When we're plagued with many fast food joints it’s tough to make healthier choices. To make matters worse we are bombarded by neon signs and bright colors triggering our senses and compelling our actions to give in to the addiction of junk food. Junk food craving is an addiction. The major problem with fast food is they contain highly addictive ingredients such as MSG with an endless list of other health debilitating ingredients. This makes a person crave junk food as well as other pivotal psychological factors such as depression which ironically is also caused by eating excess junk food. Often times people tend to reach out for junk food when stressed or feeling down.
First it is best to address these issues and resolve them. Studies have shown that junk food can lead to depression. Junk food eating in this day and age is a very well formed habit in most people since our environment caters for it more than healthy foods due to mass advertising and a general world wide acceptance of junk food in many social settings. No doubt, the habit is often formed primarily in the family home and this habit often can escalate so that we pass on these habits to our children and the next generation. The following are steps you can easily implement today to beat this chronic habit.
Educate yourself about the food you eat
Even though we eat unhealthy knowing this very well it will still not stop an individual from reaching out for bad unhealthy food. The reason for this is because psychologically we have reinforced this behaviour. One way to reverse this issue is to keep yourself educated about food and its effect on the human body. One example is acrylamide contained in fries and most fried carb which can be dealt with by supplementing with Vitamin C. Whilst you may know nothing about acrylamide the fact is it is found in fried food such as fries and is a cause for many health concerns.
Keep It Slow and Steady
Unfortunately eating healthy is easier said than done, especially if you are already addicted to junk food. The key is to start off slowly and not beat yourself up if you've eaten badly. In general if you are stressed you probably do not have enough time of the day to tackle the causes of your stress. Slowly include healthier foods, you can start simply by eating one or two fruits in the morning or snack in the day. You can easily begin by adding one healthy food item per day for a week or work at a pace that feels easy to you.
When trying to transition to a healthier diet it is good to focus on dealing with stress and use procedures to reverse any stress triggers. There are many relaxtion methods to begin detressing your life. Try to find problems that trigger any stressful response and make your goal to remove yourself from any triggers wherever you can avoid it. There are certain supplements that are also known to help deal with issues such as stress and anxiety.
Stock up healthy
Always keep healthy food at home. There are even healthy frozen foods that are good options such as peas which pack some nutrients that are much better than a frozen pizza. Surround yourself with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Snack on something healthy but filling, some ideas are nuts and trail mixes. Carrots or crunchy veg and hummous dips, guacamole are also healthier snack options. A good idea would be to have mini containers filled with snacks which you can keep in the refrigerator, food cupboard, in plain sight or carry with you so that you never give in to junky snacks.
Fizzy drink replacement
Eliminate fizzy drinks, they lack in nutrition and only add to poor health. Stick to water and juices. If you desperately must drink something fizzy consider using a soda maker where you can use your various flavours and even come up with your own concoctions. You can even purchase sparkling water, add honey and other natural flavours. You can even go wild and add your vitamin c supplement to the mix, add a bit of health buzz to your fizz.
Eliminate allergy inducing foods
There are many foods that are allergy inducing, two of the main well known allergy causing foods are wheat (gluten) and dairy. When trying to eliminate junk food consider eliminating these two types especially if you are someone with a weakened immune system as these foods are well known to cause inflammatory response.
Create healthy versions of unhealthy foods
Homemade turkey burger inside lettuce anyone? Virtually all fast food chain burgers are just plain junky crap! Filled with empty calories these mighty monsters only add to your waistline. Instead opt in for homemade versions which you don’t have to eat just for the occasional treat as they are healthy enough to eat as part of your main meal on a regular basis. By making your own you are eliminating all the nasty additives commonly found in burgers from fast food chains. You have more control over taste and can customize your food to your taste buds.
Here are some great ideas.
Make a turkey burger using fresh turkey mince and use lettuce or boiled cabbage leaves as buns. You can even use the same concept to make healthy wraps or tacos.
Stir fry’s are super easy and fast and you ensure that you are using adequate amounts of oil rather than overdoing it as is common in most Chinese takeaways.
Did you know that carb just does not mix well with protein? Another reason why it is better to make your own healthy burgers.
Be prepared by meal prepping
Just as you want to take a slow and steady approach you may also want to keep it simple. It is easy to make quick fast healthy options. Initially if you are not used to cooking make simple meals so that you don’t fall off the wagon. One of the reason why it is easy to be addicted to junk food is because of how they are already conveniently prepared for us.
One approach is to use meal prepping and planning your meals. Once the plan is ready set about to prep food to make it convenient.
Meal and food preps are a great way to stay on track when eating healthier and can also be done on a budget.
Meal prepping is not simply a new fad, it’s a life saver. Preparing meals can take the headache and strain out of constantly cooking. You can make a two day meal by cooking chicken with various vegetables and using the leftover chicken to store and in the refrigerator with a salad mix.
This is a healthy way to avoid getting sidetracked and falling into the trap of eating unhealthy foods.
Healthier ready made meals
Whilst ready made meals has it’s own fair set of problems such as the plastic packaging which once broken down can cause problems with hormones, it is better to opt for the healthier versions than their junky counterpart. Many salads are available with nutritional wholefoods, try to avoid processed meals as much as possible.
Save more by eating healthier
One of the greatest illusion is that junk food is cheap, the truth is it is cheap but only at the expense of your health. By investing money on junk food you are not only reducing your life span but the quality of your life. Junk food costs a hefty amount when you think about all the ingredients you could have purchased with the same amount.
Junk food is devoid of nutrients and you are paying a hefty price for it by compromising your health. Junk food is often processed meat that has proven to be one of the major causes of bowel cancer as well the addition of unnatural ingredients.
Keep a health food diary
Keep a food diary, it's easy to take snaps of your meals if you don't have time to write. Use this to keep track of how you are eating and let it be a motivating guide as you make the changes in your diet.
Read our article on junk food vs real food where you can get comparisons between the two and just how much money you are really wasting on junk food and how much you save by eating real food.