What you do chronically is what kills you aka in support of cheat days
Caveats to the above statement:
- This is all anecdotal
- Yes, putting yourself in scenarios where you jump off the empire state building without a parachute or drive with your eyes closed, even once, is probably enough to kill you
- It’s kind of obvious
With that aside, the purpose of this post is make people feel better about themselves.
Let’s assume you live 82 years (average LE of a male living in Hong Kong. Courtesy of https://www.worlddata.info/life-expectancy.php)
From the time you are 18 you decide to live a healthy lifestyle. That means:
- You only have a ‘cheat day’ once a week. That means out of the 24,455 days you are alive, only 3484 of them will you have had an unhealthy meal. Let’s throw in 5 extra days a year for holidays as well so that comes out to 3819 cheat days in your lifetime. That is only 15% of your entire life that you have ate something unhealthy and 85% that you have been living healthy. Seems like a good balance between the two and there are probably even some studies out there showing that having a cheat day is healthy (look up Tim Ferris cheat day)
- You go out partying until 1 in the morning every Friday night. Again 15% of your entire life you’ll have less than the recommend amount of sleep and 85% you will.
- You’re only a social smoker.
If we assume you only smoke 5 times a year for the holidays and you only have 2 cigarettes and that you continue this until the day you die, that equates to 670 cigarettes or about 33 packs over 67 years. If you use standard medical terminology of pack years that means you have a 0.49 pack year .I tried to come up with a way to have a non-negligible amount of smoking and still couldn’t find a ‘safe’ way. If you smoked once a year you technically would classify as a non-smoker but any more than that, over the course of a lifetime, puts you at increased risk for other diseases and cancers. You can extend this to other drugs. See here for a good post on alcohol: https://dynomight.net/alcohol-trial/
- You only use social media for average of 20 minutes a day. Comes out to 487,760 minutes over a lifetime. You have 35,215,200 minutes in your lifetime. That comes out to 1.3% of your life on social media. Not terrible. Considering you spend about 30 minutes in the bathroom a day on average (probably all 20 minutes of your social media exposure is in the bathroom) it’s not that much.
Maybe you’ll look at this and be like WTF those are so much. I’m only gonna have a cheat day once every 2 weeks now. That’s fine too. You just need to find the balance you are happy with and stick with it.