The average health kick lasts less than 12 days, a study has found.
Despite starting with good intentions of eating healthier food, exercising more often and cutting back on alcohol and smoking, the average adult will be back to their usual ways before two weeks has passed.
But people’s yoyo health pattern is repeated four times a year, with the average adult trying a new regime every three months.
That amounts to the equivalent of eight years of a lifetime spent trying to stick with 252 different health kicks.
Feeling tired is the most common reason for quitting a health kick, followed by a stressful day at work and chocolate is the ultimate food we all fall off the wagon for.
Boredom, a night out or holiday and the lure of takeaway food are also likely to see people cave.
Rob Hobson, Healthspan Head of Nutrition, which commissioned the research to mark the launch of new supplement products called YOGO, said: “It’s great to see that we are a nation interested in taking better care of our health, but a shame that so many of us are finding it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s important that when starting a new health regime that you make sure you are getting a balanced and varied diet.
“There is so much more choice these days when deciding on what route to take when improving your health that it’s no wonder Brits are jumping in between different health kicks.”
The study of 2,000 adults found two thirds will often start a health kick with good intentions of eating well and exercising more but find it hard to stick with it for too long.
More than half even admit they have embarked on a health kick but given up within 24 hours.
Two in five even admitting they feel they spend more time stopping and starting health kicks than they do sticking to them.
And more than a quarter also said they always feel like they are on some kind of health kick because they are constantly stopping and starting them.
More than one in ten will always have a go at the latest fad diet or healthy regime, with nearly one quarter of Brits constantly yoyo-ing between one health kick or another.
Dr Meg Arroll, a psychologist specialising in health on behalf of Healthspan said: “People find it difficult to make change particularly when the health goals are vague and overarching – wanting to be a bit fitter or healthier is hard to achieve as it’s these things are difficult to track and measure.
“But it is important to decide which aspect of health you want to change – focus on one health change then work on the goal in terms of making it SMART (specific: measurable: achievable: relevant: timely).
The study, carried out on OnePoll.com also found 87 per cent reckon they have a good idea of what they need to do and eat to be healthy, yet six in ten will often say they will do one thing and do another.
Despite nearly half of Brits describing themselves as health enthusiasts, millions of Brits are missing out on daily essentials that will improve their healthy habits such as eating oily fish twice a week, getting five portions of fruit and veg or walking 10,000 steps a day.
Almost a quarter will buy supplements but forget to take them with the equivalent having never had their blood pressure checked.
Rob Hobson Healthspan Head of Nutrition said: “Despite all the hype and interest around nutrition, information overload has actually made it very confusing.
“For one reason or another, despite the information available, many people are still not eating enough of the right foods to support their optimum nutrient intake.
“Food surveys show that shortfalls in key nutrients exist amongst a significant percentage of the population.
“Put simply, many of us our not getting enough from our diet and would benefit from supplementation.
“People are still unclear about how they can support their diet to insure optimal nutrient intake with two in five people surveyed stating they couldn’t tell the difference between a vitamin and a mineral.
“Not everyone wants to take a tablet or capsule supplement so innovative products like Healthspan’s new YoGo range is a great way to top up and support our diets with what we need.”
Top ten things most likely to make you quit a health kick
1. Feeling tired
2. A stressful day at work
5. A trip away or a holiday
6. A night out
8. Bad or cold weather
9. Takeaway food