In an age of 'fitspiration', it might come as a surprise that new research claims that exercise is in fact what is stopping us shedding those dreaded love handles.

The survey conducted by the Weightloss and Health Institute asked over 1000 Australians to share whether their exercise and weight loss methods were proving effective. More than half of those who participated admitted that while they exercise, they can't seem to reach their weight loss goals.

The biggest factor the WHI found that was leading to stilted weight loss was the direct link between strenuous exercise (any exercise seen to over exert the body) and the need to 'reward' or 'treat' yourself after your workout.

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