Just as the name suggests junk food is junk. Junk food is full of calories that do absolutely nothing for your body. These are called empty calories because they have no or very little nutritional value. The truth is that most of these calories come from sugar and fats and they will do nothing but increase weight and body fat.
Junk food can also cause you to retain water which will make you feel bloated and sluggish. This causes you to feel tired instead of having the energy to get up and move around. The long term effects of eating junk food can be extreme from causing you to be overweight to causing the clogging of arteries that leads to heart attack.
Why do people love junk food? The truth is that our brains have very positive reactions to fatty and sugary foods. It induces “feel good” hormones in the brain that actually mimic the effects of powerful addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin. It is no wonder that we need them.
How many people have cravings for spinach? But, cravings for ice cream, chips, soda and cookies is a whole other matter. In order to overcome these perilous food addictions, you must retrain your body, change old habits and change tastes. It takes time and effort, but, it can be done.
For you start the process to remove junk food from your diet, its necessary initially common sense. Many people say that it is cheaper to eat junk food than it is to eat healthy food. Or they use the excuse that they just don’t like the way healthy food tastes.
First you will have to reprogram your taste buds to get used to eating healthy foods. You have been eating junk food all of your life, this is what your body is used to and what it will crave but it is up to you to retrain your body and your mind to crave healthy foods.
It is not cheaper to eat junk food! Just a example: Potato Chips X Oranges
A bag of potato chips costs about $3.99, this will usually last a family of four one day, if that long. Now let’s look at a bag of oranges. One bag of oranges costs about $4 on average. When you buy a bag of oranges you will get 8-10 oranges. This can make as many as 16 snacks which can last up to four days for a family of four.
Now you have to look at which you would rather your family or yourself eat. Potato chips are loaded with fat, salt and a lot of calories. 1 ounce of Lays plain chips has 160 calories, 1 grams of fat and 170 grams of sodium (7% of daily allowance). An orange has 0 fat, 0 salt and only 45 calories. Plus, it’s loaded with essential nutrients, like vitamin C (85% of the daily recommended allowance), plus potassium and fiber.
When eating a bag of potato chips you may be watching television, letting all of that fat attach itself to your body, but, when you eat that orange, you are energized simply by the smell of it. And, this is just one example of how junk food compares to healthier options.
It may take some planning when you are removing junk food from your diet, but, it is possible to eat healthy on the same budget you have right now. When you remove junk food from your diet you will find that you suffer from cravings.
Here are a few substitutions you can use to get past the cravings:
- A square of dark chocolate instead of a chocolate candy bar
- Unsalted pretzels or no butter popcorn instead of chips
- Baked vegetable strips instead of chips
- Raw nuts instead of chips for a crunchy snack
- Plain yogurt with fruit, honey, or nuts instead of ice cream
- Flavored sparkling water instead of soda
- Fresh fruit instead of cake and cookies
- Raisins instead of candy
- Cherries instead of candy
Substituting in Recipes
There are also ways that you can alter your favorite recipes to create a healthier version. For example instead of using butter in your cakes and cookies you can create a healthier version by substituting the butter with apple sauce.
You can also use non-fat plain yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise. If you are a real lover of mayonnaise, than try replacing it with avocado on your sandwiches. It has the same texture and you never miss the empty calories of the mayonnaise.
These are just a few things that you can do to remove the junk food from your diet. There are so many other options that you can do, but, rest assured it is possible to remove the junk food from your diet and replace it with much healthier alternatives. This will ensure your good health and the health of your family.