The surprising reason you struggle to lose weight

Australians are their own worst enemies when it comes to eating better and controlling their weight, according to findings from

Australians are their own worst enemies when it comes to eating better and controlling their weight, according to findings from a new survey by the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online.

The survey, which looked at the weight management habits of more than 2300 Australians, found 69 per cent of respondents identified themselves as the main barrier to achieving their weight loss goals.

CSIRO conducted the survey to better understand why some Australians were more successful at dieting than others.

It looked at a cross section of dieters – from those who were successful, unsuccessful, about to start the weight loss journey and currently in the process of managing their weight.

The survey found self-sabotaging dieters pointed to social activities (52 per cent), high stress (41 per cent), lack of motivation (41 per cent), eating out (37 per cent) and limited weight loss (36 per cent) as barriers to losing weight.

CSIRO’s Research Director for Nutrition and Health and co-author of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online Professor Manny Noakes said it was critical that those looking to lose weight seek support.

“For many Australians losing weight is a challenging experience,” Professor Noakes said. “In addition to hampering their own efforts, the survey also showed that 40 per cent of dieters stated that no one supports them in their weight loss attempts.

“Health professionals, friends and family can all play a role in helping dieters eat better and control their weight.”

Additional survey findings include:

  • Half (50 per cent) of those who had tried dieting but had since given up cited a lack of drive had hampered their weight management attempt, while 56 per cent said ‘life getting in the way’ had proven to be their biggest hurdle.
  • Respondents want to lose an average of 11 per cent of their body weight within the next six months, which equates to an average of 9.4kgs.
  • 1 in 5 respondents believed they would fail in their weight loss goals during the next six months.
  • 31 per cent said achieving their weight loss goals was out of their control.

What challenges do you face in the battle against the bulge? Would you say you are “your own worst enemy”?


    • because we all love food I hate the word diet so I have learn to eat sensible it’s hard but I have lost weight was 102 now 90 slowly is better 1kilo a week is better than 5 now I eat what I want when I want my eating habits have changed its over year but it’s up to you I never look at what they tell you can’t do this and that it’s rubbish to me you may as well lay down and die

    • Yes I have this problem eating to much of the wrong type of food I have been on more eating programs and cost that o can count there is no easy solution but determination

    • get a sense of humour-these articles are ridiculous everyone knows what to do its the doing it thats the hard part-there is no secret or mystery or formula for losing weight.

  1. Ok here i go again. I lost 15 kilos in 7 months 4 years ago and have kept it off. I had support from my husband and my doctor. I was also extremely motivated because I was sick of looking in the mirror and making excuses for myself. Over the preceding 10 years I had make every excuse imaginable. Hormones, too busy, too hard, and the best one of all, I am not actually fat. One day I looked in the mirror with honest eyes and gave myself a good uppercut. Next day I was at the doctors surgery and talking to him about losing weight. He did not take me seriously (I don’t blame him, he probably hears it all the time). I came home, got on google, did my research and learnt that the least a woman should eat is 1200 cal a day. Eating this and not even exercising the average woman will lose weight. For the first month I thought I was going to starve and my stomach must have shrunk because the hunger pains went away. I fell off the wagon a couple of times but that just renewed my resolve. A month later I went for my weigh in and had lost 1.8 kilos. My doctor now saw I was serious and got right on board. Things got easier and I settled into my new eating pattern (I do not call it a diet). Each month I would go for my weigh in and most months I lost 2 kilos. By this time I was walking for half and hour 5 days a week and this sped up the weight loss. After losing 9 kilos I plateaued and this just about destroyed me. I could not believe that I had stopped losing weight. I did not understand what was happening. My doctor was wonderful and explained to me about plateauing. I went home and got on google and did my research and learnt that my body had got used to what I was doing and also thought there was a famine and had gone into conserve fat mode. I stopped exercising but still maintained my 1200 cal a day and the weight started coming off again. When I got to my goal weight of 70 kilos I was overjoyed, but now the next challenge started, keeping it off. But that is another story.

  2. Last year I was diagnosed with NHL and chemo treatment caused me to lose 20 kgs. That was fine because I was overweight. Not really because I had lost muscle not so much fat. Taste buds were shot. Mouth was sore. Eat anything you like to get your body back into shape. My staple was strawberry milk. Concentrate on protein. I have regained 6 kgs but now have to shake the bad habit of eating “anything” I fancied.

  3. Call it Won’t Power. I won’t eat that, I won’t sit on the lounge all day. Cut out one thing at a time, sugar perhaps? Then cut down on fat. Then cut down on alcohol. Then add more fibre. Then walk a bit further. I’ve been told by a dietician, that 3 meals a day, not skipping breakfast, will make you lose weight. Have lost 7 kilos, many more to go. But, I didn’t put it on overnight, so I can’t expect to lose it overnight. And yes, last holiday’s photos are a huge incentive for me.

  4. I had trouble losing weight because I wasn’t following a sensible nutrition plan. The plan I hopped on is absolutely amazing, I’m down thirty pounds and counting. Get on a nutrition plan if you aren’t. If you need one, read my review of the plan I’m on now:

  5. will power…some have it some dont.. and i dont own scales to tell me when to lay of the yummy food…

    • That sounds like a great solution we should all get rid of our scales, that could work for me but then maybe not.

  6. For insulin dependent diabetics, the road is much harder, the more exercise (for me at least) the higher the bgl. Cutting out food ( or even missing meals) means a blood glucose low and is dangerous.
    Its all the hidden sugar in foods that get you.
    We now try to eat unprocessed food but eating a banana has my blood glucose level at 20.0 ( normal is 7.0)
    Still I keep at it.

    • Know exactly what it’s like. I would like to lose weight, and I eat healthy, but insulin makes the weight stay put.

  7. I have seen so many people by now that have been extremely dedicated for long periods of time, lost a lot of weight, looked great and then go on a cruise or a good overseas holiday or something that breaks their normal routine and within months they have put on twice what they lost.

    • Yes, you have to be very disciplined. When I go out to a restaurant I never have a main meal I always have an entree.

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