There are so many diets out there from mainstream 5:2 to back-to-basics paleo to "fun" holiday-location diets like The South Beach and the olive-oil loving Mediterranean, you could potentially try a new one every week for a year. Which makes it tricky when it comes to deciding which diet to follow to turn those bikini-ready dreams into reality. So thank god for science - the lab coat wearing researchers at New York's Skidmore College have made the diet decision a no brainer with their recent work on 'protein-pacing'.

Researchers at the college undertook a year-long study on the effects of eating a balanced, protein-pacing caloric restriction (P-CR) diet. The protein-pacing portion of the eating plan involved chowing down on four to six meals a day with at least 20 grams of protein at each meal. There was also an intermittent fasting element where the study participants didn't consume more than 450 calories in one day.

At the end of the study the results were striking - compared to a second group following a healthy heart diet plan and even though both groups consumed about the same number of calories each day - the people on the P-CR diet had not only lost weight but also showed some extra health side effects essential for maintaining their new slim-line frames: reduced artery stiffness, release of toxins and increase in antioxidant levels. Doing the Victoria's Secret supermodel body maths, this adds up to a pretty compelling case for a switch up to the protein-pacing eating plan.

Science says this is the best eating plan to get lean