In searching the web I found over 130,000,000 MILLION websites dedicated to the science of cheat meals. CHEAT MEALS? Science? No sorry science to me is finding a cure for cancer, finding renewable energy sources, finding a cure for physical and cognitive issues before babies are born, etc. It is not deciding that "If I eat this, I'll feel like shit about myself so I never do it again--until my next cheat meal."
Now try searching "Mass Genocide" and see how many websites come up. Ridiculous people. Several websites even implied cheat meals needs to be PLANNED in your schedule of eating. Wait, I am supposed to know when I am desperately going to need the comfort of a couple beers and a slice of pizza because my work day was so bad? Let me tell you, I never have planned bad work days--generally they just become bad when I am tired, cranky, over worked, over whelmed, and under paid. I don't plan for my day to be bad. If I did, I'd generally only experience life from the comfort of my bed because I'd avoid bad days.
One website suggests: "The gist of these cheats is to eat clean for the better part of your week, stay active and reward yourself by taking the shackles off your menu every once in a while (livestrong)." My menu has shackles now? No people prisoners have shackles, the poor people who are experiencing mass genocide are probably shackled--YOUR MEAL PLAN DOESN'T HAVE SHACKLES.
The whole theory behind cheat meals is that is something we are supposed to feel guilty about. We are now associating our food with guilt. That's insane. If you truly want to feel guilty about something here are some suggestions I have for you:
don't hold the door for a nun, huff and puff behind an elderly person taking to long at the check out line in Shop Rite, steal a kids Halloween candy, beep at the teenager in front of you who is in the through lane while driving but decides this is the lane they plan to make a left turn from, and/or say a curse word. After doing one or all of those things go to your closest place of worship and go in that little wood box with that other dude who you can't see and repent.
Before I made my confirmation when I was a wee little one we had to go in that little box and tell all of our sins. The people running CCD even gave us suggestions of sins. So, I just used their suggestions. The whole idea behind telling someone the things I did wrong gave me anxiety. I went in and said "I say bad words to my brother and sister". The kind gentlemen behind the screen gave me some suggestions to repent for my sins and to go outside in the pew and say a slew of different prayers. By the time I got back to the pew I forgot how many of what prayer to say so I just closed my eyes and moved my lips as if talking to myself. I then looked up at wooden Jesus and said a silent "I'm sorry I couldn't remember all of the Hail Mary's wooden Jesus."
Now same situation in same wooden box with man behind screen, because I am being told by society that I should feel guilty about eating a slice of pizza on a Thursday in 2009. Go into that little box again and tell the little man behind the screen all of the things you ate this week that you deem as not healthy. You most likely will get a long stretch of silence from the man behind the screen because..and this revelation of mine is really going to knock your socks off....EATING A SLICE OF PIZZA IN 2009 IS NOT A SIN. I can't 100% verify that because me and the big man don't talk that often (not because I don't want to talk to him, but because I'd like to believe my issues pale in comparison to others facing more serious situations in their lives"), but I can guess if Jesus/Allah/yada yada were here he'd say... "Wait, I'm sorry, are you serious with this confession? You feel guilty about eating?"
A recent study suggests that: "In general, women tend to report more feelings of guilt towards
food than men do (Steenhuis)". Now please tell me this isn't because we use the words "cheat meal" like we're saying "Happy Birthday" to someone. I think we all need to step back and say "Why am I guilty? "Is feeling like I did something wrong by eating that in anyway going to help my self esteem?" If your a sane rationale person you will realize 1. I haven't done anything wrong to feel guilty about and 2. When I feel like eating should make me feel guilty I then in turn feel less good about myself as a person.
What I am suggesting is we stop saying "cheat meals" and just refer to all of our food as exactly what it is: FOOD. So hey, on your journey to healthy and clean living you eat a pizza and drank a beer. After eating, acknowledge that yes that wasn't the healthiest choice so tomorrow I just won't eat pizza. But don't limit yourself to two "cheat meals" a week, unless you want to feel like a guilty, self hating, failure. Or do count every single cheat meal and see how you feel---it would be comparable to eating something then banging your head against a brick wall for 10 minutes because what you ate deserves "punishment".
Like I said before...
LOVE YOURSELF OR NOBODY WILL.