.

It also calls on the fitness industry to join it in advertising responsibly and encouraging healthy habits this January and beyond.

When Brits do try unhealthy fitness fads and ultimately fail, they cite feeling disappointed (42%), frustrated (31%) and unmotivated (24%), with one in ten (13%) even admitting to considering surgery to get the results they crave.

And it is not just the fads that are causing frustration, as the nation is catching onto the sales tactics too, with almost half (46%) stating the use of celebrities or influencers to promote weight-loss products is false advertising because they don’t use the products themselves and a further two fifths (41%) agreeing that they promote unachievable goals to the public.

David Lloyd Clubs’ Wellness Pledge has been created to encourage the nation to say no to these fitness fads and instead focus on making healthy choices that fit into their lifestyle so that they are happier and healthier in the long term.

It also calls on the fitness industry to adopt its pledge and follow the brand in advertising responsibly, so that as an industry they never make anyone feel that they need to be anything other than themselves.

The David Lloyd Clubs’ Wellness Pledge 
• We will not work with influencers who promote rapid weight loss diets and/or exercise plans or any other unhealthy or potentially dangerous fitness quick fixes 
• We will not promote our clubs as a short-term, rapid weight loss solution in any of our advertising or marketing materials, but rather as a place to feel happy and healthy in your body, and achieve your long-term wellness goals    
• We will train all our fitness team to coach members to develop long-term healthy habits which will empower them to be mentally and physically healthy and well for life
• We will continue to provide a wide range of activities and group exercise classes that feel inclusive and encourage people of all ages and fitness levels to be active and live long-term healthier lifestyles
• We will not promote unrealistic body standards in any of our advertising and marketing materials, and will not digitally enhance any images to alter body shape    

Nadia Sawalha, Actress and TV Personality said: “From fitness fads to diets, I’ve quite literally done them all (I even tried a Water and Boiled Egg Diet!) – and for me personally, they don’t work.  

On a daily basis, my daughters will show me videos they have found online that make unrealistic claims such as ‘how you can double your butt size in a week’ – this madness has to stop.

That’s why I’m over the moon to be working with David Lloyd Clubs on this campaign and their Wellness Pledge, which is something I could have written myself. 

Their promise to support and promote long-term fitness inside and out is the best way to be healthier.

They express the importance of thinking about how exercise makes you feel rather than only focusing on the way it makes you look – and this is something that worked for me. 

Short cuts are short term. ‘Slowly is the fastest way to get to your destination’ is a much better way to look at reaching your health and fitness goals. So, let’s scrap the ‘lose a stone in a week’ mentality and change the way the nation thinks”.

Holli Rubin, Body Image Expert said: “In 2022, we must adopt this new mind shift: one where we step away from dangerous fad diets and fitness trends which can negatively impact us and instead move towards a more moderate and balanced approach which recognises exercise as an important and necessary contribution to our health.

While the fad fitness report reveals that the fads most Brits have tried are diets, fitness fads can be just as harmful as they promote a quick fix weight loss solution that often consumers find isn’t achievable.

I fully support David Lloyd Clubs’ Wellness Pledge because by incorporating fitness into our day-to-day lives, not only do we improve our physical health, but the effect has a long-lasting positive contribution to our mental health and our general overall wellbeing”. 

Over the last 18 months, David Lloyd Clubs has started to see a shift in why members are joining its clubs.

Previously, the most common reason was to improve their physical fitness, however now, given the lifestyle changes that have been seen throughout the pandemic, many are joining for their mental health, with over two thirds (70%) of members who joined in 2021 citing a desire to improve their overall wellbeing and health.

Russell Barnes, Chief Executive Officer, David Lloyd Leisure said: “In January, we know that there is pressure to lose weight fast, something which is exacerbated by health and fitness marketing at this time. 

We all want to improve our overall wellness, and more than ever during these challenging times. However our research has shown that not only are quick-fix weight loss products ineffective, they can also be damaging to our physical and mental health. 

So we want to start 2022 by saying ‘no’ to fitness fads and diet marketing, and instead encourage the nation to focus on being healthy and happy in a way that is sustainable for life.

Our new TV ad campaign ‘Elevate Your Everyday’ takes a completely fresh approach to health and fitness marketing, drawing on the emotional as well as physical benefits of keeping fit, healthy and connected. 

It’s all part of our new Wellness Pledge which we are introducing across our business, to empower our members in enjoying a lifetime of wellness, by supporting them with wellness expertise and facilities.

We hope to inspire others in the industry to follow and join us in advertising responsibly and supporting the nation to make sustainable, long term changes so that we can all enjoy a healthy and positive lifestyle forever”.

David Lloyd Clubs provides the perfect destination to stay fit and healthy this January and beyond.

With state-of-the-art gyms, heated indoor and outdoor pools, top-class racquets facilities, well-equipped group exercise studios and luxurious spas, there is something for everyone to help them refresh, re-balance, relax and re-connect.

For those looking for specific activities to reduce stress and induce relaxation, David Lloyd Clubs offer Mind & Body classes, luxury spas and sound mediation classes conducted via Facebook Live.

Its team of health and fitness experts also teaches yoga and meditation in the clubs, with members leaving feeling as if they have had some much-needed ‘me’ time.

Join David Lloyd Clubs’ wellness movement on social media by hashtagging #WellnessPledge and #MyClubForMyLife. For more information on classes and experiences on offer at David Lloyd Clubs, please visit: