How can we curb junk food cravings? Is there anyone who hasn’t asked that question? Regardless of where our weight is, what our goals happen to be or how much we eat, we’ve all experienced these powerful sensations. When they happen on a rare occasion, it isn’t all that problematic. A treat once in a while isn’t going to hurt anything. But when it’s happening daily – or multiple times per day – that story changes completely.
After all, one of the biggest enemies of a healthy lifestyle or a diet regimen is junk food. Without a doubt, junk food is very tasty to eat. However, it has many unhealthy effects on the body. This is why the cravings for junk food need to be curbed.
How to Curb Junk Food Cravings
There are some great ways to curb junk food cravings. This can make all the difference in helping you to keep away from those empty calories and save them to have as treats. Let’s look at a few tips that will help you accomplish this.
Relieve Your Stress
Most people tend to eat junk food when they are stressed. Known as stress eaters, these people can easily curb junk food cravings by relieving their stress. Think about it. Food is comforting. It’s an immediate positive sensation. When we’re seeking relief from being stressed, that instant positive sensation is very appealing. Unfortunately, it’s salty, sugary and fatty foods that have the greatest appeal and feeling of reward at those times.
Fortunately, you can overcome this instinct by replacing the positive feeling from food with the rewarding sensation from something else. A great way to do this is to exercise and indulge in activities that you like. You can go for a jog, meet friends, watch a movie, or just relax at home. Do whatever relaxes you, and you will find your junk food cravings significantly reduced. Ideally, choose an activity that won’t leave your hands free to eat while you do it!
Carry Healthy Snacks
In many cases, you may be tempted to eat junk food if you are hungry. This can be even more difficult to control if you are on a diet regimen. As you transition into your new eating strategy, you may find that you’re hungry at times when you never used to be. This sensation will go away as you adapt to your new lifestyle. However, until then, those hunger pangs are real. The most convenient food becomes the most appealing one.
To curb junk food cravings in such instances, you should carry a supply of healthy snacks. That way, the obvious choice is something that is good for you instead of something that will overwhelm your calorie count for the day. However, just because some snacks are healthy does not mean that you can eat as much as you like. Regulate your eating habits and consume reasonable portions of healthy snacks to kill your hunger.
Research the Calories You Consume
A great way to eliminate unhealthy junk food is to count the calories you consume each time you eat. Research online and see how many calories your favorite junk food has. There are lots of great nutrition tracking resources to allow you to find out just what you’re taking in. Even easier? Use an app. Many not only have huge food databases with brand-specific calculators, but some even have barcode readers so all you need to do is scan the package for the food you’ve eaten.
Once you are done, monitor how much junk food you consume and then calculate your calorie intake. You will be surprised at how many extra calories you are consuming. This realization will give you the drive to curb junk food cravings. You’ll become more aware of where your calories are coming from and will be able to hold yourself accountable for each bite. If that’s not enough, let your wallet speak for you. Add up the amount of money you are spending on junk food. This way, you will be able to consider your financial as well as calorie savings if you give up on these unhealthy dietary choices.
Draw a Diet Plan
Another best practice is to make a diet chart. Make a number of copies of the chart and always carry one around with you. Keep a copy in your car, one at home, and another at work. This chart will keep reminding you of what you should be eating–and what you shouldn’t. Keep tracking your progress on the chart and you will be able to curb junk food cravings.
Follow the above-mentioned tips and you will be able to curb your junk food cravings far more easily. Moreover, when they do happen – and they will – you’ll have a strategy in place to get around them, so they don’t sink your efforts to eat in a healthy way.