Do you know how to cheat and still reach your weight-loss goal?

Sep 28, 2007 at 9:29 p.m. ET

Cheating on a diet is one of the most crucial aspects when it comes to success or failure. If you can handle those inevitable lapses, you will be overcoming an important obstacle. It is in this area of mistakes -- cheats -- where dieters' attempts can live or die.

Do you have what it takes to turn a cheat into a tool for success?

Take this quiz and find out.

  1. Can you pick up and go on with your diet after a cheat?

  2. Do you stop to consider the circumstances surrounding a cheat?

  3. Can you accept yourself as not being perfect on a diet?

  4. Do you forgive yourself for a lapse?

  5. Can you keep one cheat from leading you to another?

  6. Do you believe that personal change is a process?

  7. Do you think you will still be able to change the way you eat, even though you cheat sometimes?

  8. Do you think mistakes are part of learning something new?

  9. Can you avoid feeling like a failure because of a slip?

  10. Do you think that changing your behavior might take more than one attempt?

  11. Can you hold on to your self-confidence, even after a cheat?

  12. Can you forgive yourself for having less willpower at times?

  13. Do you know how to include dealing with cheats in your weight-loss plan of action?

  14. Can you avoid going on to the next diet just because of a cheat?

  15. Can you avoid feeling guilty about a lapse?

  16. Can you view a cheat as a small thing and not a catastrophe?

  17. Do you know how to learn about yourself from your cheats?

  18. Do you pay attention to what you do after you cheat?

  19. Can you keep one cheating episode from turning into a total pig-out?

  20. Do you still have hope after a cheat?

If you have more YES answers than NO answers, your chances of sticking with it, even though you cheat sometimes, are very good.

If you have more NO answers than YES answers, you may be in danger of letting a cheat lead to a total collapse of your diet. Work on understanding your cheating episodes as much as possible -- when they happen, why they happen, how often they happen. Use this knowledge and you won't have to give up just because you cheat.