From that first taste of junk food as a child, we begin a love/hate relationship with all things sugary, salty, starchy, and sour. We become addicted to the extreme flavors.
But if you’re addicted… then is it even possible to stop eating junk food? ABSOLUTELY!
Years ago, before I had children, I would have rolled my eyes at someone who suggested that you could become “addicted” to junk food. But then along came Aiden.
My son, Aiden, has a natural inclination towards all things sugary and starchy. I remember the first time I caught him in his bedroom (with his twin brother) eating up all of the candies from the reward jar.
Like an addict, he sneaks food to his bedroom to binge on sugary treats. He asks for snacks constantly and melts down when the answer is no.
At 5 years old – I know this is a battle I have to help him fight. Which means I had to start unpacking my OWN issues with junk food.
Since I don't have a grown up with the power to help curb my addiction. I have had to put alot of work and effort into figuring out how to stop eating junk food
Junk food is… well…. junk. In fact, “junk” food is quite literally garbage that your body will flush as waste or store as fat. The only benefit of eating junk food is the momentary pleasure you receive from the actual act of eating.
Like an addict, over time, we will start eating junk more often, so we can repeatedly experience that short burst of pleasure that comes from the experience.
Since you’re reading this post, I assume that, at very least, you are aware that you need to stop eating junk food. But you need some easy – actionable tips to help you overcome your “addiction”.
And because you’re already fighting your cravings – you need these steps to be simple, easy, and completely doable, right? Well that’s EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE FOR YOU TODAY!
What does starting a hobby have to do with quitting your junk food habit? If you’ve been eating junk food regularly for years, then – like anything else – it has become a habit.
In order to break that habit- fill your time with something else. This will not only avoid boredom eating but it will also give your brain something positive and exciting to focus on and will give you that same rush of enjoyment that you would normally have gotten from eating junk.
(Bonus points if it's an active hobby that forces you to exercise!)
People who preach self-control to an addict are most likely wasting everyone’s time. The truth about a junk food addiction/habit is that until you’ve broken your habit, you won’t be able to easily control your choices. Which is why trying to avoid your favorite foods is a power struggle you will likely lose.
Don’t get me wrong – some people will be able to “quit cold turkey” but most of us need to ween ourselves away. Instead of completely quitting on your favorite foods – look for versions that you CAN eat without breaking your diet. (This works especially well if you are counting calories.)
For me – Switching to low calorie bread and Turkey pepperoni made it possible for me to continue eating pepperoni sandwiches without breaking the calorie bank. (I also learned to make crustless pizza with low calorie cheese.. so yummy.)
If you’ve ever found yourself craving pizza after the Pizza Hut commercial – then you know what I’m talking about. Once you allow yourself to start craving something, you are so much more likely to give in to the temptation.
Avoiding that temptation at all costs is the key. When I decided to start watching my food intake, I knew I needed to avoid triggers at all costs.
Fortunately, we switched away from cable years ago.
Netflix is already a no commercials streaming platform, but we also use HULU for more current episodes. So, we decided to pay a few extra dollars per month to switch up to the no commercials plan.
If you’ve been around the blog, then you know that I’m a huge advocate for online shopping. In my post about living on one income, I explain the financial benefits of online shopping.
But buying your food online also has health benefits. For starters, it’s another easy way to avoid temptation because you’re specifically searching for the items on your list rather than browsing aisles filled with junk food.
Also, when you do your grocery shopping online, you can take really take your time to find the right foods for your diet. Instead of hurrying through a busy store, you can sit at your kitchen table and work through weekly your meal plan.
What’s even more exciting is that you can EASILY repeat your order. That means next time you go grocery shopping – staying healthy could be as simple as a few clicks!
I think we are all pretty well aware that meal planning is a key to successful healthy eating. I use the meal planning section of the “Whole Life Planner” to plan my meals. (You can get this Planner for $9 with code Whole9.)
But there is one MAJOR THING I do differently when meal planning that helps me avoid temptation.
I don’t just plan what to eat. I plan when to eat.
Planning when to eat has been absolutely key for me while dieting. Somedays (or weeks rather) – I’m just really hungry (and all the ladies said amen.)
On a week like that, dieting can feel brutal. If I know I’m having a snack at 10 am… but I’m craving junk food at 9:15, I can easily defeat that temptation by putting things in perspective.
I’ve literally whispered to myself – “You are not going to let the next 45 minutes defeat you.” When you put it in perspective – you realize that 45 minutes is nothing. It’s one episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Distract yourself and avoid defeat at all costs.
I hope you found these tips helpful! Do you have any suggestions for how to stop eating junk food?
Share them in the comments below.
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