Health/Fitness » Fitness

Americans Have 20 Negative Thoughts About Their Body Every Week

Friday Jan 20, 2017

If you're feeling self-conscious about your body you're not alone -- Americans criticize their own body more than 20 times a week, according to a new study.

Research into the health goals, aims and body perceptions of 2,000 people across the country found the average person has three self-critical thoughts about their body every day -- 21 per week.

Millennials are more self-critical about their bodies than any other generation, with the typical millennial criticizing their body four times every day.

Women criticize themselves three times a day, compared to men who have two self-critical thoughts on a daily basis.

In fact, our bodies are the area we criticize ourselves for most -- we're over three times more likely to be negative about our body than we are about our general personality, our career or our intelligence.

Perhaps that's why four in ten adults say they already have a specific fitness goal they're working towards currently.

The research was conducted by market researchers OnePoll and commissioned by and found the average person polled wants to lose 28 lbs. to reach their ideal body shape.

If you were to project that amount of weight for every person across the country, that equates to almost 4.5 million tons America is hoping to be able to shift -- equivalent to 12 Empire State Buildings or 30 thousand Blue Whales.

When it comes to specific areas we're most unhappy with, the stomach and 'love handles' are what Americans hope to slim down the most, followed by thighs and arms.

But while the weight loss goals are clear, just nine percent of those studied aspire to a Hollywood-style body and are instead aiming to be fit and healthy.

Interestingly, results found more men than women are currently changing their fitness and dieting lifestyle -- one in seven men compared with just one in 15 women.
Most just want to be healthy and fit and don't care about having the body of an A-list celebrity, while 16 percent think it's impossible for the average American to achieve a 'Hollywood-style' body.

"We've learned from our customers that most people give up after two weeks of setting out on a fitness journey. We found that the way to help people stay on track is to set small, achievable goals. Ideally, these are goals you can achieve at the 2-week mark, so you never get burnt out and are always excited about your next goal," said Keith Sivera, Director of Brand Marketing,

Results showed that, based on the average person's experiences, we'll start at least one new diet this year, but there's only a one in four chance that diet will be successful.

Lack of motivation is the most difficult thing for people when exercising, but when they do manage to do it the average session lasts 35 minutes.

The most common fitness goals for people beyond weight loss is exercising more than twice each week, getting a smaller waist, and consuming less sugar.

"Keeping exercising exciting and new is a great way to stay motivated and interested. With motivation high, you are less likely to deviate from your goals. has tons of free fitness programs to keep you motivated, engaged, and excited about exercising," said Sivera.


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