Seriously? I can eat whatever I want on May 11?
Yes, it’s true. May 11th has been declared the National Eat What You Want Day. I just heard about it. I have no idea when it started, but I feel like I have been missing out.
This is like a bonus free day!
A long time ago when our kids were young, my family started having “free days” on a few holidays like Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, and 4th of July, days where the children didn’t have to ask if they could have Coke or another cookie, or more chips. Within reason, of course. Normally, soda was only for “Coke meals” like pizza or nacho’s, snacking was limited, and they had to ask between meals for food. For adults free days were fun too; we could just loosen our belts a little and enjoy the day. (By the way, we no longer drink Coke or any kind of soda, but that’s a topic for another day.)
Anyway, Eat What You Want Day would probably be fine as long as you only had one of them a year. Combined with 4-6 Free Days (since we probably shouldn’t ignore Easter and Thanksgiving), that makes 7 unrestricted eating days, which wouldn’t be too harmful if one kept it to that. But we all know that a Thanksgiving free day often starts before Thanksgiving and for sure continues throughout the weekend.
The problem is that we usually give ourselves much too much license to eat with abandon, then wonder why we weigh more than we should and why we don’t feel better.
Words like gluttony and self-control come to mind, and that causes me a little pause. Also, this kind of eating may derail some people kind of like what alcohol does to an alcoholic.
Might there be a better way? Life is meant to be celebratory.
So, what to do?
Dr. Jason Fung seems to be onto something when he says in his book The Obesity Code, “…feasting must be followed by fasting”. He goes on to say that eating in a feasting/fasting way is the ancient secret, that sometimes indulging is appropriate and sometimes balancing our feasting with periods of fasting are appropriate. If you feast too much and never fast, this is a sure path to weight gain.
Although this post is not meant to be a treatise on fasting I just want to highlight some compelling benefits. It doesn’t cost any money, it doesn’t take time out of your day, it exercises the self-denial muscle, and studies have shown that fasting has many healthful advantages like more energy, greater clarity in thinking, it is anti-aging, and it lowers insulin resistance and insulin levels. Fasting also protects muscles during fat loss, whereas a low calorie diet does not. Plus, fasting has been practiced throughout the ages.
Abel James, another advocate of feasting and fasting, says in his book The Wild Diet that, “With the extra time, clarity, and confidence you get from fasting, you might find that the entire trajectory of you life changes”. James says that “fasting might make you superhuman”, and gives examples how fasting dramatically changed his life.
That all said, look for a future post on more about fasting, how to do it, further benefits of it, different kinds of fasting, etc. I am convinced that for many fasting might be a missing piece of the puzzle for their health, and it is VERY doable.
I just didn’t want you to miss out on the May 11th feasting opportunity tomorrow.
So, enjoy May 11th Eat What You Want Day, if you really want to.
After that, let me know if you want to work with me to help you achieve your health goals.
2 thoughts on “Quirky Thursday: Eat What You Want Day”
I think our bodies are meant to have times of feasting. In a healthy body, the natural response is to eat less later and to burn more, because the body knows it has a surplus. I have enjoyed following Gary Taubes’s work as he asks WHY, in some of us, the body keeps asking for more instead of burning what we already have. Like, is it really moral failure, or is there something going wrong physiologically?
According to Dr. Jason Fung, so much of the fat storage and hunger signals are controlled by powerful hormones. I would say a lot of the time when the body seems to be asking for more it is physiological, although at times “feasting” can turn into gluttony. I like Gary Taubes too; he is such of wealth of great information.