Leaving damaging eating habits behinds can be challenging, but not impossible. With determination and this guide, you can say good-bye to junk food.
A few days ago, we received the following massage form one of our readers. Since we believe this is something we all go through, she allowed us to share it:
Hi, could you maybe tell me what type of diet would be ideal to stop eating as bad as I do? I am having a lot of trouble and I don’t know why, but I just love breads, rice, potatoes and basically everything that’s fried or sweets. I don’t know how to stop. Thanks.
First of all, we can all understand her. Yes, potatoes, fries, sweets….. they all taste so good! But that’s just the thing. They taste like that so that you can get addicted to them. It’s all about corporations wanting your money, so don’t feel bad about it.
Junk food is a legal drug
This might probably sound obvious to you and yet, we are not always conscious of it. Most junk foods have in your body a similar effect as heroin, cocaine or alcohol. Its consumption gives us a false sense of comfort and once that feeling is gone, we want to consume again. There have been many studies around this and it is always the same result: The more junk food you eat, the more you feel like eating it. It’s a vicious circle.
And just as when someone is trying to stop consuming drugs, the absence of this junk food makes us feel bad. We get anxious, in a bad mood, we might even get a head ache and we can’t stop thinking about eating it again. You know that these foods are bad for you, but your body and head keep asking for them. Finally, you give in to your cravings and there you are: feeling guilty for what you just ate.
How can we stop this vicious cycle?
Be aware of the problem
It may sound silly, but the first step to get rid of junk food is acknowledging that there is, indeed, a problem. Then, you need to be able to look facts in the face. Be objective. Know what is happening and why it is happening. Create a mantra for every time you feel like eating junk food. Say to yourself “I don’t really want to eat it, I only feel like I want to eat it because I am addicted”.
Ask yourself what is more important to you, the quick satisfaction of eating it or the long term satisfaction of looking in the mirror and seeing the best version of yourself?
Instead of saying that you want to eat it but can’t, say “I can eat it, but I don’t want to”
Once you start changing the way you look at food, it will be easier for you to make the right choices.
Think also about the reasons you want to eat that. Are you starving and that’s the only thing that will fill you up? Or aren’t you really hungry and just trying to cover something else with it?
Start controlling food instead of letting food control you.
Knowledge is power!
One of the best ways to be aware of the problem and fight against the need to eat junk food if knowing what this food actually has inside and how this directly affects your body.
Let’s take for example a Coke. You do know it has a lot of sugar and that it’s unhealthy, even if it is “light”, but it just tastes so good, right? But if you take the time to google and find out to what extend a coke excites your brain cells until it kills them, you start viewing that bottle under another light. Just seek information, watch videos, inform yourself!
Keep a food journal
Whether you choose a notepad or an app, the important thing is that you write down what you are having. Even if it is a glass of water. This will make you be more conscious of what you are putting inside of your body and will help you reduce junk intake.
You can also write down how you feel each day so that you can start seeing a relation between your emotional well being and what you eat.
Don’t go cold turkey
Do you like white bread, sweets, fried chicken and chips? Choose just one of them, look up in your diary how much of it you eat each week and start reducing the intake week by week.
For example, if you see you eat 3 bags of chips a week, make the intention to have only 2 the next week. Once you feel comfortable with that, reduce it to 1 bag a week. Keep going until you discard that food forever. Then choose the next one.
Also, this is not about having to make sacrifices all the time. This is about reducen the intake and having a healthy day to day. Nothing will happen if you eat junk just one day!
Follow the laws of food combination
- Fruit and veggies always first
- Do not combine carbs with protein
- Do not combine two different proteins in one meal
Eat more healthy satiating foods
There are some foods that make you feel fuller, which will help you eat less of the unhealthy stuff.
Some of these are:
- cooked potato
- herbal teas
- wholegrain pasta
Both almonds and mushrooms also promote weight loss.
Always a salad first
One thing that works really well is making for yourself the following rule: You can it or order what you like, but first you have to have a salad. This will make your stomach full enough to avoid eating too much of something else. For example, let’s say you are dying for a pizza. Fine. Order your pizza. But first you eat your salad. Not only will you be adding something healthy, but chances are, you won’t be able to finish your whole pizza.
Herb up your life
Herbal infusions are the best. Why? Because they have tons of properties. There is basically at least one herb for every problem. Even more, they satiate and avoid meaningless snacks when you are bored or watching TV.
So choose your favorite herb or do some digging into which herbs would suit you best. Whenever you feel like eating without being hungry, make yourself a herbal infusion first. It will change your life.
If you don’t know where to start, white tea Pai Mu Tan is a great choice. It has antioxidants and flavonoids.
Do some exercise outside
Scientifically speaking, exercise is what works best.
When you exercise, you liberate addictive hormones. But this addiction is slower than food addiction, so it takes longer to being addicted to exercise. However, it is a healthier addiction. It improves your health, your mood, helps you lose weight, improves your skin and it takes aways the need for junk food.
If you are not used to regular exercise, start with regular walks for 45 minutes or so at least three times a week. Enjoy nature, animals, air…. Once you get used to it, you can start jogging. There are several apps that help you start running. RunKeeper App offers training and also the possibility to create you own trainings.
Whatever you do, do not worry or get angry at yourself if you fall back and end up eating unhealthy again. Like everything else in life, this is about keep trying and doing your best. Remember: Loser is not the one who doesn’t make it, but the one who stops trying.