The average Brit will spend more than £37,000 on ‘health and fitness fads’ over their lifetime, a study revealed today.
Researchers found that fad diets coupled with exercise classes and gym memberships, which are forgotten about after a few sessions, mean the average adult will part with just under £800 a year – or £37,529 between the ages of 18 and 65.
Little-used sports clothes and equipment, special dietary requirements and fitness DVDs also add to the staggering spend.
But despite parting with a small fortune in their quest to get fit, 45 per cent end up undoing all of their hard work by tucking into a snack after exercising, with chocolate, crisps and biscuits the most popular choices.
And a staggering 96 per cent admit they would be better off ditching the fad diets they find it difficult to stick with and simply enjoy a consistent diet of naturally healthy foods instead to manage their weight.
A spokesman for British Lion eggs, which commissioned the research, said: ”With so many fad diets and fitness crazes promising quick or amazing results, it’s easy to see how people want to give them a go.
”But parting with such a large amount of money on schemes that ultimately only last a few weeks, or even less in some cases, isn’t the best way to go about it.
”Eating naturally healthy foods is a much better way to lose weight. High protein foods such as eggs have been shown to help people feel fuller for longer making it easier to manage your weight – without the dedication needed to stick with a fad diet.
”Many are wasting their money even more by working hard at the gym or exercising only to ‘treat’ themselves to something unhealthy because they are peckish when they finish their work-out when the ideal post-workout meal is something like an omelette – high in protein but not high in calories.”
The study of 2,000 adults found that more than one in three often succumb to fad diets or fitness crazes, trying at least one new regime a year.
But more than one in twenty admit to working their way through six different fitness crazes each year.
Healthy or low-fat food to go with the latest diet accounts for the largest amount of cash, costing an average of £27.47 a month – a total of £330 each year.
Two exercise classes each month costs £12.20 or more than £146 over the course of a year, while gym memberships add another £123.60 to the annual total.
Diet subscriptions or weight loss groups see an average spend of £78.60 a year, sports food and drink another £64.32, with £39.93 a year splashed out on sports or gym equipment.
Finally, slimming pills or herbal diet supplements see an annual spend of £10.56 while fitness DVDs account for an average of £5.43 a year
For some the cost is even higher as 22 per cent spend a further £65 on clothes a size or two too small as incentive to carry on with their health craze.
And despite parting with the cash, most quit after a few weeks with around one in six admitting they rarely last more than a week on a regime.
Researchers found that even those who do stick with their exercise regimes let themselves go a little, with 45 per cent usually tucking into a snack after exercising.
And 73 per cent reward themselves with a sweet treat if they have worked particularly hard at the gym or exercise class.
Chocolate was named as the most popular ‘post-exercise’ treat, followed by crisps, biscuits, cake and even an alcoholic drink.
But two thirds feel justified snacking on junk food after working hard to burn the calories because they have ‘earned it’.
BREAKDOWN OF COST:
Healthy/low fat food £27.47
Exercise classes (2 a month) £12.20
Gym membership £10.30
Diet subscriptions/weight loss groups £6.55
Sports food and drink £5.36
Sports/gym equipment £39.93
Fitness DVDs per year £5.43
Slimming pills/herbal diet supplements £10.56
Total: £798.48 a year
£37,528.56 between the ages of 18 and 65
TOP FIVE ‘POST-EXERCISE TREATS’
5. An alcoholic drink