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Image Credit: this lucid moment

Article by Jason

You know you need to do it… you know you need to quit eating crap.

It wasn’t easy for me either, but I’ve done it. In fact, I went for an entire year of my life without eating any sugar at all and almost no fast-food junk. You can do it too, but just like anything in life that’s worth your effort — there will be challenges.

If you know the challenges ahead of time and what the rewards are, you’ll be able to handle it. We’ll talk more about the specifics of how to quit junk food another day (Done! Click here to read).

How it happened: Sometime in mid-January, one of my good friends in college and I were talking about all the junk food that’s making everybody so fat. My friend mentioned that he and another friend had once quit junk food for 3 months because of a bet they made.

At first, I thought that sounded so crazy. Why would anyone avoid all sweets for that long? We finished our conversation and that was it… we never made a goal or a bet to quit eating junk food.

But the next time I saw junk food, I just tried to resist it. I don’t know why, but I just wanted to see if I could do it. After 3 weeks of resisting just for the hell of it, I realized I had practically quit without meaning to do it. I talked to my friend a few weeks later and he told me he was doing the same thing. Weird.

The Challenges: The first few weeks were the worst. All my favorite deserts were everywhere around me. This is just a simple law of nature — if you really want to do something great, you must be challenged.

My college professors had all made rules that if anybody’s cell phone rang during class, that person had to bring doughnuts for the entire class the next day. A lot of cell phones rang that week, and doughnuts were put in front of me every day. It was really tough to resist.

Withdrawals: Sugar and sweets have addictive properties. If you’ve seen the movie Super Size Me, you’ll remember that the main character became addicted to McDonald’s after he started eating it every day. Quitting junk food and soda will bring withdrawal pains and your body will feel like complete crap when you stop giving it sugar and the junk it’s used to getting. This will go away after a while though.

People will think you’re stupid: There’s no reason to tell people that you are trying to eat better. I learned this lesson during the first six months. Guys usually didn’t seem to care, but I found that girls were pretty fast to tell me that quitting junk food is stupid.

At first, I thought I had just talked to a few people with really negative attitudes. I later came to realize that many people don’t appreciate the fact that you are trying to become better at something they are weak at. I’m not sure why girls reacted more negatively than guys, but I learned to just tell people that I was already full and couldn’t eat desert. There was no sense in trying to explain.

Do what you have to do, and don’t expect people to understand.

The Benefits:

Increased Sensitivity: After a certain period of time, I noticed just how strong sugar really is. After my full year without any sugar products, I found that if I did try to eat any junk food, I felt affected by it. It made me feel sick to my stomach if I ate anything more than just a small amount.

Cravings Disappeared: At first, resisting the doughnuts / cookies and soda was tough. But after a period of a couple months with nothing but good food, I simply didn’t need it any more. Sure, if I were to eat it, it still tasted good, but the cravings and the need for those foods was gone.

I used to consider waffles loaded with syrup a decent breakfast, but I just can’t consider those types of things as food anymore. Unless I have some decent nourishment, I really don’t feel like I am getting fed.

Look better and feel better: This is what it’s all about in the end. Quitting junk food isn’t about just trying to discipline yourself to see how tough you are. You begin to see the results, and you can really feel the results.

Most people think it’s stupid to deny yourself of the pleasures in life just so that you can look a certain way. They think it’s a vain thing to do.

I hate it when people say that trying to look better is vain. They believe that their physical condition is separate from the person inside of them, but they are wrong. Being out of shape comes from the fact that they’re not taking care of themselves.

They are entitled to do whatever they want with their health, but trying to eat good food is not equal to denying yourself of the pleasures of life. You see, these people have a fundamental misunderstanding of what the true pleasures of life are.

The true pleasure of life is not the way a cookie tastes. It is becoming stronger and enjoying all of the greater pleasures that come along with a little self control. It is the feeling that comes when you accomplish something difficult and see the results.

They will never understand this because they believe that true pleasure is doing whatever is easiest in life. Let them believe whatever they want to, because they will only feel threatened by your success.

Note: I’m not a health-food Nazi. I ate absolutely no sweets for a full year in college. I do eat them from time to time now (not very often though) and in small amounts. Moderation is the key.

*Update* While it should be obvious from reading the article, I’ll clarify that quitting sugar refers to refined sugars, not the naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and other natural foods.

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77 Responses to “A Year Without Junk Food”

  1. I really like your view on fitness (and on the world in general).

    I am also (almost) laying off the sweets and fast-food, and have gone without them for several months now. Occasionally, I do enjoy a serving of popcorn, or something similar, and instead of feeling guilt like lots of people do, I just feel really good because I’m treating myself (for all my hard work).

    It’s great, and I really think that it’s the only way to go. It shouldn’t be a struggle to live healthy, it should be a treat, a privelege!

    Really nice post by the way.

    Alex

  2. Alex- Best of luck with that, and I’ve really found that it only gets easier with time. Cravings for most junk food have almost totally disappeared for me, and now that you’ve been laying off for several months (and congrats on that) they should be going away for you as well.

    Honestly though, when I am in a place that has only junk to eat, it’s just as hard (maybe harder) to go back and eat that stuff as it was to quit in the first place.

  3. Wow Jason, I can’t believe you’ve gone a year without any sugar! That my friend is highly commendable! Like you, I stay very conscious of what I eat as well. I hardly ever eat any sweets except for an occasional dessert, but I can’t even compare to a year long abstinence!

    In relation to this article I must add that I have managed to abstain from alcohol completely for 6 months now. I use to binge on the beer on weekends and realized after a while that it was a serious problem and I had to stop.

    So here I am now 6 months later completely clean and training hard! I also managed to put down drugs (5 years clean now) and ciggaretes (3 1/2 years clean) all thanks to lifting!

    Goes to show that negatives can be turned into positives and I don’t care what anyone says or thinks, fitness is the ultimate foundation to live by. So right on Jason, stay strong and healthy brother!

  4. Sean- That’s inspiring that you were able to get off of alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes. The addictive properties of those three combined is far and away much greater than the “addiction” to sugar, so congrats on doing something to overcome some tough addictions. These are the types of success stories that are a true inspiration — Keep it up!

  5. Just wanted to share a slightly different perspective… for some 30 years, I’ve been taking 8 spoons of sugar a day in tea and coffee.

    Cutting out sugar was clearly one of the least physically disruptive approaches of controlling my exploding waistline… but mentally, I didn’t know if I could do it.

    I ended up asking myself, why am I having the tea/coffee anyway?

    One answer was for the “pick-me-up”. OK, fine, so I’ll take 2 cups of coffee a day at work, but the sugar isn’t needed for the caffeine high. So I have that coffee black.

    But another answer is sometimes it’s a social thing – going out for a coffee. On these moments, I let myself experiment with exotic tea/coffee – and if it has sugar, no problems… it’s only once or twice a month anyway.

    I find that this little “reward” allows me to have a balanced outlook, and helps maintain the discipline when it comes to the daily caffeine dose.

    Like you said, “moderation is the key”

    All the best
    /Sifaan

  6. Sifaan- I like how you mentioned that you do it in social situations. In fact, I’ve written an article about how to quit junk food (or seriously decrease it) that I’ll be putting up in the next couple weeks, and that was a key thing for quitting. If you never buy it yourself, you’ll still have plenty in social situations, and that is a decent approach to keeping moderation in your life. Of course, that depends on how social you are ;)

  7. Hey Jay,
    What up buddy! I just read the article and loved it. Sounds like the conversations we used to have throughout our year of no sugar. ( FYI for anyone who is reading this — I am the college roommate) I makes me laugh just thinking about all those people who just could not understand why we would give up sugar for a year or even a month. I read a quote recently that explained exactly what we knew all along and what you tried to express in your article. It goes something like this: “those who have always yielded to temptation will never know the feeling of standing up to it and the satisfaction of resisting.”

  8. Evan- Surprised to see you here, thanks for stopping by. Always nice to have a good friend visit. The fact that you were there quitting with me made it much easier… and I’d recommend it to everybody else. Get a friend or family member on your side for support, especially the people that you eat with and cook with. Much better that way.

    I like the quote you wrote there. Very true on both a physical and spiritual level.

  9. Did you lose weight?

  10. Christy- No, I did not lose weight, I gained weight. Becoming stronger was my goal, but my abs became more visible.

    Weight loss isn’t a very good goal for most people because the true intention is to look and feel better. As you replace fat with muscle, your clothes will become looser and your body firmer, but your weight may not change (muscle weighs more). In fact, the needle on the weight scale might not turn at all, but the heads of the guys who see you probably will.

  11. I’ve been off all junk food and that includes all refined flour, sugar, processed foods and all artificial additives for 2 years. No caffeine, alcohol either.

    It’s a piece of cake. I am never tempted anymore.

    You’re right though, people assume you think you are better than them. It’s tough. I really don’t care what others eat, but if I go to someone’s house for dinner it isn’t always easy to explain why you won’t eat half of what they are serving.

    People seem to get mildly offended or think I’m some sort of nut.

    It is sometimes a hassle.

  12. Just reading this makes me feel that I can do it too, how inspiring.

    I quit soda easily but still have a habit with Coffee and cookies, (they just go together so well). It’s time I kicked those too. I dont really eat them because I’m so infatuated by how they taste, but rather because I get bored/tired at work and want a cheap boost.

    I think I came upon this article for a reason. It’s time to kick one more habit of mine.

  13. This describes what I went through on the master cleanse very closely. I worked in restaurants during that time and all the deserts killed me. It was worth it though because I realized how unhealthy I was before then. Check it out if you haven’t heard of it. I would recommend it to anyone who is willing to follow through for their health.

  14. Congrats to the lay-off!

    However, I get really upset when you know what the pleasures are! The are relative, of course! Its just like trying to prove me, an atheist, wrong:P Everyone has their own “pleasures of life”
    I try to eat good, and I work out, but I don’t claim that people who don’t are wrong. You deserve recognition for your abstinence, absolutely, but I just don’t think that you can claim that you have all the answers

  15. Albin- I see where you’re coming from, but the true pleasures of life are more than sensations that only last for a moment. Those sensations are great perks, but you can eat all the cookies in the world and sleep with all the most attractive people ever, but the joy doesn’t last past the moment. Lasting joys require sacrifice…

    The purpose here is not to judge others, but to avoid being judged by others. Allow them to believe as they will while still trying to not appear as if we think we are greater. We’re not greater; we’re just trying to become better versions of ourselves.

  16. It’s funny how once you’ve kicked the junk food habit properly, you just don’t desire those foods anymore. You can actually look forward to eating your fresh fruit and vegies and walk past the donuts without flinching.

    Mike

  17. I just wanted to say thats quite awesome to challenge your self like that. Its time to help more people realize that they can do it, and this article of yours was the perfect way. I have been “sugar free” for 10 years. No soda, no candy, very seldom ice cream and pastries ( I was pregnant last year, I woulda ate your face if you said no ice cream) and I think its a wonderful feeling to have your body free from the impurities that you can control.

  18. Wow, you guys are all awesome! Hubby and I had started a contest to cut the fat out, but this may be even better. I am diabetic, and about 20# overweight, as he is (overweight, not diabetic) , so we decided to go low fat, etc. He tends to eat more junk food than I, as he works outside, and these cold winter days in PA make him need energy. I, on the other hand, sit on my arse at work in an office setting, and hate it. I don’t eat a ton of junk food, but the pringles add up after a month; maybe 2 cans a month, and that alone is not great for my diabetes. So we are going to challenge each other on this, and see what our outcome is.
    Thanks for the info and all the comments.

  19. I’ve heard that caffeine is a major player in the diabetic realm. For me it’s easy to cut out and so are most meat products. I drink a lot of cheap beer and find that I feel pretty darn good when I add some nutritional yeast to my soups which I eat regularly. I must agree that the important thing is how you feel.
    I dehydrate nearly everything that I don’t eat and put it in various soups be it animal or vegetable matter. Any veggies I don’t eat, cooked or starting to rot ,get cleaned and dried. Being single I know that soups can be made in a coffee cup in the microwave in about 5 min + cool down. Eat frequently and small,small. It may be something that some folks may want to try. Eat vegetables, they can be filling foods. I also do not eat margarine, only unsalted butter(real). If I need salt I add sea salt. Cheese is not an option, it is truly a necessity(sparingly).
    I feel that any fast food that you make yourself is way healthier than M@#onalds or the King or the Bell. Check the net, theres some kickin recipes there …free.

  20. Baloney.. you know nothing about sugar. Sugar is everywhere… 90 percent of food you ate are converting into sugar.. a BIG DUH!!!

    bread, pasta, fruit, veg and everything.. You are fraud!! This is money-making info, selling your fraud to ignorants. Rip-off!!

  21. Sugar- Try reading the *Update* portion at the end of the article before you get all upset. As far as your claim that I am a fraud with money-making info, I haven’t made a single dollar off of this website as of the date of this comment.

    Try quitting processed and refined sugars as the article recommends. You’ll feel better, become healthier, and hopefully be a bit less hyperactive.

  22. Question for cribcat-why would you dehydrate rotting veggies? That is not healthy at all, in my opinion. What is the benefit of eating rotten vegetables etc? I think I am missing something here…..

    ALL products have some type of sugar. BUT what I, as a diabetic, have to watch, is CARBOHYDRATES, not sugar. For every 15 grams of carbs, I have to take one unit of insulin. The more insulin I have to take, the more weight I can gain..didn’t say I do gain it, but can. So if I can eat a low carb, veggy and protein type meal, 9 times out of 10, I don’t take much insulin at all, and my glucose readings are in the normal range 2 hours PPD. Usually 1 hour PPD.
    So my goal now is to cut all junk foods out, which I have now for 4 days straight, don’t miss anything either, didn’t eat too much junk food. I have eaten more healthy meals, and snacks, and am trying to drink more water. So far, since Sunday I have lost 2 pounds. I also don’t trust my scales 100%, so that is just a guesstimate.
    Cheers.

  23. RateMyLeftArm.com
    March 13th, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Is it legal in the US to not consume any junk food? I though we all had to pitch in a consume at least our body weight every year.

  24. Your friends made a BET that they couldn’t stay off crap food for three months?! And you thought that sounded IMPOSSIBLE? Wow, you guys have some serious, serious issues to be addressed here. If you consider that a hard thing to do, you are in need of professional help. I’m not kidding. I don’t even keep sugar at home, and the closest thing I come to sweets is perhaps a lump of sugar in my coffee every once in a while if I’m at a café, and even then only if I really feel like it. Last time I visited a McDonalds was about eight months ago when we were driving for a long stretch and that was all the “food” we could find along the way. And I haven’t placed any bets, it’s just obvious to anyone in their right minds that that kind of food chews at your organs like cancer. I might order a pizza occasionally, perhaps once a month or so, and even then I make sure to try and keep the calories down.. None of my friends, or any random stranger I’d meet out on the street for that matter, would consider my behavior even remotely strange, and I wouldn’t be even a little surprised if a majority of them did pretty much the same thing. And we are NOT some kind of fanatical puritans, we drink and eat and treat ourselves to stuff, but not to the point of where it seems like an insurmountable task to go without the junk for a few WEEKS.. That’s just insane. I StumbledUpon this page looking for sites that would give me tips on improving health and fitness. I don’t feel like I need to worry anymore, you people have far, far worse problems.

  25. Moax- Pretty entertaining to read your take on the article, I gotta say. Keep in mind, however, that those feelings– thinking sweets are so hard to quit– those feelings were before my conversion to eating healthy food. The changes I made then have been kept for 4 years strong, except that I do eat some “cheats” on occasion and conservatively.

    And not to discount your comment, but there are people out there who struggle. You’re strong. Not everybody has become strong yet, but everybody can become strong. We must encourage those who need the help to change life-long habits.

  26. Dear Lori #23 I do not eat rotting vegetables. If you have a few rotting potatoes do you throw out the entire ten Lbs?

  27. Cribcat wrote, and I am quoting: “Any veggies I don’t eat, cooked or starting to rot ,get cleaned and dried.”
    Cribcat, this is what I was referring to, that you posted. Any veggies starting to rot, to me, is already rotten, and it gets tossed, no if’s, and’s, or but’s in my house. When in doubt, throw it out. I just would not want to risk me, oir anyone else, you incliued, getting sick from a rotting veggie. It just isn’t worth the risk.

  28. Hi Jason. I just wanted to say good work on completing your little experiment. I have done pretty similar things with my diet – after becoming lactose intolerant, wheat intolerant, then choosing to take up the blood group eating plan, I found it doesn’t make sense for me to eat junk. I like having such a small list of foods to choose from – I find that it makes it easy to stay off bad foods that way! Well done. From Katie in New Zealand

  29. I gave up junk food after working for a vending company for a year as a manager – I got about 50-100 different samples a day from various salespeople trying to get us to carry their products, all of which I got to eat / take home / etc. Its been almost 2 years since i had fast food or junk food, I lost almost a hundred pounds , and feel like a million bucks.

    People eat fast food because its cheap and convenient, you have to make your own health food at home (which is cheap), and freeze it or package it other ways so you can have it whenever you want, I have a whole freezer full of “healthy fast food” – bean burritos in oat bran tortillas, diced fruit for smoothies, cooked beans/rice/barley/grains, healthy soups and sauces. When i can have healthy in 3 minutes, why even think of mcdonalds?

  30. I did this same thing about 2 years ago – quit fast food, candy, chips, pop. I feel SO much better, I have lost almost 100 lbs, and maintained the loss for over a year with no weight gain at all.

    I went from barely able to walk a half mile to being able to run 12 in under 2 hours.

    click my name for a site with some great food tracking tools to help you monitor your caloric and nutrient intake.

  31. Great for you! It’s good that you opened your eyes and realized how important your health is, and how eating junk food is just empty calories that will affect your health now and later in life.

    And it’s funny how big companies spend millions of dollars in trying to get you hooked on there junk foods, especially teaching kids to love junk food. There’s no shame.

  32. I think I’ve read this somewhere before. I don’t drink a lot of soda but I’ve always loved fast food. Don’t know why because it usually tastes like crap but I just graduated from college and that was the fare!

    I am going to try 1 month without sugars and fast foods and then go from there. My roommate will be helping as well. I’m excited to see the changes (I’ve tried eating healty before and I love the results, just didn’t have the will power or time, but now I do!) and see what happens when I cut it all out.

    Good job, Jason! That’s how people are supposed to eat but in today’s society, I guess it’s just a little too hard. Congrats to all the others as well, I look forward to joining the masses on this one :).

  33. when you say you quit junk food and started eating “good food” wat kinds of foods were you eating? cuz i was thinking about doing that but couldnt find good tasting alternatives

  34. I AM 15 YEARS OLD and let me tell you that at my age its the hardest to give up junk food , but THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE IN MY LIFE !

    i use to eat: a bottle of beanut butter by my self very week ,
    a cup of sugar everyday
    half a cup of sweetned milk
    a doughnut or pancake everyday
    a a bottle of honey every two weeks
    (that was just for a little taste time)
    and ofcourse then i had breakfast and lunch and dinner .
    Ihave been eating like that my entired life and wasnt fat at all i was about 110 pounds.
    So people use to tll me i could have diabetes.
    and i went to the doctor an told me the same thing.

    I HAD SOME SERIOUS PROBLEMS
    and i decides to quik eating fast foods and sweets and very fatty stuff, the firt month was terrible,my friends where telling me i was crazy and i woudnt last , people thougt i was becoming anorxic o bulimic,i had a normal weight and looked thinner loke 100 pounds now , but stayd there and im still there
    the hard part:
    -parties
    -sleep overs
    -going to the movies
    -valentines day
    -haloween
    -family days

    i just made a ist of the hard part of this thing and then you have like a goal , and makes it a lot easier, So i just had to get over the days above .they where so hard and i feel soo much better,

    what i did : i just think
    -do my body need it ?
    -do that people decide what i am going to eat?
    -are they jelous because i can do it and they dont?

    and always brought with me some cereal power bars, or any other stuff that is healthy ,
    i always ate at my house and then dont have to eat all that shit they gave me

    now: i hate junk food!!!
    im so happy i haven had a spoon full of suggar in SEVEN MONTHS , and feel really good (i use honey sometimes or splenda) honey: wich is very healthy.
    and i get to eat a lot and still in my 100 pounds weight i do 2 hours exercise a day and run a mile or two everyday.

    i totally have an athlete body, i do have boobs , i do have but and i have a pretty belly haahah!

    what i eat now:
    6 pieces of (bread, pasta ,rice)

    8 pieces of (fruits)

    4 pieces of (cottage cheese, turkey,jam,chiken, or tuna)

    2(Tspoons of honey or something with sugar)

    some beans (very imoprtant)

    2 cups of veggies .

    6 nuts a day and a teespoon of olive oil or mayo

    fridays i get to get , like a frapuccino at starbucks, or some fruit with lite wipped cream
    or a wheat bread muffin, or some sorbey ice cream.

    I AM NOV BEING MY SELF AN I FEEL SO CONFIDENT AND MUCH MORE PRETTIER

    EAT BETTR – LIVE BETTER ,

    and it has nothing to do with OHH!!! i deserve some junk food NOOOOOOOO!! i just dont want it any more i just dont like it …… :D

  35. The foods you eat will become the building blocks of your body cells. Chronic fatigue, obesity, heart diseases, cancers and other immune deficiency diseases have become a dramatic part of many people’s lives as a result of poor nutrition. But that does not have to happen to you and your family. Simply making the right food choices can put you on the road to good health – even if you are on a budget. Just remember: YOU make your decisions and your decisions will make you.

  36. Sugar should be classified as a drug. Like your post states you really have to cut off all sweets. That is how I do it when I get into my sweet binges. It usually takes me about a month before I stop craving sugar. Luckily I am able to drop the weight I gain quickly by offsetting the sugar with healthy diet choices.

    From the work I have done with others I have found sugar to be a serious problem. Whenever I consult with someone about a weight loss program the first thing I always have them do before anything else is to break their sugar addiction. It should be everyone’s first step to weight loss and can make such a huge impact once done.

  37. heeeei, ii did itt!!! a whole year with out junk , and sugar,no chips no nothing!!!!!,, im in my perfect weight and now my wishes for this yea its just about having fun keep on being healthy and socialize!

  38. It’s so great to see articles like this out there. You are living proof that attaining better health through nutrition is possible. I am particularly happy to see that you’ve warned people about the addictive properties and withdrawals that go with giving up junk food. I’ve had many clients that give up at this point, so to see somebody else that has gone through it tell them that it will pass is so important. The best part is that once your body gets used to this way of eating, it becomes easier because it will reject the bad food. It’s much easier to eat healthy, when your body feels so bad if you don’t.

  39. I have not eaten junk food since I was 15 (I am 21 now) and I cannot even tell you what a cookie or pasta tastes like… but what I can tell you, is that I have never felt better in all my life! I love the way I eat (only non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats & lean protein sources – grass-fed meats, fish, chicken & turkey, eggs). If you need any helps following through on your year with out junk food, definitely give me a holler! I know all the tricks of the trade for sure.

  40. This post was awesome. Can I print it out and give it to my personal training clients?

  41. Sure – you can print it out and share it (just please don’t remove the WorldFitnessNetwork info that usually prints in the margin). Thanks!

  42. Great article. I’ve been off the junk for a few years now and the difference is truly amazing. My sense of taste has actually changed to the point where I don’t even enjoy junk food. It’s a great feeling.

  43. I have once gone 3-4 months without junk food at all (referring to fast food chains like MacDonald’s and Carl’s Junior as these are the more common ones in Singapore). As a fan of all foods in general, the craving came back soon after.

    However, I exercise regularly at 4-5 times a week, doing mostly cardio workouts. I learn to work extra if I were to have that meal of mac, and I restrict myself to at most 2 meals a month. Also, I try to reduce my other meal sizes, especially fat contents, as I would have/be having that high fat meal.

    Anyway, I cut myself out of potato chips or snacks like that, and carbonated drinks. I don’t take more 1L of coke or similar beverage in a year, and bags of potato chips were completely wiped out since a few years ago. When I am offered, I will only help myself to 1 or 2 slices and it stops there. That amounts to less than a regular packet of chips.

    I feel better that way as I reward myself with a little treat for my hardwork, and it also gives me the motivation to work even harder just to work towards that meal. Cheers!

  44. The article on antibiotics are very good.

  45. just the thought of cutting out sugar makes me crave sugar.
    right now i have a sugar hangover. my head hurts, i’m depressed and lethargic.

  46. I really like this. I barely eat junk food, I eat things with low calories, low fat, and in the right proportions. I work out at least once a day. But, every now and then… every once in a while… I have junk food craving. My junk food is salt and vinegar chips, or dark chocolate. E.g, yesterday and today. Yesterday I ate a bowl of salt and vinegar chips, 5 mint slice biscuits, drank a glass of coke. I felt like total crap after eating it. Today I’ve been good, I had low fat spinach and ricotta cannelloni (I rarely eat such things for lunch) for lunch. But, after… my sister’s banana cake was sitting there untouched. I had a tiny slice… minuscule. But, now I feel crappy and guilty for eating it. I haven’t worked out for 3 days because It’s been raining. Today it’s fine, and I’m going for a walk/run for 45 minutes today. That’s my usual work out. So… I think I’m going to try and embrace the ‘No junk food’ thing for at least 1 month. If I can make it, I’ll continue to 6 months. I’ll substitute fruits for sweet junk food. Water and juices instead of soft drink. Which, this week is the first time I’ve had coke in forever. I generally eat tuna or salmon with brown rice and vegetables for dinner, or whole grain pasta with a tomato based sauce. I only eat lean red meat maybe once or twice a week, and the portion is only the size of my fist. I don’t eat cheese, and I only have non fat milk in my coffee of a morning. I hope I can do it. Cause I’m sick of feeling guilty and crappy after I indulge in my junk food addictions.

  47. @Maddie – a thin slice of banana cake isn’t a bad thing! It sounds like you work hard and eat well. I suggest you consider having a “fun meal” once a week where you can eat whatever you like. Read about my “carbolicious” meal: http://worldfitnessnetwork.com.....your-plan/ .

  48. Ok the picture of the doughnuts is just mean.

  49. Great post…

    Especially enjoyed your piece on how others view what you’re doing and why?

    Forget what people think and take the challenge personally. I did something similar in a smaller time frame with no alcohol and wrote about it here (http://www.thefatlossauthority.....t-alcohol/)

    Funny how we both had similar reactions from others;)

    Keep up the good work!

    Mike

  50. I haven’t eaten McDonalds in over 3 years and haven’t eaten other fast food (besides Subway) for even longer. One of my friends keeps trying to tell me that my “competitive attitude” surrounding my choice to avoid eating fast food is unhealthy. I eat very healthy because I’ve cut out fast food and junk food from my diet so that I feel better and it enraged me when she would say it came across as an “unhealthy attitude”. Your explanation that “people don’t appreciate the fact that you are becoming better at something they are weak at.” totally hit home with me. Now I can fully immerse myself into my healthy eating lifestyle of no junk food! Thanks!

  51. Tricia Underwood
    May 31st, 2010 at 1:32 am

    Wow. This website find was my dream come true.

    I have fibromyalgia (a muscle disorder) and was diagnosed bi-polar a few years ago. My diet sucks, mostly because: 1) I just don’t feel like cooking 2) I honestly feel overwhelmed & don’t remember how to make anything anyway! So I live on Toaster Strudels, spoons full of Nutella, ice cream, and whatever I see that is already made. My decent food is the good supper my husband cooks for our family. Obviously, I feel like crap, am about 60 lbs overweight, have low self-esteem because of it, and am tired & in constant pain.

    Tonight, my 22 year old son gathered all of his courage & told me that he’s positive I’d feel much better if I changed my diet. So I had a big bowl of ice cream mixed with Heath bar crunch stuff, and then got online and searched for better ways to eat.

    I really, really want to try this no-sugar thing. I quit alcohol – and sex outside of marriage – when I joined the LDS (Mormon) church 30+ years ago, so I already get the whole “you’re WEIRD” thing from people. I think I can handle sugar withdrawals easier than I handled those “withdrawals!”

    Wish me luck. And I’d BETTER feel/see results, people! ;~}

  52. A year with out junk food…
    Why not a life with out junk food.
    Come on guy eat well

  53. Well done.

  54. Goodness….that picture of the donuts does not look very appealing……………..

  55. I quit junk food sweets a few years ago after I gained 30 pounds of fat. For a while I must admit it’s a nightmare (at least for me, I think all this junk food give addiction) Now I don’t feel like craving for sweets.

  56. theprivatepooper
    July 19th, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    very inspiring article. I’ve reduced my junk food intake by 90% I estimate. The other 10% is when I slip up and eat junk, then I quickly feel sick to my stomach. I feel so much better and the cravings are gone. I have lost 20 pounds in the past 9 months with no additional exercise. I also work for a junk food company. Behind the scenes they really are all about getting people hooked on this poison and gaining sales in the process. It is sad.

  57. As of June 17, 2011, I drank my last can of soda. Have not had one since. Feel good. Dont miss it. The other crap? still eating it. Sweets…junk food…..etc. Starting tomorrow, July 20, 2011, I start fresh…no sweets, junk, snacks between meals, etc. Im 40….no time like the present. Ready? Set? BLAST OFF…….

  58. Alexandra, privatepooper, and phil – great to hear about your recent efforts! You are going to be so much happier.

  59. Found your site through stumbleupon and glad I did- what a great and honest article. I think it’s so important to challenge ourselves, especially our routines and habits. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  60. I also stopped drinking soda, iced tea, energy drinks because I know that in the long run my body will be in jeopardy. Except for milk and water. It’s almost a year now. and recently i just kicked in to not eating the 4 c’s (cookies, candies, crackers and chips) I excluded cake and chocolate because it can not be avoided especially on parties- but of minimal amount.

  61. Yea Thats a good decision.Now if you you can do exercise then you could build up a good body.I am also building my body and i have a fitness trainer

  62. I am SO inspired by reading this article, as well as the comments! I’m 22, and at 5’5″, I’m 163 lbs today. My family and friends all tell me that I look beautiful and healthy, but the truth is that I’m FAR from healthy.

    I eat fast food for almost every meal of the day. No kidding, this is my typical diet:

    Breakfast- Dunkin’ Donuts for a medium coffee with 5 creams and 5 sugars, and 2 croissants.

    Snack- Bowl of cereal with about half a cup of sugar added.

    Lunch- Anything smothered in cheese. Lots of red meat.

    Snack- More cereal, tons of bread and tons of cheese, chocolate.

    Dinner- Whopper, fries, Red Bull. Dessert is usually more coffee and some donuts.

    I have been a total slave to fast food. I feel completely addicted and out of control, and this scares me…I’m heavy, sick, tired, and malnourished.

    I’m so glad I came across your article. I’ve known for a long time that this lifestyle has been destroying me (emotionally and physically), and I want to finally take control of my life. I want to feel light, healthy, and have the power to CHOOSE what I put in my body, as opposed to feeling so damn addicted to the junk, that I can’t stop myself from binging.

    Starting today, I’m done with all this nonsense. I know it’s going to be extremely difficult (I’ve tried to quit fast food before and have always given in to my cravings), but I want to be free of this for good. I feel ready.

    Thank you!

  63. @ Sarah – oh, my God! Yes, if that’s how you’ve been eating then it is probably the most shocking eating plan I’ve seen! And sadly, you are probably not alone. This is a time-bomb – eventually you will get fat and sick. Right now, because you are young, your metabolism might burn through some of the obvious effects but you do need to change IMMEDIATELY. Because you are so habituated to junk, you might find it impossible to go cold turkey. And if you try, and fail, then you may never try again. Plus, part of the reason people eat junk is it’s cheap and convenient. It’s harder to eat healthy. So my advice to start with is TODAY start eating a much better breakfast and dinner – make sure you are getting in some fruits and veggies. And yes, I’m saying keep the junk in the middle of the day, just like normal. Do this for the next 4 weeks. Then for the following 4 weeks, switch up your snacks to be better but don’t go 100% yet. Finally, after 8 weeks, you could be ready to go cold-turkey and abandon the junk.

    While the premise of this article is about going cold-turkey, the important thing is finding a plan that works. Not everyone can do this overnight – if you want to try going cold turkey, that’s great but if it fails, then DO NOT GIVE UP. Gradual elimination of junk works well too!

  64. Amazing! I will start this tomorrow on Monday! Then no more sweets for how long i might go without, minimum 6 months.

  65. I always promise myself to qiut junk foods. But at the end of the day I find myself attacking on junk foods again because I feel that my life sucks sometimes that I cannot find a person to share something thats why I eat. Well, if I quit junk foods totally, when can I see the result? Because I don’t want to wait until 2 months or so.

  66. @mita – if you quit, really quit, you’ll start seeing results in a week. they’ll be small changes – maybe a little fat loss (or a lot if you are already fat and eat a ton of junk) and a far better, more stable mood. but let’s be realistic – you developed a junk food habit over years; the long-term benefits of quitting junk is going to be long term.

    in terms of quitting… not everyone has to go cold-turkey, zero junk. maybe just start by tomorrow, eating only half has much junk and stick with that for a month. some people do better cold turkey, other people need to go gradually.

    but a key aspect is to a) don’t keep junk in your house and b) do keep good food in your house. that way, when you are really hungry, you have no choice but to eat good food.

  67. Hi Darrin,

    I indeed ate very healthy foods before, but for 5-6 months I started to eat junk food almost every night. I’m 56kg (indeed I gained 8kg within 4 months) with 165cm and I’m 24 years old. I miss to eat healthier because as you pointed out, you feel very good, refreshed and light if you prefer healthy meal choices.

    Well, you inspire me somehow, I will try my best from now on. I hope I can get really good results just like you :) But I don’t know what to do when that attack simply comes in. Do you have any suggestion about what should I do, or what should I substitute as a food when these attacks come in?

  68. mita

    best option is to figure out what situations make you get into those eating rushes..??
    movies? are you alone?, are you with friends? maybe its just because you wanna give your self a winning price for something….

    but make sure you know why this is happening, and find another way to deliver your feeling in….

    i finally discover that each time i dont go out with my friends : i ate a lot..
    or when i have a fight with my mom , some other reasons etc etc etc …
    but right before i eat now i : BREATHHHH!!!!!tel my self to calm down.
    AND MAYBE GO OUTSIDE AND TAKE SOME FRESH AIR, AND DRINK WATER…

    only if you are really hungry then eat, –> healthy.

  69. This is an excellent post. I am trying to quit sweets forever and everytime I managed a week, I came back running to it because I thought everyone is eating it so why shouldn’t I + I am exercising also.

    Brilliant post, thanks for sharing it as it will help me take a stronger and wiser step…

  70. Cool article! I completely agree with your opinions. I started eating a lot of sweets in october 2012 after a long long time of no sweets and I can really sense the change in my body. I’m cutting it down gradually and I’m almost on no sweets again feeling better every day. I wish everyone else good luck with their aims!

  71. Wow. This inspired me a lot but gosh, that’s really hard I mean I’m in the very beginning of my teens and summer is coming up and when you live in Arizona you swim A LOT and girls my age were bikinis and I REALLY want to look good in my swimsuit this year. But my point is is that I’m afraid of the holidays (Easter, Valentines Day, HALLOWEEN, and even Christmas) there is soooooo much candy and chocolate involved in all of those holidays right? I mean the little lolly pops at Valentines Day ( But since I’m just moving into 7th grade Valentines Day shouldn’t really be a problem anymore if you know what I mean) and the chocolate eggs at Easter! I can’t just say when my parents offer me them that I don’t want them so that’s difficult. Also HALLOWEEN gees I still go trick-or-treating and last Halloween I came home with an over flowing bag or CANDY!! What am I supposed to do with that!? Even Christmas, you got all the cookies and crap everywhere you look! But let me tell you this I am a stubborn little girl and I don’t give up easily. Even as a girl with Rheumatoide Arturitis I always try as hard as I can and I am going to try this this year so wish me luck people!! PEACE! \m/ ( ^o^ ) \m/

  72. You can use self-discipline to abstain from junk food. I’ve done it several times, and stayed away from it for months. The problem is that I always come back to it because, other than work, its the only thing that gives me any pleasure in life. I don’t drink, smoke, or use drugs. I don’t gamble. Women don’t like me because I’m very short, bald, and ugly. So other than the fun of doing skilled work, what’s left? Exercise and health food are effective but honestly really boring. I still waste an hour every day jogging in place and mostly like on chicken & spinach, but the high point of my week is eating chocolate, donuts, and pizza on Saturdays.

    What makes you enjoy your healthy lifestyle? What pleasure do you get out of life that replaces junk food?

  73. Hi Jason,

    It’s now 2014. Just wondering how the abstinence is going/whether you have kept it up? I am determined to give up junk for good from next week (my last exams) and found your article inspirational.

    Would you say you achieved a 6 pack after you gave up junk food and sugar?

    Thanks,

    Zach

  74. Hi Zach – Darrin here. Jason hasn’t written for WFN for a while but I know from pictures of him around that time that he had an awesome six pack – almost an 8-pack. Regardless of the aesthetic impacts, eliminating all that junk has a ton of other benefits which I can attest to: more energy/fewer energy swings, better overall metabolic profile (blood work results much healthier), lower overall bodyfat (even if you don’t get the desired 6-pack), etc. Going cold turkey is hard for most people to stick with so if you do go cold turkey but then find yourself going back to your old ways, don’t give up. Just try again but each week giving up one thing and replacing it with something else. For example, week 1 give up soda and add seltzer instead. Week 2 give up all chips and replace with apple slices. Week 3 give up all candy and replace with berries. Etc.

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