Is it okay to overeat and indulge every once in awhile?

8th April 2011

Overeating can put your health at serious risk … even if you eat healthy most of the time. This is one reason I don’t like programs that advocate days where you can eat as much as you want. I’d rather you eat anything, rather than everything, if you understand the difference.

According to various studies overeating may increase your risk of heart attack. All things are best done in moderation, whether it is food, alcohol, or almost anything else in life (peace and love are the obvious exceptions, you can never have too much of either).

I like to use the analogy of someone who has quit smoking. Let’s say John quit smoking but enjoys the occasional cigar. Jane quit smoking, but she gives herself a day every week to smoke as much as humanly possible — she literally goes through a half dozen packs of cigarettes trying to suck down as much smoke as possible. Who do you think is better in the long run?

The reason it’s hard to accept that this would hold true with food is because, as a society, we are simply in denial. It’s already been established that foods impact your risk of many diseases and even cancer. Poor diet and exercise are the number two leading cause of preventable death.

So when you are ready to enjoy your foods, why not eat what you want, but not all you want. In other words, instead of having a whole pizza followed by a gallon of ice cream, why not just enjoy a slice or two and then a scoop or two? You still get to eat something but you are doing it under control.

I know there is a popular weight loss program where the author advocates a day of gluttony and even describes his own excursions into eating tall stacks of waffles and other foods. I am a fan of the program, but not this part. If you insist that this is something you must keep in your life, that’s fine … but if you are struggling to see the results you had hoped for, and don’t understand why you aren’t experience the same transformation you saw in the pictures of the success stories in that book, then you might consider taking it easy and giving up on gluttony.