One of the toughest things about trying to eat healthier is cravings. It’s perhaps the #1 reason why people have such a hard time just quitting unhealthy foods. The sensation of wanting to eat that food is so strong, yet so sneaky – That it often gets you to eat that junk food “just one more time.”
How does one combat these cravings and eliminate these junk foods?
==>Realize That It’s Not a Lack of Willpower
A lot of people beat themselves up because they can’t keep up a certain diet or quit certain junk foods. The first and most important step is to realize that it’s not because of a lack of willpower.
For one, most of these junk foods are engineered to be as addictive as possible. Coca Cola actually contained cocaine (hence the name) when it was first released in America, until cocaine was banned. While there are no illegal addictive substances in today’s junk foods, there are still many legal addictive ingredients used.
It’s also important to realize that a lot of the most addictive foods have emotional connections in your brain that have been wired there for years. If you’ve been eating certain junk foods for 5 years, of course it’s going to be difficult to break that habit. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t succeed in 2 weeks.
If you have difficulty sticking to a plan, it’s not because you lack willpower, but because the task is inherently very difficult. All that said, these tips will help make the process easier.
==>Go Slowly and Cut in Percentages
The worse thing you can do is try to quit “cold turkey.” If you’ve been eating one microwave dinner a day for the last 3 years, don’t try to just dump it for life immediately.
Instead, pick a percentage. Say, 50%. For the next month, you’ll cut your consumption of microwave dinners by 50%. The month after that, you can reduce it to just once a week. Finally, you can quit entirely.
This allows you to cut down on your intake of junk foods while still fulfilling some of the cravings. It makes the whole process a lot easier.
==>Use Healthier Snack Alternatives
Instead of reaching for that jar of Pringles, why not reach for a bag of organic raw almonds? Instead of reaching for the Snickers bar, why not try low fat, high cacao dark chocolate? Instead of sweets, why not try no sugar dried fruits?
There are a lot of foods on the market that taste a lot like our favourite junk foods, but are much healthier. They have fewer calories, contain less addictive additives and less harmful substances.
==>Drink a Lot of Water
Water helps reduce hunger, but also helps stabilize the brain in many ways. It helps give you more mental clarity and emotional stability, so you’ll feel less tempted to eat junk food on a compulsion.
Curbing cravings isn’t easy, but it’s absolutely worth it. You might not be able to cut out all the junk food in your diet overnight, but if you make it a consistent goal in your life, you will absolutely achieve your goal.