Shocking Insight: Your Diet WILL Fail If You Don’t Eat Junk Food!

Striving for a realistic, sustainable lifestlye

Just because your eating healthy, losing weight and getting into shape doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the things you love & used to do, or stop eating the things you love more. What you’re doing; living healthy is for life; and not eating  junk food occasionally will lead to failure, why?

Simple.

Because it’s not realistic or sustainable it todays life.

I honestly believe I wouldn’t have lost the weight I have up until now without eating junk food once a week. I know if I had stuck to eating what slimming world and health nuts said; no fats, minimal bread, lean meats, fruit, vegetable and salads; steering clear of all fast food & junk food, I’m positive would have quit a LONG, LONG time ago. What’s more surprising, I believe you to will quit if you don’t eat junk once a week, let me explain why!

Bar the first month of starting, I have had a cheat meal/take away once a week the whole time I’ve been trying to live a healthier lifestyle. To this date, I’ve currently lost 4 stone 9lbs (65lbs/29.5kgs), I think it’s safe to say it hasn’t done me any harm or hindered my efforts.

Two pictures of me less than a year apart, almost 5 stone lighter! Cheat meals help!

Giving up and going cold turkey is just not who I am, and I’m sure it’s not who you are either. Forgive me, but eating junk food is what got you into this, isn’t it? If you were able to control yourself and eat in moderation you would be here now, would you? I’m the same, don’t think I’m any different because I’m not; we love food simply giving it up cold turkey style just won’t work.

Can’t I just follow my diet?

Your reasons for wanting to becoming healthier may differ from mine, maybe you want to lost a little weight (or a lot), get fitter, or even tone up. All perfectly valid reasons. Let’s say you’ve been looking around and think you’ve found the “perfect diet plan” to achieve your goal. All you’ve got to do is stick to it, and you’ll get the results you want, but that’s the problem, sticking to it. The sad truth is 99% of the diets out there are simply unrealistic and not sustainable which means their useless if they can be sustained for life; their not worth the paper their written on.

It doesn’t matter what diet plan you’ve decided to follow, do you honestly, hand on your heart, believe you can follow it to the letter for the rest of your life?

Hell no!

I’m sorry if you think I’m wrong and I admire your optimism, but the truth is in today’s life, things come up, get in the way, and we all get bored far to easily.

Following a diet plan to the letter is a nice thought, but it’s not realistic or sustainable. That’s not to say some, highly skilled, extremely disciplined people can’t do it, their just VERY few and far between, and sadly WE, are not those people.

The simple solution to this problem is, to eat junk food!

The definition of junk food & my opinion

The English dictionary‘s definition of junk food is

“Food that has low nutritional value, typically produced in the form of packaged snacks needing little or no preparation”.

That’s pretty spot on, and I’ve only got a slight variation to add. I consider junk food, fast food, takeaways, preprepared foods, sweet, crisps, candy; pretty much anything I know I should be eating a lot of.

So when I talk about junk food as I’m about to, that’s what I referring to.

Benefits of a cheat meal (also known as junk food)

Despite popular beliefs, there are a few benefits of eat junk food, some good, some bad, both equally essential in my eyes.

Eating junk food every week or two,

  • Keeps you sane
  • Keeps you focused & on track ( to your weight loss goals and your next junk food meal!)
  • Aids weight loss, due to sticking to your plan
  • Allows you to be normal & fit in socially
  • Makes you appreciate healthier food (more on the fast food hangover below!)
  • Helps you deal with and even control cravings
  • Prevents binge eating on junk food

Maintain your sanity!

Cheat meal not DAY!

Something you need to understand and accept right away before you go any further, a cheat meal; what I’m recommending you eat is exactly that. A cheat MEAL, not an entire day.

It’s essential that you stick to this, an entire day every week can and will be very damaging in the long run (i’ll talk more about cheat days in another article).

Apart from accepting it’s only one meal you can cheat for, the only other thing you have to get your head round is, once you’ve taken that last mouthful of junk food that’s it!

Done!

Fineto!

You must NOT continue eating junk after this meal, or onto the next day. Your finished until you next week, and let’s face it that’s not long, is it?

How much should you eat?

This all come down to you, and your personal eating habits, everyone eats different amounts. I think the quote “everything in moderation” comes in handy here, sure you should eat well, don’t be tight (I sure ain’t!) but don’t go over the top just because you’ve given yourself permission to cheat.

Having a kebab, a KFC or what ever you fancy is fine; eating 2 large pizzas or 3 big mac’s to yourself is just greedy and unnecessary, don’t you think? As long as you use common sense and self-control you’ll be fine.

Remember this, its not your last meal! You’ll have another cheat next week, so you don’t have to eat the entire fast food rockers song!

Best time to cheat?

A particular time to eat! Sure it may sound strange but hear me out, I’ve found the best time to eat a cheat meal is dinner time after you’ve weighed in (or weight yourself, which ever you do).

Eating at this time not only means you’ve got 6 days to get rid of what you’ve eaten, even though it’s minimal, in your head it feels right. The other reason dinner time works so well is because your days over; you haven’t got anything else to do. Chances are after eating dinner all your gonna be doing is chilling out, watching a little TV, relaxing and then going to bed.

dinner is the best time to eat a cheat meat

I’m sure loads of people out there will tell me I’m wrong, but think of it this way.

If you had your cheat meal for breakfast or lunch, you would 10 times more likely to continue eating badly for the rest of the day. As Pringles say “once you pop, you just can’t stop!”.

The other reason, which I think plays a much bigger, overall part is; nine times out of ten, after eating junk food you’ll wake up in the morning with what I call, a fast food hangover (FFH)!

The fast food hangover!

Feeling like crap is what you want!

Waking up the morning after the night before! Thought that line was only for parties and drinking, well think again.

After eating, good, healthly foods for a long time you’ll feel great, but when go step back to eating junk, even if it’s for just one meal you feel the full effects it has on your body the next morning.

Symptoms of the FFH are,

  • Dry mouth
  • Dehydrated
  • Slow
  • Sluggish
  • Queasy
  • Defiantly not in the mood for greasy fast food or junk!

Remember that’s the way you used to feel all the time before you changed your life, horrid isn’t it!

With that said, I believe the FFH serves a very good purpose. Waking up, feeling like crap isn’t nice, granted, but that feeling will keep you on the straight and narrow. That ergh feeling will stop you from wanting to eat junk the next morning and for the next few days; just the thought of a kebab turns your stomach, and that’s exactly what you want.

You don’t want to feel fat, slow and sluggish like you used to, so what do you do?

You go back to eating the healthy foods your now used to eating, well, that is until day 5 or 6 when you’ll craving something bad again! (happens to us all).

Hangover Cure!

Although it’s good to feel the hangover, it’d be cruel if I didn’t give you some advice on how to help it, would I?

The key is water, and lots of it. You should be drinking water regularly anyway, but even more so with junk food. Having a couple of glasses of water before bed and as soon as you wake up will see you right, it’s not magic, but it’ll certainly help!

Water is the fast food hanger cure!

Be social, be normal!

Use your cheat meal to your advantage, go out for a meal with your friends, have fun and be what’s considered normal!

Midweek cravings?

Despite having a weekly cheat, and knowing you not that far away from you next isn’t always enough. Cravings come as, and when they want; how you deal with these cravings is key.

When I’m craving something, in particular a junk food, here’s what I do.

I take that craving and note it down, either on my phone on a scrap of paper and keep hold of it until my cheat day arrives.

Craving something? save it up and then KILL IT!

By then I may have two or three cravings written down, I take a look at them all and decide on what one I’m going to have, or combine them if it’s not too crazy and piggish.

One week I was craving proper sausages (big fat sausages like I used to have), cheese and tiger french stick. So….on my cheat day I put them all together, making,  an out of this world sausage baguette with melted cheese!

Cravings KILLED!

You should try this method out, writing a craving down gets it out of your head and off your mind. It also turns that negative “I can’t have” into a positive “I will have”. It’s all about tricking your mind.

Listening to your body.

Cheat meals are fantastic. I swear by them. That’s not to say one system fits all. If you’ve been losing weight and getting healthy you should be getting pretty good at good at listening to your body, and that’s what I recommend you do with your cheat meals.

Listen to what your body's saying & ACT upon it!

A weekly cheat meal might not suit you; you may want to do it ever 10/14 days, it’s all down to your body and what works best for you. Don’t have cheat meals closer than 7 days apart, this won’t help you in the long run.

Cheat meals & the future…

Over time I’ve found something pretty interesting with my cheat meals, they’ve begun to evolve into something…healthier!

Somehow, along with eating regular healthy food, my cheat meals have naturally improved (health wise), and they’ve even started to get further apart.

This is something I wasn’t expecting to happen, I think it’s down to living a healthier lifestyle; slowly but surely, seeing, and feeling results has in turn got me to want to eat and live better without thinking about so much, dare I say its almost starting to come natural!

Let me have it!

I know there will be a lot of people out there frowning at what I’ve said; you’re not because you’re thinking about the tasty junk food!

It’s the health nuts that are gonna tear me apart!

All jokes aside, I believe in cheat meals, they’ve helped keep me on track and focused towards my goal of living a healthier lifestyle, that’s works for me on a sustainable, realistic level.

I’m dying to hear you thoughts on the cheat meals & junk food, good and bad.

Tell me what you think in the comments below.

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14 comments

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Ruth (11 months ago)

Great post and a nice voice of normalcy in the world or ‘get ripped or die trying’ fitness fanatics. :)

    Darran (11 months ago)

    Thanks Ruth :-) Your right, far too many people are like that theses days when they really don’t have to be. Slow but steady wins the race!

Hannah (8 months ago)

This is so true! Have always had a bit of a cheat meal after weigh in for my dinner and it keeps me sane for the week! Lots of people said it was off plan, but I still loose every week..if anything I think it gives my system a bit of a shock too and something to burn off heh.

    Darran Mansfield (7 months ago)

    I know right! So many people always tell me, “you shouldn’t be doing that” and my slimming world leader hates me talking about it, So glad there’s some realistic thinking people like yourself out there :-)

steph (6 months ago)

This is very sensible! It’s about making it sustainable. I love the idea of “I will” rather than “I can’t” too – it’s all about state of mind! My biggest problem is that I get weird and obsessive, and feel if I’m not eating perfectly then I’ve ruined it all and then I give up!! What are your tips on DRINKING?! I love a pint on the weekend but it’s like 10 syns !!

    Darran Mansfield (6 months ago)

    Hi Steph,
    Glad you like and agree with the article, it really is about the mind set. I understand wanting to eat perfect, I’ve felt like that before but something you have to remember…perfect doesn’t exist, instead try and focus that “weird & obsessiveness” on getting right back on track the minute you’ve had a cheat, you’ll love it :-)

    Drinking! I will say this isn’t exactly my area of expertise as I only drink 2/3 times a year, but I have got some ideas.

    The first is becks blue, a 0% beer (sorry) that’s only 4 syns a bottle; maybe you could have a couple of these inbetween normal beers http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=252405965

    The second thing that came to mind was, how many syns do you use a day? I’m just thinking if you could save 4 a day without hurting your foods that would be two of your normal beers (or 5 of the 0% becks) and you could still use some of your weekend syns for the 0% beers inbetween?

    Let me know your thoughts!

steph (6 months ago)

Thank you! That does really help. It’s all about getting right back on track afterwards – rather than doing what I have always done “I’ve failed, I give up, I’ve ruined everything!!” … Yes, becks blue is a perfect idea – I love non-alcoholic beer, plus I could interchange it with diet cokes too. You’re right about saving syns – I have about 5 – 15 a day, but I think I could save throughout the week to have 40 syns in drinks on a weekend, seems about reasonable. I’ll give it a go. Thank you for your advice :)

    Darran Mansfield (6 months ago)

    That’s brilliant :-)

    I’m glad you liked the becks blue idea, I didn’t know if that was gonna fly; I didn’t even think about adding soft drinks in the middle too, that should work a treat.

    Let me know how you get on with saving some of your syns, I think it’ll workout perfect.

Ron (5 months ago)

Starting sw today.will have my first cheat meal next Saturday evening!

    Darran Mansfield (5 months ago)

    That’s great to hear Ron! Let me know how you get on this week, and feel free to contact me anytime :-)

Nikki (5 months ago)

Great article. I’ve always said exactly the same thing. It makes sense to me that if you deprive your body of something it will want to binge at every opportunity. My after weigh-in dinner is also my cheat night (or treat night Tuesday as my group affectionately refer to it!)

    Darran Mansfield (5 months ago)

    Thanks Nikki,

    Right! I think people are crazy to think they can give something like junk food up forever, glad we’re on the same wave length :-)

Chris Thomson (4 months ago)

Just read your mug shot article, like you my favourite is the spicy sweet and sour. However, cannot work out how you came to the figures you listed. Packet states 267 kcal and 13.6 sugar. Realise this is also high and will def moderate intake. Love the article re muller lights, now eating 0%greek yogurt which has much less sugar. Love the blog your doing

    Darran Mansfield (4 months ago)

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the comment :-) Yeah I love them spicy sweet and sours…nothing like “diet” food which is always a plus; your right with your numbers, 267kcals and 13.6g sugar but that’s per packet, in the article (click here if anyone wants to look) the numbers I gave was if you were to eat two packets, let face I can easily do that haha

    I’m glad you enjoyed the muller article (click here), it is by far my most popular article on the site because people don’t realise how much sugar is really in them, you’ve done the right thing switching to greek, so much better for you, that’s not to say stop eating muller 100% just keep a check on them :-)

    Don’t forget to share the blog with your friends, I’d really appreciate it :-)

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