The best time to cheat on your diet

It's one of the biggest diet saboteurs, able to crush your resolve and sap you of your willpower to eat right and lose weight, essentially eating to lose weight.

It's not a specific food or a craving. It's not even a well-meaning (but oh-so-skinny) friend, neighbor or family member always tempting you with sweet treats.

It's the weekends.

Even the strictest weekday dieter tends to get a little weak in the knees during the weekends. And if you're one of them, don't stress about it too much -- because new research confirms you're hardly alone.

Overall, nearly everyone -- both dieters and non-dieters alike -- tends to gain a little weight over the weekend and then slowly lose it during the week when they focus on eating to lose weight.

What separates a successful dieter from an unsuccessful one, then, isn't the ability to be strict seven days a week.

It's the ability get back on track after a weekend "cheat."

Many people get so frustrated after that moment of weakness that they just give up -- and a single meal of poor eating snowballs into an entire week of junk food.

Next thing you know, there's another failed diet in your rear-view mirror.

Don't let this happen to you. If you've given in to temptation during the weekend -- maybe hit the buffet a little too hard, overindulged at a BBQ or polished off an entire tub of Ben & Jerry's in one sitting -- know that you're only human and these things happen.

Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, get motivated -- because as the new study of healthy eating to lose weight shows, the occasional weekend cheat won't keep you from long-term diet success.

If you want some tips on how to turbocharge your weight-loss program, take a look at the December 2013 edition of my Health Revelations newsletter.

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