Nearly a third women who go on a fitness drive lose weight – in all the wrong places, a study has found.
A survey of 2,000 women who embarked on an exercise regime found dropping pounds was the main aim for 77 per cent, with just over half (54 per cent) wanting to lose fat from their stomach.
But 30 per cent admitted the weight came off the ‘wrong areas’ – with 55 per cent of those sad to see it lost from their bust.
Others were left annoyed after losing weight from their face (17 per cent), legs (13 per cent) and even their bum (16 per cent).
Despite this, 95 per cent of those surveyed by health and wellbeing app Jonple said they felt better overall following their exercise and diet change.
Andrew Jones, CEO at Jonple, said: “Going on a fitness drive can be hard work but it can be fantastic for the body and mind, improving your general health and boosting your self-esteem.
“But it is important that whatever your target is, you maintain a healthy diet and exercise regime and, most importantly, don’t overdo it.
“However, there are no shortcuts and whatever your fitness goal, it is vital to do the research to avoid injury or other issues.
“Training a specific area of the body to reduce the amount of fat you have there is known as ‘Spot Reduction’ and has been shown to be a myth. Performing hundreds of crunches does not reduce the amount of fat on your stomach.
“Fat is released from fat cells to be used as energy. When the body is undertaking this process, it doesn’t tend to ask where you would most like the fat to be used from.”
For people to lose weight, the number of calories they burn must be higher than the number of calories they consume. This is known as a calorie deficit and can be manipulated through the food you consume and the exercise you perform.
More than half of respondents (52 per cent) knew exactly how much weight they wanted to lose – with half (51 per cent) of these people reaching their target.
The stomach was comfortably the area of their body women most wanted to change (54 per cent), followed by legs (nine per cent), bum (five per cent) and arms (two per cent).
However, 18 per cent stopped exercising when they reached their fitness goal, and only 57 per cent managed to maintain their target weight.
The research by Jonple also found that 41 per cent didn’t research their fitness regime properly before starting it.
And 14 per cent suffered injuries while working out, with 78 per cent putting it down to trying too much too soon.
Muscle strains were the most common injuries, followed by sore knees and shin splints.
A good fitness programme should incorporate core stability, mobility, flexibility and details that will reduce the chance of injury and not increase it.
Four in 10 of those surveyed via OnePoll did their fitness drive on their own, while a third (33 per cent) joined a gym to get fit, 31 per cent downloaded fitness apps and 30 per cent used YouTube videos to help with their regime.
It also emerged a third (36 per cent) felt self-conscious exercising outside, while 34 per cent felt the same at the gym.
And almost one in 10 (nine per cent) kept their fitness drive secret from loved ones.
Two thirds (67 per cent) also said their personal happiness is linked to how they look – with six in 10 believing men have it easier than women when it comes to body image.
Jonple commissioned the research to highlight its app, where members get a unique nutrition and fitness programme shaped to their needs using validated scientific calculations.
Every user receives a personalised plan based on their fitness levels and what they want to achieve, whether that is to lose weight, tone up or simply stay healthy.
Andrew Jones, CEO at Jonple, added: “A healthy lifestyle is all about moderation – a balanced nutritional diet and regular exercise, with the understanding that it’s ok if every day doesn’t go as planned.
“Crushing yourself into the ground every session might feel like the right thing to do at the start, but it won’t help you long term, which is where your focus should be.
“Working out and eating well is a hugely rewarding experience and while the vast majority felt better from their fitness drive, taking a balanced approach can help everyone achieve and maintain their fitness in a way that is right for them. This is what Jonple is all about.”