THE INC. LIFE

Why Every Day Should Be ‘Eat What You Want Day,’ But Not for the Reason You Think

Today is Eat What You Want Day, but tomorrow should be, too — especially if you’ve decided what you really want.

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BY Jeff Haden - 11 May 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Granted there are more unusual "days." June 2nd is National Bubba Day, honoring anyone called Bubba. August 5th is National Underwear Day. (I'm not sure my underwear deserves the honor.) November 17th is World Peace Day; surely we all support that.

And today is Eat What You Want Day, which is kinda stupid, because along with World Peace Day, every day should be Eat What You Want Day.

But not for the reason you might think.

Evidently Eat What You Want day was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy to "help people break away from the frustrating health and diet trends of our times, if for only one day, and just let go and enjoy life a little."

The premise is theoretically sound; occasionally having a cheat meal or cheat snack gives you something to look forward to, breaks up your routine, lets you reward yourself for staying the course... that's all good stuff.

But a "cheat day" also implies that every other meal is one you don't want to eat. A cheat day implies you're almost forcing yourself to eat other foods.

And that's kind of dumb, especially if you redefine the word "want."

Let's say you're trying to lose weight. If that is your goal, then you don't want to eat pizza or ice cream or cookies or crap like this. If so, you want to eat healthy foods and make sure you take in less calories than you burn. If healthy food isn't the food you want, and in the quantity you want... then you don't really want to lose weight.

Losing weight isn't a goal. It's just a dream.

Or let's say you want to eat a certain diet because you have a health condition; maybe you've had heart problems and want to follow a Mediterranean diet. If so, you want to eat fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, and limit unhealthy fats. If that's not the food you want... then you don't really want to eat a heart-healthy diet.

Reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems isn't a goal. It's just a dream.

The Rock is a great example. He follows a very specific meal plan. (And he eats a crap-ton of food.) Occasionally he does have an epic cheat meal, but often only after sticking to his plan for months at a time. (Which makes you wonder whether he has cheat meals just to post them on Instagram.)

The Rock doesn't force himself to follow his meal plans. He wants to follow his meal plans, because they support his goals. That means every day is Eat What You Want Day, because what Dwayne Johnson eats every day is what Dwayne Johnson wants to eat.

And if you think The Rock an extreme example, think again. He's just doing everything he can to achieve his goals.

Shouldn't we all be doing that?

If you really want to grow your business, you want to do all the things that entails. If you really want to change careers, you want to do all the things that entails. When you really want to accomplish something, you don't have to make choices about what you want to do -- the only path you can imagine taking is the path that gets you to your goal.

Don't see Eat What You Want Day as a way to indulge. Don't see a cheat meal as a way to indulge. See a cheat meal as a reward, a way to occasionally add variety to your diet... see a cheat meal as an integral part of your overall plan and program.

After all, the best "indulgence" is one that gets you closer to your goal -- because success is the ultimate treat.