Perfection seems to be something that we all strive for. We all have the notion that if we could just be perfect at that one thing, then everything would simply come together for us. This could not be farther from the truth. If you start to obsess about something, like your diet, I feel that the stress of needing perfection will eventually cause more harm to your body than the types of food you are trying to avoid.
Try following an 80/20 plan. Eat clean 80% of the time, and go crazy the other 20% of the time, but be smart about it. If you are going to binge on some carbs or something high on the glycemic index, try to time it within 3 hours before or after a workout. Hit a few PR’s in a single workout and try drinking a tall chocolate milk with some protein thrown in, or instead eat some jerky and a sweet potato and 1 pound of broccoli. Let me know which one is easier and replenishes your glycogen stores more adequately. I assume that most people who are working out have some grasp of a good diet, and I feel that most of the tests done about blood sugar and insulin levels are done on the sedentary majority of the population, not on more intense athletes. If done on intense athletes, the tests would probable have a much different outcome. Of course the average person does not need a butt-ton of carbs every day, but we are different. We need that quick glycogen replenishment. The paleo diet is already turning into an industry, don’t be surprised if it soon goes the way of organic, where you are paying more for the label when it really has no added benefits. Just don’t be stupid and use your brain when you eat.
If you don’t have a weekly food binge, you have nothing to kick your metabolism into overdrive the next few days when you are eating clean. Your system, after dealing with a day of gluttony, will then be operating at 120% after your gluttony is finished, thus digesting and absorbing your clean food at a quicker pace. Now tell me that doesn’t sound like something you want in your diet.