Junk food like chips, candy, cookies, and prepackaged snacks can be hard to resist, especially if you are stressed, anxious, or bored. Junk food may feel good at the moment.
But, they are not so good for your health because they are sugary, starchy, or high in fat, leading to serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Kicking the junk food habit is the better idea to stay healthy, but some steps will move you along the path to better habits.
Step 1: Changing your environment
- Keep healthy snacks on hand: Fruits, vegetables, nuts are a great source of essential nutrients your body needs every day. Consider carrying around nuts in a small baggie wherever you go, so you can have them with you, as nuts are a great source of protein that will help you feel full of energy when you’re hungry. If you ever crave junk food deserts, eat fruits like bananas and apples to satisfy your sweet tooth.
• Focus on healthy foods: Try to purchase items only from real healthy food sections whenever you go grocery shopping. Buy whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meat, fish, milk, egg, and whole grains.
• Distance yourself from the cravings: When you feel an urge for any junk food, try to distance yourself from it by chewing a piece of mint gum, or going on a walk, or taking a shower, changing in thought and environment. These things can help to distract you from cravings.
• Stock healthy foods: Stock your freezer with frozen vegetables and stock your pantry with canned potatoes, tomatoes, whole grains, pasta, oats, brown rice. Cooking dinner at home will keep you healthier, happier, and consume less sugar and processed foods, resulting in better mental health and higher energy levels; it will also save you money and take the same amount of time.
Step 2: Avoiding temptation
• Plan a regular meal: You will likely experience fewer cravings for junk food when you’re hungry and have no healthy eating options. To avoid putting yourself in this position, try to make a weekly meal plan on Sunday or before your workweek start. If you have a healthy meal and snack packed and ready for you at lunchtime and in the afternoon, you’re less likely to eat any junk food.
- Buy healthy foods which you need. Prepare large batches of easy foods like brown rice, fried or roaster vegetables, beans, or cold salads.
- Use food storage containers, mason jars, or foil to pack up serving sizes that you can grab in the morning on your way.
- Buy fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, travel well, and can be kept on your desk and making them easy afternoon snacks.
• Replace soda with water: Drinking plenty of water will help you stay hydrated and make you less likely to reach for soda or other unhealthy beverages.
• Write down reasons why you want to give up junk food: You may want to stop eating junk food to improve your health, lose weight, save money. Address your reasons and stamp your notes in your workplace or car. Reminding yourself of your reasons for stopping will help you resist cravings for junk food when they hit.
• Fight stress: Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed may induce urges and influence eating behaviors. Try to reduce stress in your environment through meditation and deep breathing and yoga to avoid junk food cravings.
• Get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation may disrupt normal fluctuations in appetite hormones, leading to cravings and poor appetite control. Sleep-deprived people are up to 55% more likely to become obese than people who get enough sleep. Getting a good rest of 7-8 hours each night may be one of the most powerful ways to stop cravings for junk foods.
Step 3: Changing your eating habits
• Eating plenty of healthy foods at breakfast: Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Have healthy snacks like fruits, salads, eggs, yogurt, coffee, oatmeal, chia seeds, nuts, green tea, fruit juices, cottage cheese. These foods are well balanced, and nutritious breakfast can give you energy and prevent you from overeating during the rest of the day.
• Eat more protein: Eating more proteins like eggs, oatmeal, the chicken loaded with lean protein, may reduce appetite and cravings, and helps you feel full and pleased for longer. Increasing protein intake may reduce cravings by up to 60%.
to know more about how to enjoy junk food in moderation, click here…