Junk Food: Kicking the Habit

junkfood

What do you crave, salt or sweet? Either way, we all know the perils of junk food. Too much can lead to heart disease, cancer, obesity and other serious health problems. Those evil junk food manufacturers use all kinds of tricky techniques to get us hooked. And sure, a perfectly portioned treat occasionally spices up your life. That isn’t unhealthy. But it’s the periodic binges, and the guilt that follows, that many of us struggle with. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Everyone does it once in a while. But to support our body and mind’s health, we need healthy food. If junk food then is something you are addicted to, like a drug, just how do you kick the habit? There are many techniques to get your junk food habit under control. Studies have shown that the less junk food you consume, the lower your cravings. Those who have successfully kicked their habit call this stage where cravings lessen “gene reprogramming.”

If you are an out-an-out junk food junkie, why not slowly increase your consumption of healthy food? For those who only binge occasionally, or often, begin by buying less junk food. Also cut out processed foods if you can. Use the “outer ring” method. You only buy items from the outer ring produce, meat, eggs and dairy and whole grains. Or the “5 ingredient rule.” If an item has more than five, put it back on the shelf. Find better ways to deal with stress, boredom or depression. Talk to a friend. Play an online game, go for a walk, write, meditate, do yoga, exercise, there are so many healthier stress relievers.  Explore healthy alternatives to dishes you like. Mediterranean and Asian cooking is easy to prepare, healthy and delicious. Try healthy snacking alternatives. Red pepper slices and hummus, carrots or celery with peanut butter, a piece of dark chocolate, unsalted nuts, a handful of blueberries or strawberries, a piece of fruit are all snacks that are very good for you. If you can’t stop thinking about that certain kind of junk food and you are experiencing junk food memories, give in but limit your amount. Don’t go overboard on the portions. You can use it as a reward system too, which makes it an extra special treat.

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