Most people would agree… Junk food tastes great! But we also know that it’s called “junk food” for a reason. It’s been proven time and time again that too much of the stuff can be incredibly unhealthy and can lead to terrible diseases as well as obesity. More and more people are becoming aware that we have to either cut down on the amount of junk food we consume or quit altogether.
However, kicking a habit is never easy, especially one as ingrained and pleasurable as eating junk food. But there’s still hope. This article will help you boil down what you need to do to permanently stop eating junk food. If you’re dreaming of having a healthy lean body, you’ll seriously have to cut out the junk or that sexy, healthy body you want will never be a reality.
Have a Clear Reason for Stopping
To help you stop eating junk food you should have a clear and motivating reason. Just the thought of wanting to stop is not going to be enough to see it through and kick this bad habit for good, you need personal motivating reasons.
Lower cholesterol to live longer?
Lower body fat levels to look better?
To feel happy and healthy?
To set a good example for your children?
To feel more fit and confident?
Whatever your reason(s) may be, take some time to think about it seriously. Now write them down on a sticky note and put it up somewhere so you can read them everyday. This is a life changing goal you’re setting yourself here. You need strong, motivational reminders and you need to take them seriously.
Monitor Your Junk Food Intake
The first step towards fixing a problem is to understand it. When you’re faced with the huge task of cutting junk out of your diet, the first thing you should do is monitor your eating habits. Figure out how much you spend a week on junk food by keeping a detailed log with the dates and prices or just by keeping the receipts.
Also try to observe what triggers your cravings when they happen and how you feel before you have to grab a snack. Once you have all this information, you’ll be able to plan how you’re going to deal with the cravings when they come.
Start Cutting Down
It’s not easy to abruptly quit a habit and while some people can do it, most people can’t bear the shock of quitting something cold turkey. The easiest way to let go of habits is to slowly cut down. During the monitoring stage you got an idea of how much you spend on junk food. The key here is to half your budget with each successive week, slowly decreasing your intake.
Provide Some Alternatives
It’s hard to completely stop something without replacing it with something else, call it the universal balance. The truth is, you have to eat something in the place of that junk you’re eating less and less of otherwise you could go into shock or struggle for energy. It’s always better to replace old habits with new ones by replacing the bad stuff with healthy snacks and fruits to satisfy your cravings.
Think of all the foods that you like that you know are healthy. Do a quick Google search online to find healthy and great tasting recipes. Now take those healthy foods you like and start using them to replace your unhealthy snacks and meals.
If you like cakes or chocolate, I highly recommend buying a box of protein bars. These are great snacks to have around the house, for taking to work or on the go, and are a very healthy nutritional alternatives to candy.
Keep Eating Junk Food
Here’s some great news for you… You DON’T have to stop eating junk food completely. It’s fine to have a couple of cheat meals every week. Why not treat yourself at the weekend by eating out or grabbing some fast food and chilling out in front of the TV? Yes, if you’re eating clean 90% of the week it’s perfectly fine to treat yourself to a little junk food at the weekend.
I consider myself to be strong, fit and health. But I’ve got a sweet tooth and love Chinese takeaway food. I’ll have some fast food or eat out and have dessert on a Saturdays, but because I don’t eat junk most of the week I remain healthy and in good shape.
It’s very motivating to stay on track with your healthy eating all week when you know that you’ve got that treat coming at the weekend. Just knowing that you don’t have to eradicate junk food from your life completely can help you stay focused and on track.
Trying to quit something that you have in abundance around you is almost impossible. Our minds tend to want in proportion to what we can see, so our appetite is relative to the food we have available. When you remove junk food from your immediate environment it’s easier for you to keep your mind on your goal.
Limit the amount of junk food you have in the house by simply not buying as much when you’re out shopping. The small amount that you do have at home (for treat days) I recommend you keep it in one place, like a biscuit tin or tub and keep it out of sight. This makes it easier to monitor your intake. Also, with it being out the way it will remove immediate temptation, it becomes more of a conscious effort to get to the junk food which should help put you off.
Create a Plan
You know what they say… “Fail to plan is planning to fail”
What food are you going to replace the junk with?
What day will you have your cheat meal?
What new meals will you be cooking?
What snacks or lunch will you take to work?
You need to plan your healthy grocery list, what you will be eating and when. Take the time to sit down and plan how you are going to accomplish this goal and make this healthy lifestyle change.
Give Yourself Enough Time
Studies have shown that it takes approximately two weeks of consistent effort for a new habit to develop and for an old one to start fading. That’s why the first two weeks of any new experience are often the most challenging so if you focus on getting through that period, the rest of the journey only gets easier. Also remember to allow yourself the chance to kick one bad habit at a time, one is more than enough.
I wish you the best of luck