How to Give Up Junk Food

Junk food is everywhere, isn't it? It's so instantly accessible, and it tastes so good, that it can be hard to resist when those hunger pangs strike. But the reason it is called "junk" is that it only fills up the stomach without offering the body any of the real nutrition it needs. Food should be nourishing fuel for our work and play. For this, we need more than just stuff to stuff into our mouths.

One of the easiest to grab yet emptiest foods we can eat are potato chips. They seem slightly less junky than, say, candy, because they are not sweet. Yet there is precious little to contribute to your diet other than fat. But because of the fat, and because they are so easy to eat, they do offer a measure of satisfaction. A person almost feels like they have had a meal after eating a bag of chips. Slosh them down with a cola, and you'll get your sugar, too.

The way to beat the junk food habit is three-fold. Plan ahead, make changes one at a time, and get a vision for what you want to accomplish. Let's look at each of these components individually.

First, making any sort of dietary changes always requires planning. If you don't change your habits you'll keep doing what you've been doing, right? You need to change your habits. Unfortunately, there is usually more involved than just grabbing healthy food in the quick mart or ordering the healthy option from the fast food menu. For one thing, many quick marts honestly don't offer any healthy options! If you can find an apple, you're lucky.

Fast food menus have started including salads and grilled chicken sandwiches, so if you must eat at one of these establishments, it's just a matter of having the will power to choose wisely. Don't forget to ask them to leave off the fatty dressings and cheese if you are restricting fat in your diet. One problem with this approach, however, is that the healthy options tend to be somewhat expensive.

A better option is to plan your meals. Get some whole wheat bread, low fat turkey lunch meat, and whatever else you like on a sandwich, and start brown bagging it.

Second, don't expect to change all your bad food habits overnight. One thing that helps a lot of people is to let yourself have one day a week when you can eat all the junk you want, but toe the line the rest of the time. Another idea is to choose the worst thing, such as sugary sodas, and give them up first. When that is easy for you, improve some other choices.

Finally, get a vision. Is there someone you admire who takes good care of his or her health? Imagine that they are watching you when you pick out your groceries or order in a restaurant. Also, imagine how great you will feel (and look!) when you have been eating healthier foods for a few months. You want to make that vision a reality, don't you? Put those powers of imagination to work for you in the fight against junk food.

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About The Author, Terence Young
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