Junk food addiction is a real thing, as unreal as it may sound. Studies clearly show that people actually crave junk food, which is why trying to not eat it with deliberation is complicated. According to findings, these cravings are designed to ensure that people are simply unable to resist the temptation. The reason is that just the right amount of fats, sugar, and salts, along with additives are included by food manufacturers which entice individuals into not only consuming more junk food, but also wanting more even if they are full.
Junk and sugary food make you less productive. Eliminating them from your diet is challenging, but not all hope is lost. Remember, certain tactics help you in getting over this addiction even if you are a junk food lover. You have to practice them regularly to make them a part of your routine.
Read on to find out how you can train your brain to hate junk food with these 8 tricks.
1. Understand Your Own Psyche
There is nothing more important than understanding your own thought process and vices. You are the best judge of you, which means that nobody other than yourself will know what it is that you crave the most. Is it sugar that you are addicted to or fast food items? Fries or shakes? Once you have the answer to this question, keeping your eyes and mind away from these things will become less complicated.
The very first thing you need to do is stop keeping foods in the pantry that you desire. If it is sugary items, only keep fruits, nuts and whole wheat products that contain no more than five ingredients. According to research, you are likely to end up eating the items that are within easy reach. If your workplace is near an eating outlet that you frequently visit, make sure you change the route that you use to get to work.
One more thing, no matter what you do, do not go out to ‘fast food’ places when you plan a night out or an evening with friends. No matter how hard you try to avoid junk food, it becomes next to impossible when you are under peer pressure or under the influence of alcohol. It is best to try the avoidance policy instead of forcing yourself into the dilemma of choosing to quit or take.
2. Creating a Game Plan to Hate Junk
A game plan always works no matter what kind of action you intend to enforce in your life. The thing is when you already have an idea in mind, you tend to follow it instead of going about doing anything random. So what should be your eating scheme that helps in staying far away from junk and processed food?
Start by shopping for healthy foods from the grocery store with a list. Having a list will help you in keeping away from junk foods like deli meats, store bought doughnuts and such. Also, bear in mind that grocery stores are too laid out in a manner that will force you into buying more than you intend and need in the first place.
Make sure you stay away from the center aisles. These are the ones that bear the processed and packaged. Fresh produce is always kept in the first few aisles, and this is the place you should stick to.
The next step is thinking out a meal in advance. Try not to rely on sandwiches or fried pre-processed foods. These too come in the category of junk foods. Plan a meal that consists of everything from entrees to main to dessert. This will help you in sticking to your healthy diet. Once you are home, cook the food and make the process as interesting as possible. This will reinforce the idea of cooking every day.
What’s more, you should also plan your next day’s food that you will consume at work.
Check out: How to Stick to a Rewarding Eating Schedule
3. Actionable Intent to Stop Eating Junk
The plan is useless until and unless there is some proper action involved. Don’t think that the healthy food will arrive at your doorstep and cook itself. You will have to make a move to get the situation going. Get rid of all the items that are either in the kitchen or in the fridge that can be called junk. Also, dispose of your secret stash.
Keep reminding yourself again and again that the end product of this junk food reduction is a healthy and happier you. Getting into sports also helps in quitting the intake of junk food. If you are not into sports, join a health or fitness group that might be at the gym or is involved in yoga. These are going to work wonders for your junk addiction.
4. Chew More Eat Less
Did you know that if you take time in eating, you are likely to eat less? Even if it is junk food that you are holding? It’s true, according to science. The time you spend chewing the food is going to elongate the total number of minutes you eat. As per research, 20 minutes from the time you begin eating your stomach gives a signal of fullness.
So try to pass these 20 minutes chewing. This exercise will take some time to master but with time you can easily learn the process and then it will soon become your habit.
5. Pay Attention to Colors and Environment
You may have noticed that McDonald’s uses red and yellow. These colors along with orange are the ones that spark up hunger and gives you queues to eat more. Hence the reason why most eateries prefer having these colors in their decor scheme.
Make sure that your eating area is deprived of these colors. What’s more, the cutlery and utensils you use, must not have any of these colors in them. Opt for plates and cutleries that are nondescript and boring. This way, you won’t particularly enjoy using them for serving meals, even if it is Chinese takeout. One more thing to do is to use smaller plates so that you take lesser quantities.
6. Textures and Colors of Food
The reason why fast food looks so appealing is that there is so much happening in the food, meaning the different colors, textures, and designs. For healthy eating, you need to replicate that with healthy foods. Try to not only serve three-course meals but also add a variety of colors and textures. Be sure to have everything from salty to sugary in the meal so that your taste buds are fully satisfied.
7. The More You Know, the lesser Junk You will consume
Gross yourself out, it’s that simple. Watch videos and read on to find out about how junk food is created and you will want to stop eating it without any kind of effort. Did you know that the pink and red dyes used are from Cochineal insects? Many other ‘gross’ facts will help you in getting over your junk food addiction.
8. Have Cheat Days!
Yes, you need those. Nobody is suggesting that you quit having fast foods altogether as it is next to impossible. So have cheat days, like once a week or once in 10 days. These will keep you away from junk food the rest of the time and help curb your untimely cravings as well.
Yes, cutting out junk food from your life may seem like the most difficult thing for you right now but with practice comes perfection – so you can do it. It is about mindset and cheating your brain into believing another pattern of thought. Just be sure of your own will, and you will be able to defeat the habit of junk food for good.