There are plenty of reasons why many of us struggle to lose weight, which is partly why we have an obesity crisis on our hands. Part of the problem is that it is often the incidental reasons that sneak into our lifestyles that can quietly add a few stubborn kilos.
And I'm not talking about the stock complaints. Every professional hears them: highway patrol officers must get sick of "I didn't realise I was going that fast", and tax accountants probably have to feign surprise at "I didn't have time to organise my receipts" when a shoebox full of paper is plonked on their desk.
I seem to get "I've tried everything but nothing seems to work", usually when I'm faced with someone who has clearly spent the past few years in a pretty good paddock. (For the record, this is exactly what every contestant tells me on arrival in The Biggest Loser house.)
So, such things aside, here are my top three reasons.
1. Your portions are too big. Here's a little drill. Buy a nice piece of nutritious salmon. Now take it home and weigh it. Salmon comes in at about eight kilojoules a gram, and I'm guessing that: a) your salmon fillet weighs 250 to 300 grams; and b) you would normally eat that much in one sitting. I recommend about 150 grams of meat or fish at a sitting. Most of us probably eat close to double that.
2. You're not an "intentional" eater. We have a rule in our house that no one is allowed to eat unless they are seated at the table. If we didn't have this rule, I'd be a contestant on The Biggest Loser, not a trainer. Most excess kilojoules are taken in when we're sitting on the couch doing what I call "unintentional" eating. This is where we have a biscuit here and a soft drink there. It all adds up. By contrast, intentional eating is where you: a) think about what you're going to eat; b) buy it; c) prepare it; d) cook it; and e) eat it.
3. You're getting older. I know that's nothing you want to hear, but unfortunately weight management gets trickier from about 27 years old. Our metabolism slows down (and the production of the hormones that help support it), and our ability to burn kilojoules slows with it. Couple this with the fact you probably have more money for food and alcohol, and you're burning your metabolic candle at both ends. If nothing seems to be shifting the kilos, it may be due to an unexpected reason.
Maybe losing weight isn't a priority for you. There's nothing wrong with that, but what is wrong is if you're complaining about something that, deep down, you have no intention of doing anything about.