Trends & Features

Searches for ‘quick-fix weight loss exercises’ surge by over 500%

ASICS challenges society's obsession with exercising purely for weight loss with an alternative weight loss message

Despite the rise in body positivity1, 2024 appears to be the year we return to an era of weight loss fixation. Searches for “weight loss exercises” have skyrocketed, up by 552% in the last year, with “quick weight loss” searches even higher at 581% year-on-year.

This pervasive weight loss messaging is also echoed through a rise in videos on social media and traditional media outlets, with content about “fat-burning” and “quick weight loss” methods up by 296% a year2. To date, there are over eight million posts relating to weight loss workouts on TikTok in 20243.

Meanwhile, conversations about exercise for mental health remain significantly less frequent. The number of videos focused on “exercise + weight loss” has increased by 204% this year, 33% more than videos focusing on exercise and mental health4.

This current fixation with exercise purely as a tool for physical weight loss is perpetuating unrealistic body standards and impacting our mental health. New research from ASICS shows that 42% of UK adults say ‘quick weight loss’ content makes them feel insecure and negatively impacts their mental health. Nearly two-thirds (59%) of people believe that celebrity weight loss content is the worst thing on social media for people’s mental health (59%). And 70% say that seeing weight loss content on social media doesn’t motivate them to exercise.

More broadly, the research highlights that 80% of UK adults believe that the media’s focus on celebrity bodies negatively impacts self-esteem. A further 72% believe society’s obsession with the perfect body is bad for people’s mental health.

​In response, ASICS is highlighting a different kind of weight loss. ASICS has partnered with fitness and body positivity influencers, including Em Clarkson, to disrupt social media with an alternative weight loss message, highlighting the power of exercise to take the weight off our minds.

​The “15 Minute Weight Loss” campaign features a series of videos that appear to be yet more “instant result” weight loss exercise videos, before revealing that just 15 minutes of exercise can take the weight off our minds.

ASICS research, conducted with Professor Brendon Stubbs from King’s College London shows that just 15 minutes and nine seconds of physical activity is enough to start to experience the positive mental benefits.5

Gary Raucher, EVP, of ASICS EMEA, said: “The increasing focus on exercise purely as a tool for weight loss is worrying. Research shows that society’s obsession with exercising for the “perfect” body is adding pressure and putting people off exercise. Today’s campaign is a crucial reminder for people to move for their minds, and not just for how it changes their bodies.

“At ASICS, we’ve always believed in the positive impact of movement, not just on the body, but also on the mind. It’s why we’re called ASICS, an acronym for the Latin ‘Anima Sana in Corpore Sano’ or ‘a Sound Mind in a Sound Body’. We remain committed to supporting more people to move and experience the positive mental benefits of movement.”

Professor Brendon Stubbs, a leading researcher in exercise and mental health from King’s College London, said: “By becoming too focused on the short-term and often narrow possibility of losing weight, we are neglecting the profound and multifaceted benefits movement can have on our minds.

“The fact is that weight loss is hard and it takes time. Many people stop exercising before this happens because they become despondent when quick weight loss is not visible, or in some cases not possible.  Instead, if people focus on doing exercise for enjoyment and the mental health benefits, people are not only protecting their minds but are also much more likely to remain engaged in exercise in the long term.”

Psychologist Dr Tara Quinn-Cirillo added: “Evidence suggests that quick-fix weight loss, through diet and exercise fads, often leads to only short-term gains and negative long-term consequences. The desire to lose weight quickly, perpetuated by societal norms and pervasive digital weight loss content, can be damaging to self-esteem and self-worth, as people strive for an ideal that society has cultivated.

“The result can cause people to obsess over using exercise only as a way to change appearances. What often gets overlooked is the power of movement to support better overall health.

“Therefore, reframing our relationship with exercise is crucial. Moving our bodies releases dopamine which boosts mood, reduces stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline and has long-term benefits for anxiety reduction. And we don’t always need to engage in ‘formal’ exercise for these benefits. Activities such as running, playing games in a park or even going up and down the stairs are all movements that can contribute to overall improved wellbeing.”

To find out more about ASICS’ alternative weight loss message, please visit:


1Source: UK YouTube – March 2024

2Source: UK YouTube – March 2024

3Source: Global TikTok – March 2024

4Source: UK YouTube – March 2023 to March 2024

5ASICS Global State of Mind Study:


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