The third week of January is the time most people begin to flake out of their new year's resolutions, it turns out. And to make it that little bit worse, Facebook is silently judging you as you fail.
We all know the routine: you start the year full of gusto, enthusiastically checking into the gym on Facebook every time you attend and merrily Instagraming your healthy meals so all your friends know how good you've been. Fast forward to 21 January, and the cold has taken its toll: the idea of visiting the gym seems about as appealing as spending the evening out in the cold, while quinoa lunches seem a deeply unappetising prospect.
But now research by Facebook has made it official. According to data from the social network for the Wall Street Journal, the number of check-ins to (US) businesses with "gym" or "fitness" in the name fall 10 per cent in February, but the decline begins in the third week of January. That's following a 50 per cent uplift from December.
However, on a more encouraging note, as the days get longer, people seem to gain a renewed vigour when it comes to fitness. Last year, the number of gym check-ins in March actually surpassed those in January, which four million people checking into gyms, compared with 3.9 million in January. That figure fell to its lowest, at 3.3 million, in November, when Christmas parties presumably become more important than keeping trim.
Still, at least you know that as those dreams of getting fit begin to evaporate, plenty of your Facebook friends are going through the same thing...