One day I’m talking about the struggles of buying local and eating healthy, ranting about GMO foods, and posting healthy recipes. The next day I’m posting about my ridiculous junk food fests and posting pictures of potato chip bags.
Allow me to head off any accusations of food hypocrisy and/or schizophrenia. I only eat junk food on Saturday “cheat days.” What’s a cheat day? It comes from Tim Ferriss’ book The Four Hour Body. Under his slow-carb plan, you can eat whatever you want one day a week. I like the idea for two primary reasons.
First, cheat day allows me to eat whatever my friends and family are eating one day per week. If the guys are having nachos and beer, or the wife and kids want Chinese, I don’t have to the alien from Planet X.
Second, cheat day encourages me to be much more strict during the week. Before I began allowing one cheat day per week, junky foods started creeping in everywhere. Now, if a food item seems remotely junky, I put off eating it until Saturday. You can only eat so much junk in one day. In short, my net junk food consumption is lower with the addition of one cheat day per week.
In my opinion, cheat days are fun and beneficial to anyone trying to stick to a very rigid diet plan (mine is meat, eggs, veggies, and nuts only.) If you’re having trouble sticking to a diet plan, you might find that giving yourself the safety valve of a weekly cheat day actually increases your overall long term success rate.