Look, there are times in life when for many people, it becomes critical to their survival to strictly follow a specific diet. I personally know what it feels like to be pre-diabetic, a condition I suffered the symptoms of very early on in my adult life, but one which I’m happy to report I’ve reversed. All I did was simply eat the same bland meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, over a period of only about two months.
The pre-diabetes symptoms disappeared, particularly those which had something to do with my body’s critical-stage warning mechanisms, like how I can drink fizzy sodas again without experiencing a mildly numbing, tingling sensation in my toes! I guess the steamed veggies-and-boiled fish diet did the trick, but that period of my life came with many lessons. One lesson is that of the importance of enjoying a treat every now and again, even if you’ve made a commitment to eating healthy, whole foods, or perhaps even if you’ve gone organic, vegan, vegetarian, etc.
Again, it’s a different story with regards to sticking to a specific diet if you are already suffering from an ailment which warrants that specific diet, otherwise it is indeed important to indulge every now and then.
Your body needs the challenge to sharpen its functionality
On a biological level, sticking to a healthy diet is great, but your body needs the challenge of having to digest some not-so-healthy food (and drink) every once in a while to keep your defence mechanisms in top shape. It’s a lot like how a vaccine works – a little bit of the unwanted agent introduced into your body gives it enough information to get to work creating the requisite defences it might have to call upon in future, when things get a bit more serious.
Beyond that however, your taste buds take a liking to certain foods for a reason, which suggests that in moderation they can be good for you. Some good old American sweets could boost your mood if you enjoy them every so often, or that little bit of candy you enjoy once in a while could have a positive effect such as giving you a much-needed energy-boost, because your body’s optimal functionality due to eating well knows how to deal with this treat best.
There’s a psychological element to periodic indulging
Beyond the biological mechanisms, which need a bit of a challenge every so often, there’s a psychological element to enjoying a treat every now and again. It’s something I learned first-hand and it shines a light on self-control. If you are way too strict with yourself and you force-feed yourself food that tastes like cardboard over prolonged, uninterrupted periods, once you start entertaining a bit of indulgence then it gets out of hand very quickly and it becomes hard to control.
That was what led to my pre-diabetic symptoms – I couldn’t stop myself enjoying the treats, having basically starved myself of them altogether. If you enjoy a treat every now and again, you never go out of your mind with mad cravings.