If you tell me you don’t reach for your favorite potato chips or a square of chocolate at least every now and then, I’m going to call you a liar. Eating junk food once in a while is no problem. In fact, I argue that having a bit of a treat every so often is the only way to make eating healthy sustainable.
The problem is it’s too easy to say yes to junk food. And once you’ve said yes once, it’s easier to say yes a second time, and a third. And before you know it, you’re knee-high in chocolate mud.
I am obviously guilty of being a junk food junkie. I managed to be good for short stints but something or other will push me back into my old habits. My newest excuse is becoming a mom. When I had my first child, then my second, I started eating more junk food, citing them as ‘the only pleasures I have in life now’.
That was 3 years ago.
One day, feeling unhealthy, I thought it was high time to stop. These were the ways I tried:
Don’t buy any junk food
No matter how much will power you think you have, you can never win if you are faced with chocolate blocks every time you open the fridge and butter cookies every time you go into the pantry.
Stop buying junk food. That way when you’re craving for something bad, all you’ve got are carrot sticks. That’s tough love for you.
These have to go:
Replace with healthier options
Instead of spending all your money on bad stuff, splurge on some good stuff that you kinda like. I bought a ton of fruits, nuts and savoury biscuits to replace the sweet stuff.
I know savoury biscuits are not great either but you gotta start somewhere.
Whenever I get a craving for a cookie, I haev a fruit, or a handful of nuts. Or have a drink of juice.
You’ll find yourself eating maybe a little too much of the good stuff, but it’s a step in the right direction to get your junk food cravings to stop.
Cut down slowly
I’ve tried going cold turkey and it might work for some, but I just went into withdrawal and was grumpy as hell. I find it easier to take super small steps and cut down bit by bit.
I started with stopping chips. When that craving stopped, I cut down on sugar biscuits. I continued eliminating the junk one at a time until I cut it all out.
Give yourself permission to ‘binge’ on special days
Life would be pretty miserable if you never ever ever have another chocolate square melt on your tongue again. I have this rule where I’ll be good 80% of the time but birthdays, Christmas, and gatherings, I’ll allow myself to eat whatever I want.
After a few binge episodes, you’ll end up feeling sick and bloated. And eventually, even when you allow yourself to binge, you won’t. You’ll just enjoy a few treats for pleasure and then go back to your healthy lifestyle.
Cut yourself some slack
I can’t count how many times I’ve failed trying to live healthy. I am 40 next year and I started trying when I was 17. That’s more than half my life failing to be good. But I can say I am leaps and bounds healthier today than I was at 20. And that’s what matters.
Don’t beat yourself up for going back to junk food. It’s normal to fail. Just start trying again the next day.
Keep on trying
As long as you keep on trying, you’ll find yourself slowly inching towards wellness. Just a little step at a time. It gets easier as you get better at it. As with anything, persistence is key. It’s the journey that counts.
To wrap up
Junk food is bad. Among other things, it can even cause seborrheic dermatitis. You know deep down that this is one of the times when giving up is a good thing. There are plenty of yummy good food around. Snack on those instead. You can do it!
If you’re a mom struggling to get fruits and veggies into your kids, read how I did it.
11 thoughts on “How to stop eating junk food?”
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