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5 ways to lose weight

Trying to lose weight? Doing all the right things, but still not getting rid of the excess? You might be surprised at why not. Here are 5 surprising reasons why you're not losing weight as fast as you think you should.

1. The breakfast killers. Cast your mind back over breakfast. Was it carb heavy with breads or pastries? Maybe pancakes or some such? Carbs impact your blood sugar levels, slowing you down. The best breakfast is a protein rich one, based around eggs or fruit-laden muesli.

2. Too much salt. The real problem here is that most simply have no idea how much salt we're eating. labelling is obscure at best. Salt can act like an opiate; we get used to it, crave more and eat more foods loaded with salt (Hash browns anyone?) Make a conscious decision to reduce salt in your cooking and avoid fried foods.

3. Sounds good so it must be good. Not entirely. I mean a Chicken and Spinach Salad has to be good right? Wrong. What about the fatty mayonnaise, the salted fried chicken bits, the extra bacon pieces that cafe loaded in? Psychologically we tend to give foods that sound healthy a 'halo' and have more of them. But restaurant and cafe foods are loaded with slats, hidden fats and other stuff that isn't great for us. Be conscious of what you order.

4. Forget the combo deal. I know, I know. You're out and about, not a lot of time so you race into a cafe or fast food place for lunch and can't resits the extra chips for just a buck, the fizzy drink that comes 'free' in the meal deal or the slice of cake with the coffee for just another dollar. Upselling is what they call it and it's only purpose is to up your in-store spend. Ignore it; buy what you know you need to stave off starvation and leave it there.

5. Look out for sugar. Cream in your coffee, a side of cream with your cake, lashings of icing on your brownies. Dessert is fine once in a while. Dessert is great. Just watch the sugar. We get used to sugar at a very young age, and start to 'need' it, much like salt. But it delivers energy we generally can't burn and goes straight to the thighs. Watch for sugar-laden desserts and  if you have to have it, share!

Exercise is good - here's how to do it Lisbon style!

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