How to avoid the junk food trap

Avoid the junk food trap and overcome unhealthy-food cravings for good. 

Junk food is unhealthy. We all know it but few of us can resist it. We can’t be blamed, though. From studies by McGill University (published in the journal Psychological Science) to food scientist Steven Witherly, science tells us that we are wired to crave junk food. All it takes is the perfect salt, fat and sugar rush to trigger the excitement level in your brain, and you’ll go running back for more.

But all is not lost. Research has also shown that the less junk food you eat, the less you crave it. Read on to find out what you can do to steer clear of the junk food trap and resist your urge to reach out for that bag of potato chips.

Make time to eat

Make an effort to get up half an hour earlier to pack a healthy lunch. (Picture repost from Tidymom.net)

When you race against time, you tend to grab the quickest meal possible, and that usually spells junk food. When you set aside time to eat, you are allowing yourself adequate time to make a conscientious decision to sit down with real food. If having a decent meal in between work meetings is a problem for you, deem a quick drive to that fast food joint unnecessary by making an effort to get up half an hour earlier to pack a healthy lunch, or pack it the night before.

Stock up only on the good stuff

Have a kitchen clear-out and get rid of all those packets of temptation that ‘call’ you when you’re feeling peckish. But there’s no need to cut snacks out of your life completely, just substitute them with healthy snacks. Experiment with different healthy food variations to replicate the taste and sensation of specific junk foods. For instance, instead of nachos dipped in cheese, try baked pita chips dipped in hummus.

Here are 11 foods you’ll want out of your kitchen ASAP, along with healthy replacements that taste just as good.

Have a restful sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep does more than curbing your junk food craving. (Picture repost from Instagram user Michelematuro)

Not having enough sleep can cause anxiety and fatigue, forcing you to give in to the temptation and pig out for energy. The more restless and tired we become, the more we struggle to practise self-control and make rational decisions. Furthermore, getting a good night’s sleep also does more than curbing your junk food craving — it keeps you refreshed, alert and more productive throughout the day. Try these five ways to help you achieve better sleep.

Picture the aftermath of your junk food binge

Have you ever felt a pinch of regret after a junk food extravaganza? That’s right. Visualising how awful you’ll feel after binging may psychologically put you off junk food snacking. Instead of mentally shaming and feeling bad about yourself, the key objective is to help you make responsible choices. Likewise, think about the positive impact sans junk food binge will bring you. You’ll be reaping these healthy benefits in no time.

Share with us by commenting below: what kind of junk food do you find it hard to resist?

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