With summer is just around the corner (if you look closely you can see it hidden behind that dark grey cloud which has been permanently in the sky since October), it’s time to do that thing you’ve been avoiding since Thanksgiving: survey yourself in the mirror.

It’s an annual journey that practically every human on this planet goes on as we poke and prod at our bodies whilst trying to establish if we’re remotely ready for the warmer weather.

Of course, it’s all totally unnecessary for we don’t need to look like a member of the Kardashian clan or Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in order to frolick on the beach in our bikini/trunks. We can be ourselves – chocolate curves and biscuit bulges included – and still feel like god/goddesses on the sand.

However, it doesn’t matter how many times you hear that, you still try (and usually fail, because let’s be honest, who can reject ice cream in the summer?) to reach your ideal summer body goals. But hey, that’s okay. It may simply be because you’re ignoring these health facts which are preventing you from shifting some of the unwanted weight…

1. Your diet consists of too much sugar

You may have cut down on the calories, but it’s actually sugar that you really need to keep an eye out for – especially when it comes to belly fat. Instead of indulging on things high in sugar, try and find a substitute that won’t saturate your body with the sweet stuff.

2. Your body needs protein

“Protein is great for fat loss,” explains Dr. Luke James, an expert on shifting stubborn fat. “It helps build and preserve lean muscle tissue and can increase the amount of calories you burn. It’s also a great source of energy that helps you feel fuller for longer, so you’re less tempted to snack.” Goodbye chips, hello almonds.