Common sense would dictate that the best way to lose weight is through careful consideration of your diet.
However, new research has shown that people are more likely to gain weight due to being stressed about the issue.
The research, published in the International Journal of Obesity, analysed studies of more than 14,000 adults in the UK and US.
Researchers asked participants how they perceived their own weight and found that those who said they were overweight were more likely to also report overeating due to stress and subsequently becoming fatter.
This was found to be true regardless of how fat the person actually was - leading researchers to conclude the issue is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The UK has the highest obesity levels in western Europe.
It is estimated around 10 per cent of adults and teenagers binge eat.
According to the NHS, obesity levels have more than trebled in the last 30 years and more than half of the population could be obese by 2050.