I can’t help but cringe when I see 10,000 calories a day challenges and “cheat day meals” on YouTube. Most people can’t even eat half that much in a day. Do you think people can financially afford to consume that much food? Their audience sees this glamorized version of eating in excess. All the brightly colored packaging and money spent on these videos make it look even more enticing. So what happens if someone with an unhealthy relationship with food comes across this video? They might feel a little less guilty about their overindulgences and continue over eating.
Someone else might have fitness goals, but think that cheat meals should be a part of their diet. They might stop seeing progress because they have a cheat meal every day. And the amount of calories that milkshake and fries exceeds your caloric deficit. It’s one thing if you can eat a small cheat treat or meal seldomly. But let’s face it, you can’t always just have one. Let’s think about what a cheat meal really is. Usually something highly processed, full of sugar or salt, and provides almost zero nutrition. You could say a cheat meal really means cheating yourself from reaching your health goals.
Humans are not pets, we do not need treats. And to be quite honest, your health does not care about what tastes good. It’s truly a first world problem when we have people killing themselves by overindulging on food. Food is meant to be consumed as fuel to give your body energy, not for entertainment. If you are depriving yourself so much that you are craving everything junk then, you’re not getting the proper nutrition from your diet. Cravings usually mean the body is deficient in some micronutrient. Staying hydrated and eating whole foods can ensure that you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need to thrive.
You also can’t do something long term successfully if don’t enjoy it. Not including foods that you like in your diet will be restricting and feel like a punishment. I think associating all tasty food with cheat meals is where a lot of people go wrong. You can make healthy food delicious if you know what you like. Not many people get excited about plain broccoli or beans. It’s when you add the seasonings and flavors that make them appeal to the taste buds. You don’t need cheat meals if you’re doing it right.
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Peace & Love,