It is believed that the urge to consume unhealthy foods dates back to when our ancestors roamed the earth. Scientists have revealed that foods high in fat and sugar were attractive to early humans and needed to be taken advantage of if they become available. As a result, these foods became more desirable in order to survive. This explains why millions of people worldwide are struggling with sugar and junk food cravings. Must of us know that we should cut down. We often talk about starting off the new year with a healthy diet. We even go as far as emptying out our cupboards, but then something stressful comes up and we're back eating unhealthy foods that make us feel better. This can trap you in a vicious cycle of unhealthy eating. The good news is that there are many things that we can do that will teach us how to cut out junk food from our lives.
Don't buy it
The first thing we can do to teach us how to cut out junk food and start replacing unhealthy food is to stop buying it! When we resist the urge to fill our shopping baskets with junk food we take away the temptation. By simply deciding not to buy junk food we force ourselves to buy healthy food as a replacement.
Drink more water
The act of drinking more water has been proven to help reduce feelings of hunger. The less hungry we feel the less likely it is that we're snack on unhealthy foods.
Eat more protein and fibre
Consuming more protein and fibre have also been proven to keep you full for longer. Feeling full up will stop us from overeating.
Identify environmental factors that trigger the urges
If you always feel like eating sweet things when you watch Netflix prepare for that. Get a piece of fruit ready to nibble on before the film starts.
Clear your shelves
Clearing our shelves of junk food is one of the best ways to avoid junk food. This will help to ensure that we don't fall back into old eating habits.
Become more aware of how foods make you feel
Check out this Food Fact Sheet created by BDA dieticians which explains how people feel after eating different foods.
Plan all your meals in advance
The act of planning our meals in advance will help us to stay focused and disciplined. We're much more likely to stick to eating healthy foods that we've planned in advance. We often eat junk food when we have nothing else to eat.
Avoid becoming really really hungry
By stopping ourselves from getting really hungry we're much less likely to reach for surgery foods that give us an instant sugar hit. The trick is to consume healthy foods throughout the day that keep our energy levels consistent.
Allow yourself a treat once per week
Research has shown that we are less likely to binge on sugary foods if we allow ourselves the occasional treat. Trying to avoid junk food for prolonged periods of time isn't natural and can often lead to relapses.
Manage your stress
Managing our stress is another one of the best ways to avoid junk food. When we control our stress better we are less likely to consume unhealthy foods that we consume to make us feel better in the moment. It has been proven that we're much more likely to reach for junk food during times of unhappiness or stress.
Get enough sleep
Our bodies and minds are more prone to stress when we are tired. Research has shown that people who under sleep consume far more calories when compared to people who get the recommended 8 hours each night.
Think differently about junk food
A 2013 study showed that when people were trained to look at junk food in a negative light, desire for it lessened.
Smell your food
Studies conducted by market research found that participants that smelled junk food for 2 minutes were less likely to purchase it and they were more likely to start replacing unhealthy food. The same experiment was carried out with healthy food with results revealing that many more people choose to purchase healthier food. It is believed that smells produced from delicious foods trigger cravings which actually diminish after a couple of minutes. scents related to food satisfy the reward circuitry in the brain, which in turn reduces the urge for actual consumption of indulgent foods.
Find new hobbies that avoid boredom
When we take the time to learn new fun habits you effectively lessen the free time that we have. This can be a great way of stopping yourself from eating junk food consumed through boredom.
We hope that the above points will help you to learn how to cut out junk food. Consider all of the above points the best ways to avoid junk food. Please get in contact with us if you need more ways to start replacing unhealthy food.