Junk food is rather delicious, which is why we eat it. So how to stop eating junk food? We compiled a list of tips on how to stop eating junk food to help you get over your cravings and maintain a healthier lifestyle. As it turns out, the brain is responsible for the cravings you get, which is exactly why training your brain will help you get over the temptation.
11 Tips on Killing Your Junk Food Cravings
Know the triggers
Some foods will send you down a more slippery slope of craving than other foods. If you are one of the people who get on this kind of slope, stop buying the trigger foods and keep them around the house. It’s less likely that you’ll get fully clothed in the middle of the night and go to buy pretzels than just giving up if you don’t have them at hand.
Plan your day
Let’s face it - most of the cravings appear because you are not eating when you should. When your blood sugar drops, the brain, the major consumer of glucose, will blackmail you into giving it some chocolate. So try to plan your day in advance and pay more attention to timing the moments of your meals such that they cover the entire day and give you a constant output of energy. This can easily eliminate the munchies that hit when you’re low on energy.
Cheat on purpose
A full stop on your dietary habits can make you break down after a very short time. Think that you are on a long journey and give yourself time to quit. Motivate yourself by allowing a few cheat meals every month. Don’t feel guilty about it, because this will only put more stress on you. Also, cheat when you really need it or according to a program. Never offer it to yourself as a reward!
Count the calories
This is a classic for those who have ever been on a diet. You already know that you need to count the calories, so we’ll not go into much detail with this one. Just one thing worth mentioning, that processed foods and cooked foods let you absorb more calories in one serving than raw foods. While you can’t eat raw chicken, you should still know that if you did, you would take less calories from the same portion when it is raw than when it is cooked.
Count the macros
This is our favorite tip on how to stop eating junk food. The macros are the major nutritional food groups contributing to your overall health. Counting them is even more important than just counting calories because 500 calories from chocolate will not build muscle and burn fat like 500 calories from broccoli, white meat, and celery. Divide your diet into 40% proteins, 30% carbs and 20% good fats.
Improve your sleep
The stress hormones that your body produces in large quantities when you are tired are known to trigger cravings and favor weight gain, especially around the waist. Make a sleep schedule and stick to it, particularly if you know you suffer from night time cravings. Those are usually caused by fatigue.
Avoid simple carbs
Simple carbs such as those you get when eating pizza will trigger a chain reaction. First, your organism produces a high dose of insulin, which is then compensated for by a large dose of adrenalin. The adrenalin is responsible for after lunch palpitations and causes your glycemic index to drop again, which will make you hungry again. Yes, after you already eaten and when you should feel full. So opt for slower acting foods and complex carbs such as those in brown rice and whole wheat.
Use nutritional supplements
Did you know that a lack of bio available chromium can trigger uncannily intense cravings for sweets? If your reason to look up how to stop eating junk food tips is a strong craving for sweets like chocolate, the reason can be a low chromium level. You can get more of it from yellow foods such as peppers or you can choose to control your intake level by buying it in the pharmacy or natural supplement shops.
Read the label
If you are trying to improve your diet, sometimes you just need to start with avoiding the processed foods. Check the labels of the foods you buy and give up those that have too many ingredients. Here we don’t mean actual food ingredients such as those composing a home-made cake, but strange names of chemical compounds and hydrogenated oils. Also never eat butter replacements such as margarine. Its first use was to fat-up turkeys!
Make it tasty
The taste of junk foods is the main reason that makes people keep eating them. Invest more time in your dieting habits by searching for nutritious, healthy recipes that also taste great. This will eliminate a major stress factor that makes you keep going back to your favorite hamburger diner.
As with everything, moderation is important. Avoiding stressing sudden changes will help you stick with your goals. Therefore, try to quit slowly. During the first week, cut down the intake of simple carbs, but make the change slowly, through a period of at least four weeks. Only when you feel well with it, start eliminating the refined sugars, and so on. This will help your organism adjust to the new conditions and reduce or stop the cravings.