BRITISH women’s wardrobes are overflowing with £5billion of clothes that are too small for them.
A new WeightWatchers survey reveals seven out of 10 obese women believe they are not overweight.
And a psychologist says most fat ladies only give themselves a month to try and drop a dress size, which can lead to feelings of failure and stress.
Instead, experts say slimmers simply need to take longer before giving up the fat fight.
The results, reported at the weekend, show one in five females refuse to go near half of their entire clothes rack because they’ve outgrown it.
The study found that on average £259.20 worth of clothes are stashed away in cupboards because their owners can’t squeeze into them anymore.
Dress sizes in the past 10 years have risen on average from size 12 to between 14 and 16.
WeightWatchers’ experts warn that having piles of clothes that don’t fit can hamper a would-be slimmer’s hopes.
Psychologist Linda Papadopoulos said: “It can end up having an adverse effect.
“Rather than encouraging us to lose weight, there is a danger that we feel a failure because so many clothes don’t fit.
“This can result in comfort eating and becomes a vicious circle that is hard to break.”
And dietician Zoe Hellman said women are being “unrealistic” when deliberately buying clothes too small with the aim to shed weight.
She said: “It is a great target but women are being unrealistic about the time it takes to lose weight, which inevitably leads to them losing motivation and giving up.”
Instead of quitting a slimming plan after the average of a month, they should stick to their guns for longer before stepping back on the scales to see the results.
“They should be leaving around eight weeks.”
The survey also discovered that Brits are bad at judging other people’s weight.
Most people wrongly thought TV cooking Queen Nigella Lawson is a size 14 when she is really size 16.
And nearly a third judged This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby to be a size 10 or smaller when she is actually a 12.
Men are piling on the pounds too, with the average Brit bloke’s waistline measuring 37 inches – an increase of three inches since 1998.