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Most people who start diets don’t see them through to the end. They fail to achieve the kind of results they’re hoping for because they make some of the dieting mistakes we’re going to list for you below.

Cutting Out All the Foods You Like

Going from eating whatever you want to eating a very restricted diet is incredibly difficult. Most people do not have the willpower to keep up with a diet like that, and so they fall back on the foods that are not good for them and that they’re trying to avoid eating. If you want more success in your diet, try to pick a diet that allows you to have some cheat days or at least lets you have some of the foods you really like. One way you can make this work with most diets is to modify your favorite foods to make them compatible with the diet and yet still taste good. Check out a variety of recipes for your favorite foods online to see if there are any that gel with the kind of diet you’re wanting to go on.

Not Tracking the Diet

If you’re not keeping track of what you’re doing on your diet and what you’re supposed to be doing, you’ll quickly fall off the rails. Your diet won’t work very well if you don’t constantly keep in mind what you’re supposed to be eating. A diet is a constant balancing act between doing what you’re supposed to be doing and trying to control what you want to do. If you’re tracking your diet and keeping up with what you’re taking in, you’ll be more likely to see the success clearly and keep going. It’s really important to keep track of your meals and see how far you’ve come in order to stay motivated.

Not Planning Ahead

It may be fairly easy to plan out the foods that you eat at home, but what about when you go out to eat? If you don’t have a chance to make the food yourself, how are you going to ensure that you’re eating foods that are part of your diet wherever you decide to eat? You may have to carefully choose restaurants and check out their menus before you visit them. Otherwise, you could feel compelled to eat something that’s not part of your diet.

You also have to plan ahead very well with your grocery shopping to make sure that you have foods at home that work with the diet. It’s really easy to fall out of proper eating habits just because you didn’t plan very well. You may end up taking a trip to the corner shop to get a quick snack fix because you don’t have something at home to eat, and then you could end up eating snacks you’ll regret later.

Planning is incredibly important for your diet to make sure that you are eating foods that are consistent with the diet and that you have them on hand for when you need them.

Getting Stressed Often

Everybody gets stressed from time to time and needs a chance to settle down and collect their thoughts. However, if you feel stressed a lot of the time, you’re likely to make poor dietary decisions. You may turn to the foods that give you comfort, which could be unhealthy for you or not part of your approved diet.

When you binge eat foods for comfort, this is called stress eating, and it’s really difficult to keep up a diet with that kind of behavior. So, you want to look for ways to reduce your stress. The diet can be really taxing on you, so you may want to hire other people to handle some responsibilities for you. Maybe you need a little help with the house cleaning and want to hire professionals who do that occasionally. You may want to take a taxi or an Uber when you need to go somewhere and you’re stressed rather than trying to drive yourself. You’ll also be less likely to stop off somewhere and get something unhealthy to eat this way.

There are many other ways you can help yourself and decrease or eliminate stress. Some of the more common methods are to lie down, listen to relaxing music, talk to a friend, read a book, or watch a movie. These kinds of activities can switch your brain over to something else so that it doesn’t feel as stressed and threatened.

Setting the Standard too High

What kind of dietary standards should you be setting for yourself? The mistake that a lot of people make when they’re starting a diet is that they set their goals too high or they expect too much for themselves. They may try to change their entire range of dietary habits, switching up when they eat, what they eat, and how they eat. This level of change can be so difficult to keep up with that they end up quitting on their diet. It’s a lot easier to start low and slow and work your way up to the standard you want to achieve. This way, you can acclimate yourself and prepare your body and brain for what you’re trying to do. While it may take longer to reach your goals, you’re more likely to reach them at some point.

Cutting Back Food Too Much

The final dieting mistake we want to cover is cutting out too much food from your diet. If you’re restricting how much you eat in a big way, you’re going to cause your energy levels to plummet, and you may not have the energy to get through the day. You’re also going to affect your mood and make yourself feel weak and lethargic, and you may have trouble focusing. When you’re preparing yourself for a diet, you want to ease into it so that you don’t try to do too much at once and do more than your body can handle.


Losing weight is hardly ever easy. Even though we all might know the basic formula for shedding pounds and maintaining an ideal weight — to eat less and move more — there are other factors at play that cause our bodies and minds, as well as our environments, to wreak havoc with our chances for weight loss success.

If you’ve attempted one diet after another and struggled through every exercise program under the sun but still haven’t managed to hit your weight loss goal, it could be time for a different approach. Here are four tips to try; one of them just might help you ditch those stubborn pounds once and for all!

Do a (Natural) Cleanse

While an extreme cleanse isn’t recommended — it can starve the body of vital nutrients and lead to bacterial imbalances, decreased immunity, general malaise and sustained ill health — there are ways to boost natural detox processes within the liver, kidneys, lungs and skin. Drink water; eat healthy, protein-rich (not carb-loaded) food that aids digestion (like tea, healthy fats, berries and leafy greens); and keep moving! With impurities flushed away, your body (and especially your mind) might be more ready for  healthier living in the future, making weight loss more likely to obtain.

Practice Intermittent Fasting

Research shows that when you eat could be as important as what you eat when it comes to weight loss. And if that doesn’t influence you to try intermittent fasting, research also shows that fasting can help fend off and even cure certain diseases! Sign us up!

Basically, intermittent fasting involves limiting the time you eat to a few hours each day or to eating only a certain number of calories every few days. Normal eating patterns have us consuming food all day, every day. By limiting food consumption to a specific time period or specific caloric intake, the body is able to more readily exhaust available calories and start burning fat. And when our bodies burn fat, we lose weight.

Try Lipotropic Injections

Many people have had success using a specific combination of vitamins, minerals and amino acids to boost their weight loss progress. Usually given as a weekly injection, these shots (called lipotropic injections) are offered through many natural health and medspa providers (such as the Institute of Natural Health in St. Louis). It is believed that these added nutrients foster improved energy consumption and increase metabolism, thereby aiding in general weight loss.


There’s little doubt that the mind is a powerful contributor to overall health. There have been numerous studies that support the mind-body connection. Thus, it makes sense that controlling our minds can help us control our bodies. For instance, many nutritionists and other health care providers recommend meditation as a tool for clearing our thoughts so that we have the ability to focus on and commit to beneficial habits (like eating well, exercising and avoiding unhealthy triggers). When done correctly and consistently, meditation has been shown to improve the practitioner’s well-being and aid in his or her weight loss when needed.


When you decided to lose weight and managed to find a great diet to help you achieve this goal, you also imagined that things were going to run smoothly. But, after a while, you realize that your diet is not making you lose the promised number of pounds. The instant reaction triggered by the bad results of your weight loss diet is to actually blame the diet. While the diet you used may indeed be inefficient in your case, there are a couple of mistakes people frequently do when it comes to losing weight, which can compromise their weight loss expectancies. So take a look at them below and do your best to stay away from making such mistakes.

You didn’t manage to reduce your calories efficiently

The main purpose of a weight loss diet is to allow you to burn more calories than you actually eat. This is why constant exercising is needed, besides just following a diet. But, if you didn’t manage to cut calories efficiently, and you eat more than you consume, then the chances are that you’re going to gain weight instead of losing it. First, you need to determine how many calories you need to eat per day without gaining or losing weight. Once you know this, all you have to do is to cut their number and monitor your daily calorie intake.

Proteins are scarce in your diet

Many people have a wrong perception when it comes to consuming proteins while trying to lose weight. You need to stop believing the myth that proteins are bad for weight loss. They are actually helping you lose weight because proteins need more energy to be broken down so that means more calories burned while suppressing your appetite and building lean muscles.

You’re not having as many vegetables as you should

Vegetables are a must in any weight loss diet, so if you are not managing to lose sufficient weight than probably you’re not eating enough veggies. They contain a lot of fibers, high in water, have a high volume while providing little calories, and rich in macronutrients and antioxidants. In other words, they will keep you full for longer, allow you to eat them in generous quantities, and protect your body’s functions and health.

Your diet is made out of all the wrong foods

Not every diet you find out there is actually a good diet. For instance, although fruits juices are presented as diet-friendly, they are not, because they contain too much sugar and too little fibers. Thus, a good diet consists of whole and natural foods that have a great nutrient input in your diet. Also, do consider getting the help of weight loss supplements if you think that your diet is not sufficient. Forskolin extract is a type of supplement you seriously need to consider, Dr. Oz talked about in many of his shows. You can read more about it at Livin. This supplement is made out of an incredible exotic fruit that stimulates your body to burn fat while keeping cravings at bay.

You’re not eating foods that contain healthy fats

This is one of the biggest mistakes most people do when trying to lose weight. They consider that all fats are bad, so they stop eating foods with any kind of fat, including healthy fats. Your body needs fat in order to function well, so make sure you provide it from healthy sources. Olive oil, avocado, fish, these are all sources of healthy fats that will contribute to a great energy level throughout your diet while reducing the sensation of hunger and promoting weight loss.


Ciara has revealed she dropped 60 pounds in just 4 months after adhering to a strict diet and a fitness regimen that saw her going to the gym several times a day.

The singer welcomed son Future in May 2014 and she was determined to get back to her pre-baby weight.

In an interview for the September issue of Shape magazine, Ciara said: “When I was pregnant with Future, one thing I learned quickly was, don’t ever let a pregnant lady be hungry, because when I was, I was like the Tasmanian Devil!

“But as soon as the doctor said I could start training again, I was on the treadmill the very next day.”

Photo Shape Magazine

Photo Shape Magazine

Ciara also said she hired popular celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, who helped her shed the baby weight.

“Five days a week, Gunnar puts me through an hour-long plyometric cardio circuit that always includes boxing elements,” she said.

“It’s hitting your muscles; it’s a cardiovascular workout; and it’s a mental exercise… After I’ve done a few rounds, I feel as if I can conquer the world.”

She was doing three workouts a day.

“I would go to Gunnar first for my one-hour training session, then I’d have two more cardio sessions later in the day,” she said.

“That, along with a really clean eating plan, was how I lost 60 pounds in four months.”

Ciara told the magazine that she ate five to eight nutrient-rich meals, but vowed to not go overboard with her diet.

“When I’m on a strict eating regimen, at some point I have to have French fries, a cheese burger and some pizza. And Oreos and vanilla ice cream!” she said.

Ciara said she drinks “tons of water, too.”


According to a new research, all diets – from Atkins to Weight Watchers – have similar results and people should simply pick the one they find easiest.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed data from 48 separate trials.

The Canadian team concluded that sticking to a diet was more important than the diet itself.

Obesity experts said all diets cut calories to a similar level, which may explain the results.

Diets go in and out of fashion on a regular basis, with a current debate around the relative benefits of low carb and low fat diets.

Scientists at McMaster University in Ontario and the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute in Toronto analyzed data from 7,286 overweight dieters.

The range of diets covered included, Atkins, South Beach, Zone, Biggest Loser, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Volumetrics, Weight Watchers, Ornish and Rosemary Conley.

All diets have similar results and people should simply pick the one they find easiest

All diets have similar results and people should simply pick the one they find easiest

It showed that after 12 months, people on low carbohydrate and low fat diets both lost an average of 16lb. Those on low carb meal plans had lost slightly more at the six-month marker.

The report said: “The differences [between diets] were small and unlikely to be important to those seeking weight loss.”

It concluded: “Our findings should be reassuring to clinicians and the public that there is no need for a one-size-fits-­all approach to dieting because many different diets appear to offer considerable weight loss benefits.

“Our findings suggest that patients may choose, among those associated with the largest weight loss, the diet that gives them the least challenges with adherence.”

However, the study did not look at wider health issues, such as levels of cholesterol, which may vary according to diet.

Prof. Susan Jebb, from the University of Oxford and a government advisor on obesity, said diets were more similar than they appeared, advocating cutting calories to 1,500 a day, sticking to strict meal times and avoiding biscuits, cakes and chocolate.

“The issue is about adherence and it’s how closely and how long can you keep sticking to the plan over time that matters.

“That probably means finding the right diet for you, rather than one being so particularly better than the others.”

Prof. Susan Jebb said people should try to match diets to their lives.

Vegetarians would struggle more with a high protein, low carb diet, while people living on their own may find liquid (instead of meals) diets easier than those who would still have to cook for a family.


Chaz Bono looked much leaner touching down in New Orleans over the weekend as he is now down a total of 60 lbs.

Chaz Bono, 44, is still slowly losing weight as he told People magazine last week.

Chaz Bono looked much leaner touching down in New Orleans over the weekend as he is now down a total of 60 lbs

Chaz Bono looked much leaner touching down in New Orleans over the weekend as he is now down a total of 60 lbs

The only child of star Cher still takes dance classes and has added martial arts training to his exercise regime.

He has transformed his diet too, saying: “I’ve just changed the way I eat. Diets don’t work. You just have to change what you eat, and I have.”

Chaz Bono initially used Freshology delivered-meal but now prepares food himself, saying: “I cook a lot of different stuff.

“I really avoid grains and starches, so meats and vegetables and fruits are my diet. I make them all different ways to keep it interesting.”

Chaz Bono is thought to be still single after calling off his engagement with fiancée, Jennifer Elia, after 12 years together in December 2011.

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Snooki has revealed the secrets of her weight loss success, which led to the pint-sized reality star shedding 42 pounds after giving birth to her first baby Lorenzo just six months ago.

Snooki, 25, shows off the impressive results on the cover of Us Weekly, by slipping her newly svelte figure into a leopard print halterneck bikini.

The reality star says after initially losing weight from breastfeeding two months after Lorenzo was born, she began a 1,300 calorie a day diet and four day a week workout regime with her personal trainer.

Snooki says that while she wanted to slim down for herself, she also wanted to show her fiancé Jionni LaValle that she could still “be hot as a mom”.

“I lost the first 20 [pounds] in two months, just from breastfeeding. And then right when I was able to work out – after six weeks – I went into the gym with a new trainer Anthony Michael,” she explains.

“I was so excited because I hadn’t worked out in six months. When I go there, I was like <<Let’s do this!>>.”

Snooki, who is currently living in New Jersey with Jionni LaValle in his parent’s basement, says snapping back into her fitness regime wasn’t as hard as she thought it was despite having a long break whilst she was pregnant.

“I don’t like doing legs – that’s the worst. But I like when he works my arms. Now, when I hold Lorenzo, you can see my arm muscles. I’ve been trying go every day, but it’s usually four days a week,” Snooki explains.

“I feel great. I have a lot energy because I work out so much and the endorphins put me in a good mood. And when you’re skinnier, you feel so much better about yourself.”

Snooki has revealed the secrets of her weight loss success, which led to the pint-sized reality star shedding 42 pounds after giving birth to her first baby Lorenzo just six months ago

Snooki has revealed the secrets of her weight loss success, which led to the pint-sized reality star shedding 42 pounds after giving birth to her first baby Lorenzo just six months ago

Snooki admits that during the final stages of her pregnancy she gorged herself with junk food in preparation for the diet she would be embarking on following Lorenzo’s arrived.

“The last three months of my pregnancy, I was like <<F*** it, I’ll eat what I want>>. So I ate everything: brownies, cookies, pasta and a lot of cheese,” she explains.

“But when I started working with Anthony, he put me on his Express Home Meals. I eat things like a burger wrapped in lettuce or a salad with strawberries and chicken.”

Snooki, who became notorious for her hard partying ways during her stint on her hit show Jersey Shore, has spoken out several times about turning over a new leaf when it comes to her wild ways.

The Jersey Shore star, who was once arrested for drunk and disorderly behavior, says these days she doesn’t “need to drink to have fun”.

“When you have a baby everything changes,” she explains.

“Instead of wanting to go out all the time to drink, I just want to stay at home and be with the baby.”


Jessica Simpson has battled with her weight for years but after giving birth to daughter Maxwell in May, she vowed to lose weight.

And now after sticking to a strict diet for four months, Jessica Simpson’s success is clear to see.

According to TMZ, Jessica Simpson, 32, has lost a staggering 60 pounds on a healthy eating plan filled with low-fat smoothies, protein and plenty of vegetables.

The nutritious plan, obtained by TMZ, was devised by her former private chef and adheres to the WeightWatchers point system where each food has a “points value” based on calories and fat content.

The plan, featuring dishes such as super low calorie egg white omelettes, chicken satays, whipped chick peas, soba noodles and shrimp skewers, has clearly worked wonders.

Jessica Simpson’s diet began in July with a 15-day smoothie diet consisting of five days of three smoothies a day, gradually working in snacks and meals over time.

She was spotted showcasing her trim new figure whilst helping her younger sister Ashlee promote her new clothing line in Tampa, Florida last week.

Jessica Simpson recently starred in a WeightWatchers commercial saying: “There is a lot of pressure to lose weight but I’m not a supermodel.

“I’m just Jessica trying to eat real food in the real world and I really just want to be healthy for my daughter so I knew WeightWatchers was the only way to go.

“It’s working, I’m on my way and it feels amazing. Really I just want to be a better version of myself.”

Jessica Simpson has battled with her weight for years but after giving birth to daughter Maxwell in May, she vowed to lose weight

Jessica Simpson has battled with her weight for years but after giving birth to daughter Maxwell in May, she vowed to lose weight

Jessica Simpson’s weekend snack and smoothie diet

5 medium stalks of celery and 1 tbsp peanut butter
-50 calories, 5g fibre, 3g protein
-105 calories, 1g fibre, 4g protein

1 whole grain Ryvita crackers and 3 tbsp hummus
-70 calories, 4g fibre, 2g protein
-70 calories, 2g fibre, 3g protein

1 medium sized Apple and 3 slices turkey pieces
-95 calories, 5g fibre, 0g protein
-60 calories, 0g fibre, 11g protein

WeightWatcher Smoothie Recipe


200g strawberries, ripe, washed
1 medium banana, ripe
150g yogurt, Virtually Fat Free, Plain


Remove any stems or stalks from the strawberries

Blitz the fruit in a food processor or liquidizer until smooth (or use a hand blender)

If you wish, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the purée into a glass

Tilt the glass slightly so the purée dribbles around the sides. Set aside

Add the banana, yogurt, and 3-4 ice cubes to the food processor

Blitz again until smooth

Pour into the glass and serve


Always wonder why your diet and exercise regimens never seem to work?

Possibly you’re unwittingly undoing your best efforts.

Last week, the British Nutrition Foundation identified more than 100 different factors that influence our weight.

However, many of the tips they offered – such as eating smaller portions and not relying on ready-made foods that are high in calories and fat – are fairly obvious.

Here you can find more surprising habits that are sabotaging your weight- loss regimen:

Look again at your shopping trolley

1. Eating cereal for breakfast. A U.S. study found breakfast cereal sweetened with sugar left overweight participants hungry before lunchtime, and they consumed more calories a day than those given an egg for breakfast (the protein kept them full). Egg eaters also had significantly lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite.

2. Having milk in your tea. Last year, Indian scientists found tea contains high levels of compounds, theaflavins and thearubigins, that help to reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the gut, and can cut cholesterol. However, proteins found in cows’ milk neutralize this ability. Drink your tea black.

3. Eating white bread. Too many refined carbs, especially white bread and white rice, can lead to weight gain, particularly around the midriff, found researchers at Tufts University in Boston.

Two groups ate roughly the same number of calories each day, but those who ate mostly refined carbs added a half inch on their waist per year compared with those eating unrefined “whole” foods such as vegetables and wholegrain bread.

4. Not reading food labels. A study in the Journal of Consumer Affairs showed that people who habitually read food labels as well as taking exercise lose more weight than those who merely exercise. What’s more, those who only read food labels and are sedentary lose more than those who exercise but ignore the food labels.

5. Drinking too much fruit juice. Fruit juices and other sugary drinks have a stronger impact on weight than calories from solid food, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Cutting out just one sugary drink a day resulted in a weight loss of more than 1lb after six months.

6. Underseasoning your food. Adding a bit of ground cayenne pepper to your meal can help burn calories faster. What’s more, the pepper seems to curb hunger – especially for fatty, salty and sweet foods, found nutritionists at Purdue University in Indiana.

7. Avoiding yoghurt. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found obese adults who ate three servings of fat-free yoghurt a day as part of a reduced-calorie diet lost 22% more weight and 61% more body fat than those who simply cut calories.

Yoghurt eaters also lost 81% more fat in the stomach area. It’s thought the calcium and protein in dairy products may help burn fat.

How friends ruin your plans

8. Overweight friends. If your friends gain weight, the chances are you will, too, according to a study from Harvard University.

“We find that having four obese friends doubled people’s chance of becoming obese, compared with people with no obese friends,” says Alison Hill, the study’s lead author.

Why? A recent Dutch study found that we tend to mimic each other’s behavior when we eat out, taking a bite at the same time.

9. Reading recipe books and magazines. Professor Kathleen Page, a psychologist at the University of Southern California, discovered looking at pictures of high-fat foods stimulates the brain’s appetite control centre, leading to an elevated desire for sweet and savory food.

10. Not chewing enough. The longer food remains in the mouth, the more chance the tongue has to send messages to the brain to release the necessary digestive juices. “Chewing and digesting solid food fills you up,” says dietitian Helen Bond.

11. Eating at work. Research shows we typically eat 30% more calories in company than when alone and that women at work are more likely to be influenced by the diet patterns of colleagues than men. In one study, female secretaries ate 5.6 times more chocolates if these were on a nearby desk of a colleague than if they had to walk two metres to get them.

12. Eating off the wrong-colored plate. A study from the Journal of Consumer Research found when food is on a plate that matches its color, it tends to blend into the plate, leading people to eat more. When the same amount of food is served on a plate that contrasts the meal, such as red spaghetti on a green plate, the portion appears larger and is more psychologically satisfying.

13. Not getting enough sleep. A study published in the journal Sleep last month suggested too little encourages the genes that cause weight gain. Longer (nine hours) suppresses the action of these “obesity” genes.

14. Dieting by yourself. A study in the journal Obesity earlier this year found that team-mates in a weight-loss competition significantly influenced each other’s weight loss. “We know that obesity can be socially contagious, but now we know that social networks play a significant role in weight loss as well,” said lead author Tricia Leahey, of the Miriam Hospital in the U.S.

A study in the Lancet journal earlier this year found that people who joined a diet class such as Weight Watchers lost more than twice as much weight as those who received weight-loss advice from a doctor or nurse.

British Nutrition Foundation identified more than 100 different factors that influence our weight

British Nutrition Foundation identified more than 100 different factors that influence our weight

15. Saying “I can’t” when you’re offered food. Research suggests if you say this when asked if you’d like a slice of cake, you’re less likely to stick to your diet than if you say, “I don’t . . .”

Dr. Vanessa Patrick, of the University of Buffalo, who led the study, says: “Saying <<I can’t>> to temptation inherently signals deprivation and loss. Using the <<I don’t>> strategy shows a sense of determination and empowerment.”

16. Avoiding the mirror. Eating near a mirror can have a powerful effect on how many calories you consume. “One U.S. study showed that eating in front of mirrors slashed the amount people ate by nearly one-third,” says exercise psychologist Dearbhla McCullough, of Roehampton University. “The theory is, having to look yourself in the eye as you eat reminds you of why you’re trying to lose weight.”

17. Being a loner. The more social interaction you have, the more weight you could lose. At least that was what researchers at Ohio State University found when they studied laboratory mice.

Mice forced to socialize led to vast increases in the amount of calorie-burning brown fat compared with ordinary white fat. The researchers put this down to the fact that the mice were more inclined to be active in the groups than alone.

18. Eating dinner off your lap in front of the TV. A study at the University of Birmingham in Alabama found people who were distracted while eating a meal consumed more high-fat snack food afterwards and didn’t even remember what they had eaten.

19. Being stressed. Stress encourages the body to lay on weight around your middle. This is because it triggers the release of a hormone called cortisol. Over time, raised cortisol levels cause belly fat to accumulate and also makes individual fat cells enlarge.

20. Buying too great a variety of foods. Fewer food choices and instilling culinary boredom could be the key to successful weight loss. Researchers reporting in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when women were offered the same food over and over again, they tended to eat less overall.

21. You’re recently divorced – or just married. Divorce and getting married are kinds of “marital transition that act as weight shocks”, causing us to pile on the pounds, a study of 10,071 people found.

Professor Dmitry Tumin, from Ohio University, found the likelihood of major weight gain after marriage or divorce increased most for people past the age of 30, partly down to comfort eating through stress and anxiety.

22. Playing music while eating. Researchers at Georgia State University showed this could cause you to eat more. If you listen to pop as you chew, make sure the music is slow: a study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology showed that listening to faster music led people to eat more quickly, while the opposite was true for slower music.

Workouts that don’t work

23. Doing only yoga. It burns just 144 calories in 50 minutes, which is no better than a slow walk. Even a power yoga class burns only 237 calories (half the amount of a circuit class), boosting heart rate to just 62% of its maximum.

“It provides only a mild workout for the heart and lungs (a good workout would be 70-90%),” says John Brewer, professor of sport at the University of Bedfordshire.

24. Exercising alone. You are more likely to give up or not work out as hard. Group exercise unleashes a flood of feel-good chemicals in the brain that could help you stick with physical activity rather than throw in the towel, found a recent study by Oxford University’s Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology.

The researchers also measured pain thresholds and found the group exercisers tolerated hard work much better than those going it alone.

“Making a commitment to meet others also means you are more likely to stick with workouts,” adds Dearbhla McCullough.

25. Lifting heavy weights. Lifting light weights (of 3-5 lb) for more repetitions is just as effective at building muscle as lifting heavy weights, say researchers at McMaster University in Canada.

But while light weights will help you shed fat, lifting heavy weights can cause you to bulk up.

26. Exercising for hours at a steady pace. Short sharp bursts are just as effective and less time-consuming, and you’re more likely to stick at it. Canadian researchers compared the effects of cycling at a moderate pace for 90-120 minutes with a workout of 20-30 seconds of gut-busting pedaling followed by four minutes rest and repeated four to six times.

After two weeks, both groups had almost identical improvements in fitness despite the fact some had only worked out for six to nine minutes a week, but others had put in five hours.

27. Giving in to hunger after exercise. When women exercised hard they ate almost enough calories afterwards to make up for the ones they’d burned, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

28. Doing the wrong type of exercise. Some people, regardless of weight, are programmed not to respond at all to aerobic exercise, says a study led by Jamie Timmons, professor of ageing biology at the University of Birmingham.

It makes no difference to their fitness or insulin sensitivity, the efficiency with which their bodies dealt with blood sugar and a risk factor for diabetes. Jamie Timmons says “endless hours spent jogging, swimming or going to the gym could be a waste of time for up to one-fifth of the population”.

Instead, they should do high intensity, shorter duration exercise such as circuits or weight training.

29. Exercising inside. Most studies show that, compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments is associated with greater boosts to mood, decreased anxiety and an increased likelihood of sticking with the workouts.

30. Doing the wrong exercise for your age. From around our 30s, we lose on average one-fifth of a pound of muscle a year, thanks to a process known as sarcopenia.

“Resistance training in particular – such as lifting weights or kettlebells – becomes as, if not more, important than aerobic workouts as you get older to offset these losses,” says Louise Sutton, head of the Carnegie Centre for Sports Performance at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Why do you need the muscle? It’s vital for burning off fat.

31. Doing only aerobic or weight training. To get fit, you need to mix exercise such as cycling and running, with weight training or resistance work, including some forms of Pilates, according to a recent study in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

32. Exercising without music. Music is a key motivator, suggest various studies from Brunel University in Middlesex. This is because it both distracts attention from pain as well as simultaneously prompting us to work harder for longer.

“Music is like a legal drug for sporty types,” says Dr. Costas Karageorgis, who led the study.

“It can reduce the perception of effort significantly and increase endurance by as much as 15%.”

It’s all your body’s fault.

33. You don’t have enough brown fat – thin people are known to have higher amounts of beneficial brown fat than the overweight. Brown fat’s great appeal is that it burns calories faster, like a furnace.

A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that a form of brown fat is turned on when people get cold.

34. You’re too sensitive to smell. Overweight people gain pounds because they are more sensitive to the smell of food than thinner people, according to a study published in the journal Chemical Senses.

35. Your genes make you hungry. Many genes have been linked to obesity, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene, which has been shown to play a role in putting on weight.

Earlier this year, researchers revealed a mutation in this gene seems to disrupt the brain’s response to appetite hormones which leads the body’s message to “stop eating” being blocked.

36. You’re a woman. Using brain scans, U.S. researchers have found overweight men could suppress cravings or what they called “the conscious desire to eat’ more successfully than women. It’s thought hormone differences were involved.

37. Your brain chemicals are out of kilter. The hormone leptin helps control appetite but U.S. researchers found overweight and obese people don’t lack leptin, but their brain isn’t very sensitive to it.

38. It’s your age. “Basal metabolic rate, which accounts for about 50 to 70% of your total energy expenditure, is thought to decrease about 1 to 2% per decade,” says Louise Sutton. After 20, daily energy expenditure decreases about 150 calories per decade. “The upshot is that you need to eat less as you get older,” says Louise Sutton.

39. You’re hard-wired to yo-yo. Scientists now think that soon after fat people lost weight, their metabolism slows and they experience hormonal changes that increase their appetites again.

Last year, a team of Australian researchers reported these effects can be long term.

People “who have lost weight need to remain vigilant and understand that once they have lost weight the battle is not over,” says Joseph Proietto, the professor of medicine who led the study.

40. Your parents made you fat: whether you are fat or thin could be an inherited factor. A 2009 UK study showed only four per cent of girls with normal-weight mothers were obese, compared with 41% with fat mothers.

Research in the International Journal of Obesity suggests a very strong link between mother and daughter and father and son obesity, but no link across the gender divide.