Help!  I Cheat Every Weekend!   I have so much going on each weekend that I totally abandon my diet.  Then all the good work I’ve done during the week is ruined!  How can I get myself back on track so I don’t lose my motivation come Monday?

Believe it or not, it’s a good thing to allow yourself to “cheat”: Women who maintain a strict diet by skipping desserts and calculating every calorie are 48 percent more likely to fail in their weight-loss efforts than people who take a more flexible approach, according to studies at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.  That’s because the occasional spike in calories triggers an increase in levels of the appetite-curbing and fat-burning hormone leptin.  Another reason not to worry: Feeling guilty while eating lowers levels of cholecystokinin, a brain chemical needed to trigger digestion and signal satiety to the brain.  So not letting negative thoughts get the better of you actually prevents overeating and the sluggish digestion leads to weight gain.

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