How to Quit Your Junk Food Addiction
Figuring out how to quit your junk food addiction can be the solution to living a healthier life. Rather than forcing yourself into super packing all your meals with every vegetable you’ve ever heard of, buying every supplement you think will make you super healthy, you can simply take the first step into a healthier you by not buying that package of cookies.
I’m a self-declared chocoholic. I seriously crave chocolate like crazy. I used to go through those delicious Pound Plus chocolate bars from Trader Joes like there was no tomorrow. So good!
But what’s not so good? Admitting to your doctor that you eat way over the recommended amount of sugar each day. And even worse, realizing how badly your health is becoming as you continue.
This is not to say that junk food is the root of all evil or something. I still partake, and I don’t see that ever stopping. But by lessening my intake of junk food, I’ve really started to increase my intake of whole foods. When you can’t grab that box of Cheez-Its and instead have the choice of granola or bell peppers with hummus, it’s so much easier to grab for that healthier foods.
The Key to Quitting Your Junkfood Addiction: Don’t Bring Junk Food into Your Home
Now, this is easier said than done. Really, this is a step that countless people have told me over and over again. But I didn’t actually put this into practice until this past year. It wasn’t until my husband and I were in a living situation that had us without a proper kitchen that had us dining out and snacking on easy to grab items. After months of that, we both found ourselves feeling like crap on top of spending way too much on food each month.
That’s why when we moved into our current apartment, we decided to not allow junk food in anymore.
That’s all it took for me to change my life-long bad eating habits around. Being forced to sit down and choose healthy has had countless benefits for me. It’s better on the budget, better on the body and at 23, I’m finally learning how to cook. Who would have thought?
So how do I keep myself from relapsing into a potato chip binge fest? I follow these tips to keep my grocery shopping on track:
Don’t Grocery Shop When Hungry
Common sense tells us this, but when it comes down to it, we’re all guilty. It’s so much easier to make a trip to the store straight from work rather than having to leave the house on our day off.
But when you’re on your way to the store and you feel like your stomach is rumbling because your body knows it’s time for dinner, don’t go to the store. Steer than car around and go home.
Because you know what really looks good when grocery shopping hungry? Everything. And that can easily lead you down to junk food heaven. Which is exactly where you don’t want to be.
Find Healthy Food Replacements
I like to snack. I’ve always been a snacker. Big meals don’t seem to work for me, I’ve always felt more sustained if I eat a little bit throughout the day.
So rather than denying myself snacking, I try to replace what once was my go-to snack foods…okay, junk foods…with healthy options.
Now the best part of me loves the idea of snacking on fruits and veggies, being all healthy and sexy or whatever. But the reality tends to be a lot blander. Celery and peanut butter just don’t sound good when I’m craving chocolate. Who knew?
So I try to figure out realistic alternatives. Take for instance my chocolate craving. I still eat chocolate…but far less. And how do I do that? I have small bits of my sweet craving in something healthy.
That could mean for dessert I eat a dark chocolate covered banana. Or for a snack I grab some of my delicious homemade granola mix, dark chocolate chips included.
It’s that easy.
I might not allow myself to eat milk chocolate at home anymore, but a little bit of dark chocolate is a healthier option that will more likely keep me on track, rather than running to the grocery store for a candy bar.
Once again, it’s all about making it easy on yourself to choose the healthier option. When you’re hungry, cooking usually doesn’t sound all that appealing…unless you’re a weirdo like my husband, but he loves cooking and I’m pretty sure he uses it more as an excuse to snack while cooking. Me? Not so much.
When I’m ready to eat, I’ll choose convince over cooking almost every time.
So instead of turning to a big old bag of chips, I have easily accessible snacks. And rather than binge eating everything in one sitting, I like to put my healthy snacks into small dishes to keep proportions on track!
…okay, I do sometimes go back for more, but when you make bomb-ass granola like I do, who could blame you?
Learn to Cook
This is one of those #adulting things that sounds way harder than it is. It took me up until the age of 23 to really figure out how to cook. This is probably due to having a family that really doesn’t love cooking.
But thanks to marrying a chef who truly enjoys cooking and genuinely loves food, I finally found how to cultivate the passion to learn.
I would have never been able to start cooking without the help of (insert drumroll here) Pinterest!
Having a million recipes from hundreds of food bloggers has really helped me step up my game. It’s like a magic weapon. You want soup? I’ll make you soup, any soup, just give me a theme and I’ll find you 5 different recipes easy!
Seriously, if you don’t already use Pinterest for gathering recipes, you need to! Which conveniently leads me to my next point…
Have Recipes Handy
The best way to really get into a healthier lifestyle and a better relationship with food is about just that. Having a better relationship with food!
Junk food is like the Tindr of the food world. It’s easy, convenient and can sometimes really be just what you’re craving. But it usually looks way better on the packaging….
Having a real relationship with food means getting to know food!
Recipes are like having the perfect date planned out ahead of time. You do something fun, you get to know each other, and hey, maybe you even plan on doing it again!
Okay, weird dating analogies aside. Having recipes that sound good in the moment really makes a difference. I’d rather choose a delicious Mexican quinoa casserole than Taco Bell when I’m craving Mexican food. It’s healthier, way more delicious, and will save me from my Hispanic husband making fun of me for the next week.
Choosing Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
Making healthy choices is what it takes to quit your junk food addiction. Not allowing junk food into your home is the first major step in quitting it! Making junk food something that is harder to get to than it’s healthy alternatives is really the biggest change you can make in eating healthier.
So have you quit junk food? Do you have any more tips on how to? I’d love to know, so let me know right in the comments below!