Today is officially ‘Eat What You Want Day’... otherwise known as 2019’s officially designated ‘cheat day.’
The invitation is to celebrate the joy of gastronomy in true, no-holds-barred style. This might mean surrendering to a sweet tooth, carb-loading like there’s no tomorrow, or making like Christmas Day in May!! It sounds too good to be true, but there’s a problem...
To some extent, ‘Eat What You Want Day’ suggests that what we’re doing the other 364 days of the year, is eating what we DON’T want. It’s an implication that enforces the ‘all or nothing habits’ that we are all encouraged to move away from. The belief that what we ‘want’ and what our bodies ‘need’ are represented by two separate food entities, rather than both being a merger of the two (as they should).
A better alternative might therefore be to flip the title around, and make every day ‘WANT what you eat day’ instead! After all, WANTING what you eat is as important to the satiety equation as simply quelling hunger.
This small tweak is important, since it changes the message of the day completely, and creates a healthy lifestyle out of what is otherwise a one-day fad.
So, how exactly do we make sure the mainstay of our diet is consistent with what we actually WANT to eat... whilst still keeping it in line with nutrition guidelines?
Dropping the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food labels has to be an obvious starting point, as is keeping the quality benchmark high. Within these parameters exists freedom to eat most foods, even those formerly assumed to be off limits in a ‘healthy’ diet. Putting treats back on the table (excuse the pun!) strips ‘cheat day’ of its charm and takes the cliche out ‘eating what you want’, making this just as likely to be a crisp, refreshing salad as a burger or slice of cake!