Ask Away...: 10 Ways to Avoid Junk Food

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

10 Ways to Avoid Junk Food








The older you get, the more of an enemy junk food becomes.  And the more of an enemy it becomes, the more you crave it.  I know there's probably some scientific explanation for why that is but for now, I don't want to focus on that.  Instead, I want to share some tips to help you stop eating junk food and to learn to avoid it. 


Junk food isn't just candy and cookies.  It can be whatever you need to avoid.  For me, it's stuff with added sugars, lots of carbs, and pretty much anything processed.   




1.DON'T BUY IT
I know I know, it's easier said than done.  But think about it, junk food gets in your house BECAUSE you let it.  So the first place to start is at the grocery store.  Stick to a list and DON'T add junk food to the list.  Resist the temptation in the aisles.  Don't even put your hand on anything because once you touch that box of cookies, it's going to be much harder to put it back on the shelf.  Resist Resist Resist.    
 

2. GET RID OF WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE
This is actually kind of liberating.   Sure the common sense part of my brain tries to say "Don't throw that away because you spent money on it!" but in order to start fresh, you need to not have any junk food in your home.  It actually does feel good to slam dunk those packaged snacks into the can.


3. CHOOSE HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES
Start thinking of heathy alternatives to junk food and make it a part of your routine.  Instead of a sugary ice cream cone for dessert, choose some fruit.  Instead of regular potato chips, opt for sweet potato chips.  You have to replace your bad choices with good ones.


4. STAY BUSY AND ACTIVE
When those cravings hit you, get up.   Go dust a bedroom, clean the kitchen counters, or tidy your vanity.  If you don't take action, the cravings will start to consume your brain.  Whenever I sit in front of the TV I automatically think "Hm, what should I eat?" so I began to pick up my ipad and play a game on it.  The cravings have passed and now I can beat them simply by not even allowing them into my brain.

5. REMEMBER HOW THEY MAKE YOU FEEL
This is a very helpful tip because once I started doing it, I actually wanted to avoid junk food.   I paid attention to what it did to me.  Carbs made me get sleepy and added sugars made me feel all wound up and then crash shortly after.  So now when a coworker brings in a box of donuts, all I see is "I'll be tired the rest of the day" and it makes me WANT to say no.  If you end up on the toilet right after you eat greasy pizza, remember that next time you go to reach for the phone to order.

6. TELL EVERYONE AROUND YOU
Let your friends, family, spouse, and coworkers know that you are trying your best to avoid junk food.   This helps hold you accountable.  People may stop telling you when there's junk food in the break room.  Your spouse can call you out when you try to eat junk food.  You'll think twice about eating a bag of chips at your desk because you know others can see and scold you.

7. AVOID AVOID AVOID
Avoid junk food at all costs.  Skip those aisles in the grocery store, don't look at what's in the vending machines, and turn right past magazine advertisements for snacks. 


8. LUNCH AND SNACKS
If you work outside of your home, come prepared.  Pack a healthy lunch and include some snacks for the morning and afternoon.  If you are already prepared, you won't need to sneak off to the vending machine when you need some fuel after lunch. 

9. PLAN WHAT YOU EAT
I don't just mean meal planning.  I mean make sure that food is always a priority.  If you have errands to run on a Saturday, before you get in your car ask yourself if you might still be running around at lunch time.  If so, either adjust your timing so you can be home to make healthy choices for lunch, or bring along a (healthy) granola bar to hold you over.  Impulses get the best of you when you're not in control.  



10. PAY ATTENTION TO THE GUILT
So you totally cheated and ate a bag of potato chips.  It's okay.  Just learn from it.   Pay attention to how crappy you feel and how frustrated you are with yourself.  You won't want to feel that way again so make sure you acknowledge that you screwed up and vow to not do it again.

What tips do you have for avoiding junk food?  


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