Whether you are trying to lose weight or simply maintain a healthy lifestyle, on of the biggest challenges you are likely to face is staying away from junk food. If you’re getting older and exercising less than you used to, the high calories and sugar content of junk food may be a major contributing factor behind your expanding waistline.
It’s not just the fact that many such foods are undeniably delicious – it’s also the fact that with the busy lifestyles many of us now lead – even as we approach retirement thanks to new commitments such as grandchildren – the huge convenience such foods provide means we often allow ourselves to indulge simply because we find ourselves lacking the time to choose healthier alternatives.
Identify your triggers
Part of the process of learning to cut down on junk foods will involve working out the times and places where you are most likely to indulge. If you always grab a muffin on your way to work because you don’t have time to make yourself a healthier breakfast, try getting up a little earlier. By eating something that contains slow-release carbohydrates, you are less likely to be hit by a late-morning craving and will find it far easier to bypass the muffin counter on your way to the office.
It may also be that your morning muffin has become something of a habit because you always pass the store on the way to work. Try taking a different route to see if that makes it a little easier for you to go without your morning treat. You could also try replacing the unhealthy treat with a healthier one, such as a piece of fruit.
Scientists have also discovered that if you manage to resist your craving one time, doing so the next time becomes a little easier. This is because such cravings are an automatic response and become less powerful over time. If you can resist a craving for 10 minutes, you may find it has passed completely.
Plan out your meals in advance
Take some time at the beginning of each week to plan out what you are going to eat for each meal and make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. Doing so means you will waste much less time wondering what to cook and therefore won’t have to wait so long before you get to eat. This in turn will mean you are less subjected to extreme cravings and are therefore less likely to turn to the nearest fast food outlet.
Blame the food
It might bring you some comfort to know that one reason you struggle to stop eating junk food is that they trigger responses in the brain that can be similar to those using substances such as tobacco or alcohol. If you find yourself craving a sweet treat at the end of your morning coffee break, you are experiencing the same kind of triggers as a smoker who finds himself craving a cigarette at the end of the meal. Also, you will get bored if you consume same kind of food daily.
Avoid Soft Drinks
If you are fond to eat junk food, it is usually you drink soft drinks which has high volume of sugar and artificial flavoring. Which are harmful for health. To omit this habit, changing your taste to healthy drinks such as lemon soda, shakes, juice or coffee too. Learn how to make a better and healthy coffee so you can stop coffee tasting bitter and less-tasty.
Don’t blame your personality
Many people believe that there are some individuals who are predisposed towards addictive behavior and that this can be seen in many aspects of their lives, such as their desire for junk food. Such theories have since been disproved. This means if you are struggling to reduce the amount of junk food that you consume but you are also struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, the two are unlikely to be connected.
For the former, you simply need to find effective ways to encourage yourself to choose alternatives but with the latter you will need the sort of professional help you can find in some of the leading California alcohol treatment centers.
Learn to cook
If you think you don’t have time to cook better, it may actually be the case that you simply don’t have the skills necessary to enable you to prepare quick, healthy meals. Taking a few cooking lessons or even watching a few demonstrations on YouTube or other social media channels can be a great way of getting so new ideas that you can then apply in every day life.
You might also want to explore using one of the many services that deliver fresh ingredients, all measured out in the right quantities, along with full instructions, to enable to you make your own meals from scratch with the minimum of fuss.
You can choose from a selection of items each day and know that you’ll never have to worry about running out to the shop to pick up vital ingredient because you didn’t realize it was on the menu. While cooking such meals alone can be fun, you can also involve other members of the family so that your partner or children can learn valuable skills that will be of benefit to them for many years to come.
The healthiest foods are those which have been subjected to the least amount of processing. One way to ensure you limit your exposure to junk fare is to practice what is known as the five-ingredient rule. This involves looking at the label of any item you which to buy and seeing if it contains more than five ingredients.
For those items that have more than five ingredients, either don’t buy them or treat them as an occasional treat rather than part of a staple meal. Taking the time to look at the labels for everything you purchase can boost your level of knowledge about the good you eat and may surprise you in terms of just how many of the foodstuffs you love are also packed with undesirables.
Disturbing facts such as the grill marks on frozen chick breasts being made by machine rather than by heat may also make it easier for you to resist certain convenience foods and choose home-made options instead.
Another easy way to boost the number of healthy choices you make while out shopping is to purchase foods in multiple colors. According to a study carried out by researchers from Cornell University in 2012, the optimum number of food colors on a plate that people prefer is three. The more different colors of food you consume, the broader the range of nutrients, textures and flavors you will be able to enjoy.