However, 52 per cent of those polled admitted they were really confused about which diets were sustainable and which were not. One fifth don’t know where to go to get reliable and truthful information, and more than half are baffled about which foods can and can’t be cut out.
Almost one third of adults even believe consumption of fruits such as berries, apples and bananas should be limited.
Nick Marston, chairman of Love Fresh Berries, which commissioned the study, said: “January tends to be the month when people embark on fad diets as a quick fix.
“However, we know that it isn’t a sustainable or even healthy approach.
“Instead, nutritionists advise that we follow evidence-based nutritional advice and look for a well-balanced diet that does not cut out any food groups.
The study also revealed that when deciding to ‘emergency diet’, almost half of those polled would turn to Google as their first port of call for information, while 10 per cent would find out what their favourite celebrity does to look good.
Social media and self-help books are referred to by 15 per cent of people, but only 27 per cent say they’d consider consulting a GP.
Key motivations for Brits to take up a crash diet include having a big event on the horizon (18 per cent), preparing for a holiday (21 per cent) and wanting to feel happier with appearance (24 per cent).
But some of the methods of dieting proved even more extreme than others, with 16 per cent admitting they would consider drinking up to 12 glasses of lemon juice a day to lose weight quickly.
And one in twenty would even be happy to intentionally ingest a tapeworm to burn ‘extra’ calories.
Other drastic – and unhealthy – methods respondents would consider trying include eating ice every day, drinking olive oil between meals and tucking into jars of baby food.
The apparent confusion about what works and what doesn’t means many Brits are opting to cut out essential food groups, believing this will encourage faster weight loss.
And with the majority of adults admitting they experience more than five food cravings a day when trying to crash diet, the research indicates the elimination of certain foods is not sustainable for any period of time.
Loving food topped the poll of reasons why dieters found these plans impossible to stick to while a quarter said food and drink were integral to their social life.
Some Brits have even had to abandon a diet after it clearly affected their health, with fatigue (21 per cent), weakness (29 per cent) and headaches (26 per cent) putting an end to quick weight loss plans.
The study, carried out via OnePoll, also revealed just under half are confused about whether fruit should be limited when dieting, due to fears the food is too high in sugar (45 per cent) and carbohydrates (13 per cent).
More than one in 10 are convinced fruits are too calorific, while another tenth believe they contain worrying levels of fat.
Dr Emma Derbyshire, a nutritionist speaking on behalf of Love Fresh Berries said: “It seems there are still ongoing confusions about how much and what form fruits should be eaten.
“Concerns about sugars and carbohydrates are largely unfounded. The benefits that fruits bring in terms of micro and phytonutrients far outweigh any potential sugar concerns.
“Sugars naturally occurring in fruits are intrinsic and not ‘added’ sugars, also known as free sugars. Fruits such as berries are naturally sweet so there is no need to add extra refined sugar to these.”
MOST POPULAR FAD DIETS
1. Atkins diet
2. The 5:2
3. Cabbage soup diet
4. Keto diet
5. Juice cleanse
6. Salad diet
7. Grapefruit juice diet
8. Paleo diet
9. 3-Day diet
10. Raw food diet
11. Alkaline diet
12. South Beach diet
13. Negative calorie diet
14. 3 hour diet
15. Macrobiotic diet
16. Zone diet
17. Brazilian diet
18. Tapeworm diet
19. Pioppi diet
20. Ornish diet