Quit Junk Food

Image Credit: Lost Fun Zone

Read part 1 about quitting junk food here.

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times: you are what you eat. So if we’re going out and eating like crap everyday, then what are we? You can think that one over, but in the meantime, something needs to be done about it.

Quitting junk food won’t be easy though, because your body grows accustomed to what you feed it. Being stuck on junk food is nothing like being a crack addict, but some research shows that junk food still has many addictive properties.

So it’s gonna be tough, no doubt about it. Here’s how to do it:

1. Have a purpose: You’re not just quitting for the hell of it. You want to get something out of your hard work. Hold onto that thought and let it be your motivator… maybe it’s to impress a girl/guy or look good at an event… and remember that you want it so much more than another cookie.

2. Never buy junk food: Sounds pretty obvious, I know. But the most important time to resist junk food is when you are shopping. When it’s not at home, resisting will be much easier. Shop when you’re stomach is full – you’re less likely to buy junk when you’re not craving it.

3. Eat slowly: You don’t have to avoid ever coming near junk food again. If you do have an occasional “cheat”, eat it very slowly and enjoy the flavor without eating more. Don’t ever eat your sweets to fill up. Also, don’t eat sweets on a completely empty stomach, as you’ll be tempted to fill up when you’re too hungry.

4. Economize: We eat junk food because it’s convenient. Make healthy food more convenient, and you’ll eat it more (duh). Cook healthy food in bulk and save it for later. Get containers and carry food with you each day. Make it simple, easy, and effective.

5. Always drink water: Not just because it’s lower in calories and your body needs it the most, but also because healthy drinking keeps you in the mindset for healthy eating. That’s something that diet sodas can’t do, and probably the reason why diet drinkers gain even more weight.

6. Have excuses: Come to terms with the fact that people aren’t going to understand you or think it’s cool that you’re trying to do something better than what they do. They will call you a health freak in order to justify their habits. Just say you’re already full, not feeling well… you get the idea.

7. Make healthy food taste good: We’ve somehow grown up believing that it’s gotta taste bad to be good for you’re health… but this is sooo not the truth. Start with just 2 weeks’ worth of healthy recipes and build from there.

8. Think in terms of work: You’re going to have to run for 30 minutes to burn off a jelly doughnut that you ate in 2 minutes. Before you eat junk or overeat anything, think if it’s worth your effort. Think of the energy you’d have to spend on a treadmill and apply that energy to your willpower first, and then the treadmill second.

9. Have replacement foods: If you have a sweet tooth, you can still eat sweet things that are healthy. Keep plenty of fruits in stock and turn to them when you have a craving. Having these substitutes will save you in a tough time.

10. Know your restaurants: We all need convenience sometimes. Know the restaurants where you can get a decent meal that that nourishes.

11. Stop thinking about quitting: Yes, and here’s why – the more you think about the fact that you’re not eating junk food, the more you are also thinking about junk food. Don’t make a big deal about it in your mind. Make a solid decision, just quit, and then get on with your life.

12. Moderation: In all things. This is the key.

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18 Responses to “How to Quit Junk Food Forever”

  1. 11. and 12. – spot on Jason! This is definately the most important things to keep in mind.

  2. Alex- Thanks, and I would almost say #11 is probably almost the most useful of all. Quitting can be tough, but it’s not that bad if you don’t make a big deal out of it and just let go for a while. Everybody’s different, but that’s how it went for me.

  3. Nice article Jason…just to comment on #5 about diet soda. Diet soda is probably worse for you in the long run because they contain aspartame instead of all that sugar like the normal soft drinks contain.

    Maybe in the future could you write an article about aspartame and its dangers?

  4. Richard- Yeah, I’ve read alot about aspartame and it’s dangers. I’ve always found it interesting that people that drink diet are heavier on average. That’s a great idea for a future article.

  5. Great article. I’m in great shape, but sweets are my weakness. I’ve set my date to quit (3/10) and we’ll see how it goes.
    Jason, could you elaborate on #6? What kind of things would you say? Thanks!
    Also, my wife, who is a huge Oprah/Dr. Oz fan told me that Dr. Oz said there’s a chemical in diet soda that inhibits the stomach’s ability to send the brain the message that it’s full. That’s probably why you see heavier people drinking diet soda, and why you probably eat more when you’re get one at a restaurant.

  6. Fubar- Best of luck on your quitting date, and stay strong! It gets easier with time.

    #6 is elaborated a bit here. Some people would straight up tell me that quitting is stupid or fanatical. Not everybody was encouraging as I would have imagined, and I’ve read about other people with similar experiences. Having supportive friends is good, but you won’t get that from everybody. People don’t appreciate when you act like half of their diet is something to be given up like smoking, and that’s understandable since many of us were raised eating this stuff.

    The chemical you are referring to is probably aspertame. The side effects aren’t fully understood, but there is likely a chemical effect. I think a big part is that drinking soda keeps you in the mindset of having a sweet tooth and junk food, but it’s probably both.

  7. Princess April Ann
    November 14th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    I eat sweets and junk food once in a while but it’s best for anyone to keep a food journal. I use to have friends who would force me to eat a lot.
    I also weigh myself two times a week sometimes three days a week. I try not to worry too much about what I eat at lunch, snack time, and dinner time.

  8. Great reminder, thanks for the tips! I especially like the thought about us having to have a reason – everything is easier if we know the purpose why and that are not depriving ourselves, but gaining health, feel good and a sense of pride by making great decisions in line with our ultimate goals :)

  9. Love it! Great advice for those that just don’t have the willpower yet. I found for myself I just had to get to a point where I was ready to make a change and my food choices became much easier.

  10. A decent meal that nourishes is a good motivation to stop eating junk food

  11. Gum works well also. Keep a pack in your purse or pocket during the day and when you get that urge to eat something sweet chew a peice of gum. Try to stick with a sugarfree gum one that dosnt have aspartame. Sorbitol or Xylitol are a better choice in sweeteners. Xylitol if possible because it has other benefits like healthier teeth and gums. Too much Sorbitol acts as a laxative.

  12. Main thing is your willpower. If you have a strong willpower, then you can quit junk food easily. Divert your mind from junk food to other nutritious food. You feel better and you able to quit junk food.

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