Despite differences in the protein and fats I choose to eat and the seasoning I use, I can get bored of eating similar style meals every day (eggs, meat, veggies etc..). That’s why I allow myself to have cheat meals where I eat basically whatever the hell I want.
Cheat meals can involve drinking copious amounts of alcohol and eating appetizers, desserts, and fried foods, all of which can be pretty unhealthy and damaging. I’m not on a mission to be unhealthy but if unhealthy dishes is what the menu has and what people recommend, that is what I will try.
Variety and Guilt Cycling, The Real Spice of Life
Like most people, trying new restaurants and eating out with friends and family is something I thoroughly enjoy. When I do find myself out and socializing, I don’t deprive myself of what I want to eat based on health. But I do try to limit these cheat “sessions” to 25% of my meals (or less).
Every so often I will bounce from one restaurant or bar to another to meet friends and family. The goal is to enjoy life and try out new cuisines, alcoholic beverages, and desserts. Living in the Los Angeles area, there’s no limit to new and fashionable restaurants and bars to try.
These awesome cheat meals allow me to feel guilty enough to want to be healthy the next day. Due to the sugar, carbs and general junk food consumed, my body naturally feels lethargic and I begin to crave my normally healthy meals of fats, vegetables, and protein the next day.
Feasting and Fasting
When you’re not sugar and processed carb addicted, you can go on for hours without food and not feel like you’re going to kill people around you. You will realize you focus even better on an empty stomach.
If you take a break from eating and you feel lethargic and can’t think straight, you’re probably experiencing carb and sugar withdrawal. This is not unlike a cocaine or heroin addict yearning for their next fix.
Imagine if our hunter and gatherer ancestors just sat on their asses, whining and feeling “hangry”, dizzy, and tired when they were short on food. Do you think their genes would have survived and you would be sitting there reading this?
It’s more likely that our ancestors had periods of food scarcity and periods where they feasted after a successful hunting and gathering session.
Stuffing our fat asses with candy, chips, and other snacks all day is a modern invention with an assist from the food industry.
I used to eat 3 meals a day with snacks in between. I found myself constantly thinking about the next meal or snack. Nowadays I typically eat 2 meals a day within a 6-8 hour window, known as intermittent fasting.
There will be times when I know I will be pigging out big time. For example, birthday dinners, Thanksgiving feasts or a Las Vegas Buffet. On those days I simply don’t eat until that large feast. I feel great most of the day and I can celebrate and thoroughly enjoy each bite of my meal.
I don’t know for certain that this is the healthiest way to eat for everyone.
A lot of research1, doctors2, trainers3 and athletes4 believe it is while many don’t. I personally feel great eating this way. It allows me to not be a slave to my eating schedule while enjoying feasts the way they were meant to be enjoyed.
Why am I showing you pictures of junk food and talking about pigging out? It’s because I believe that you can be relatively fit and strong all while maintaining a healthy lifestyle without feeling constantly deprived.
The Good Life
Cheat meals allow you to enjoy good food and drinks from all your favorite cultures and submit to your cravings of comfort food. It also allows you to enjoy this experience with others without being “the guy” with the annoying food restrictions.
Despite being addicted to working out and health optimization, I, like many other human beings, enjoy a little bit of wine, beer, whiskey, and junk food.
What was the last cheat meal you had?