Forget the hard core dieting dogma this is the lose weight lifestyle you need to adopt to get leaner and more muscular. Most diets meticulously map every meal, but your memory probably tortures you with replays of the feasts you used to eat. The end result? Just 20% of dieters manage to stick to their weight loss scheme in the long term, found research at the Loyola University Health System. The scientists found the main reasons people failed were that they timed their meals poorly, didn’t get enough sleep and underestimated the calories eaten while overestimating the calories burnt during exercise. Here are the lifestyle factors you can work-in to your healthy eating plan so you can keep getting leaner and adding muscle while still earning enough calorie credits to kick back with a few ales on the weekend. This helps you create your own unique eating plan that you’ll want to stick to for the long haul.

Give in to your night-time cravings

After a long day at the grind a bowl of fried rice’s comfort carbs are probably the hottest items on your post work reward list. So, if you crave this then go for it because limiting carbs to dinnertime actually increases satiety and reduces your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, found a paper the journal Obesity. This strategy makes you secrete more hunger supressing hormones. Just remember the fine print: they didn’t eat carbs throughout the day and saved them for the night.

Eat when you have the time

If you have a job that demands your full attention, having a snack break every 2-3 hours isn’t practical. Fortunately, research in the British Medical Journal found, with the exception of one study, there is no evidence to suggest eating several small meals throughout the day helps you lose weight. They went on to state if you eat more calories than you use, you’ll gain weight regardless of whether you eat two meals or ten each day. So simply make sure you’re creating an energy deficit and you’ll soon be sporting more cuts than a barbershop.

Go yo-yo

Shedding the excess so you can gain it back might make you reluctant to have another crack at getting down to your fighting weight, because yo-yo dieting has been pegged as dangerous. By that rationale you wouldn’t want to lose weight because it might be bad for you. Fluctuating body fat is nothing new. In the Fred Flintstone days when a herd of buffalo meandered near a village it yielded a month long feast which may have been followed by a lean winter. The same holds true for today. Research in the journal Metabolism found as much as 40 per cent of people yo-yo diet and it doesn’t thwart weight loss efforts or alter your metabolism in the long term. So, if your weight has had more ups and downs than a violinist’s elbow then keep at it even if it only lasts the summer.

Shop in the right places

The big name supermarkets might be pulling a fast one on your health with their discounting shenanigans. Research in Nutrition & Dietetics found supermarkets are less likely to reduce the price of healthy drinks and products in favour of the discounting of products high in fat, sugar and calories. The solution? Do the lion share of your shopping at local farmer’s markets, fruit and vegetable shops, butchers and fish mongers. Avoid the supermarkets and you’ll be more less likely to submit to the lure of heavily discounted junk foods which you don’t want to eat anyway. It might take a little more time but shopping is much less strenuous and time intensive than doing interval training on a treadmill.