Drink water, don’t try too hard, get to bed earlier and stop being so damn jolly all the time.

YOU DRINK DIET SODA LIKE IT’S WATER

A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study found that when people swapped their favourite sugary soft drink for the diet variety, they ate more desserts and more bread than people who swapped their go-to beverage for water. Artificial sweeteners may increase your hunger for sweet things, says study author Dr Barry Popkin.

YOU TRY TOO HARD

Adopting a very rigid diet almost guarantees that your weight-loss efforts will be sabotaged by food cravings, suggests a new study in the journal Appetite. So cut yourself some slack. Flexible dieters have just as many cravings and give into them just as often, says study author Adrian Meule. The difference is that they are more likely to get back on track quickly.

YOU PLAY CALL OF DUTY UNTIL 2AM

A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that scant sleep can cause you to overeat fatty foods. When people slept only four hours a night for five days, they took in nearly 1275 kilojoules more than when they slept nine hours a night. Too little shut-eye may increase your appetite by short-circuiting your brain’s sense of reward.

YOU’RE TOO DARNED OPTIMISTIC

If you’re like most people, you wildly overestimate the number of kilojoules you burn during exercise. According to a study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical fitness, people thought that a workout incinerated about 3825 kilojoules when it actually burned 1275. For an accurate heat index, flip back to “Intensify Your Burn.”