Stressing about why you can’t lose weight? Use this checklist

Avoid these simple everyday pitfalls.

You’re exercising regularly, drinking eight glasses of water a day and being realistic with your calorie input vs. output—the magic formula for fat loss.

So what on earth can the reasons you’re not losing weight be?

They can be subtle but seriously significant for your fat loss journey. After all, they say small changes make the biggest difference.

From picking the wrong glass of vino to being all too tempted by a bargain, keep scrolling to discover seven reasons you’re not losing weight and how to combat them ASAP.

1. You’re not getting enough shut-eye

Netflix keeping you up at night? It could be why you’re struggling to lose belly fat.

That’s according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found that women who slept fewer than four hours ate 300 more calories and 21 more grams of fat the next day. Yikes.

Stop Googling ‘how to get to sleep’ and instead, try investing in heavy curtains, as sleeping in a bright room has been linked to a larger waistline. Sweet dreams.

2. You’re skimping on protein

According to a study published in the FASEB Journal, dieters who’s macros contained doubled the amount of protein lost more fat and maintained more muscle mass than dieters who ate the recommended daily amount.

Yep, protein is one mean fat-fighting machine. That’s because high-protein foods take more work to digest, metabolise and use, which means you burn more calories processing them. They also take longer to leave your stomach, so you feel full sooner and for a longer amount of time. You’ll love these high protein meals for work.

Experts advise consuming between 0.5 grams and 1.0 grams of protein per pound of your body weight.

3. You’re trying to bag a bargain

Three-for-two offers are great for your wallet, but can stump your healthy efforts. In a US study, even people watching their calorie intake chose the largest size of snack if it was the best value. Sound familiar? Just think about how many extra calories this may add to your daily diet…

If you are a sucker for a bargain and find yourself thinking three jumbo jars of peanut butter for the price of one is the bargain of the year, grab a trolley. Another study found the arm flexor contraction of holding a basket makes shoppers choose products that provide instant gratification. Plus you’ll get an arm workout in. Clever.

4. You’re picking the wrong wine

Love a glass of Chardonnay after a long day at the office? You may watch to switch to Cabernet. You knock back more vino when it’s white, according to research from Iowa State University in the US.

Participants asked to pour a ‘normal’ drink doled out 9% more white than red. Turns out the lighter grape doesn’t offer a strong visual contrast in a clear glass, so your brain doesn’t register it as a serving. Try having it in a dark glass and leave your glass on the table as you pour rather than picking it up – you’ll serve 12% less.

Extra bonus? Red wine has less natural sugar than white, plus packs more minerals like magnesium, iron and potassium. Chin chin.

5. You’re keeping a cluttered desk

Messy desk? It could be thwarting your slimming efforts as well as your job prospects. A US study found an orderly workspace encourages healthy food choices. Try these three tips for a diet-friendly desk:

  • Store your snacks in a drawer out of sight – our brains are programmed to forget hidden food. What doughnut?
  • If you’re wondering, can lemon water really help me lose weight? A whiff of citrus can help to curb cravings, so swap your 3pm cuppa for hot water and lemon. Fresh.
  • Retune the office radio over lunch, as high tempo music makes you eat faster. Classic FM it is, then.

6. You’re unrealistic

Remember, it’s what you do consistently, not sporadically, that will help with your fat loss wins, and slow, steady and consistent always wins the fat-loss race.

Research from George Washington University found lofty diet expectations can lead to yo-yo losses and a drop in confidence, says study author Dr Erin Olson. Start with small realist goals, such as, ‘I will eat a vegetable at every meal.’ The tortoise would approve.

7. You’re constantly paying by card

It may be a little old school, but paying for your weekly grocery shop in cash could help boost your fat loss.

According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, people who use a credit card when buying groceries chose significantly more unhealthy, calorie-dense foods than people who pay cash.

Study author Kalpesh K. Desai said that consumers who are faced with aisles stocked with crisps and fizzy drinks will think twice before placing such products in their carts when they are paying with cash. When using plastic, however, people tend to impulse buy more. Weird.