Stopping eating junk foods or stop junk food cravings are difficult for everyone. Surprisingly, all kinds of unhealthy junk food available in the market are delicious and people cannot help but consume them time and again. The reason behind this is the marketing strategy and the business propaganda involved with the manufacturing, processing, and marketing of such food products so that people cannot stop but crave for them. A lot of coloring agents, food preservatives and other chemical additives are mixed with such food to enhance their aroma, taste and look to attract more target consumers towards themselves. But, unfortunately, most of these junk foods are extremely harmful to the body and may lead to serious side-effects.
Frequent intake of such food can lead to obesity, heart-related issues and various other ailments, most of which are irreversible.“Say no to junk food” is a common sentence which we hear from elders, our well-wishers, doctors, and nutritionists but most of the times we are unable to say no to them in spite of knowing theirs after effects. Follow some alternatives to stop junk food cravings.
10 Alternatives Ways to Overcome or Stop Junk Food Cravings
1. Adequate intake of fluids: Sometimes we confuse between thirst and hunger. When we are very hungry, drinking a glass of water, a low-sugar juice or even a bowl of soup can satisfy your hunger and can successfully curb your cravings for junk food. Another way to stop junk food cravings is never going without eating for a very long time. If we have frequent healthy snack-time in between meals, we never get excessively hungry and thus, cravings for those sugary creamy pastries or deep fried nuggets can be comparatively less.
2. Make friends with proteins: Research suggests that proteins keep us fuller for a long time. A high-protein diet will make us less hungry even after 3- 4 hours of a meal and as a result, the cravings for junk food reduce considerably. Research suggests that a high-protein breakfast is not only healthy for the body, it always reduces hunger and thus minimizes the chances of weight gain and obesity. So if you experience those hunger pangs in between, instead of jumping into those oily junk foods, have a boiled egg or a glass of protein shake to stay fit and healthy in order to stop junk food cravings.
3. Distract yourself: Like any other addiction, cravings for a particular food can be nagging and do not allow you to stay at peace unless you have that food. But trust us, most of the cravings and made-up and are not real. The idea of having junk food is more enthralling than actually having it. Distracting yourself from such thoughts can help you come over such frequent cravings.
Going for a swim in the pool, taking a shower, going for a massage or spa, or even going for a walk or cycling can divert your attention from such cravings and eventually help you get over them from time to time. Research also suggests that munching in something like some health-cookies, roasted nuts or even chewing gum can help you overcome the nagging cravings for junk foods.
4.Brush: Another interesting and fun way to stop the sudden cravings is brushing your teeth. Toothpaste relax your taste buds temporarily and give a fresh feel to your mouth. Using a mouth freshener or mint gums can also make you feel fresh and you will tend to avoid any food once you have fresh breath, reducing the cravings considerably.
5. Don’t stress: One common cause of junk food cravings is stress. A bad mood or stress makes us more inclined to unhealthy and junk for temporary solace which becomes a regular habit. Meditation, practicing yoga, exercising, swimming, listening to soft music, etc. are some ways by which we can de-stress ourselves and eventually come over the cravings of junk food.
6. Differentiate between hunger and cravings: As discussed earlier, cravings are not always real. So, it is very important to understand when we are actually hungry and when it is a craving. Chewing properly while eating, concentrating on your food instead of watching T.V or using your mobile during your meal time will help you enjoy your food and thus help in proper digestion. Once you enjoy your meal, you will have fewer cravings for junk food.
7. Add more variety to your diet: When we are tired of eating the same food time and again, we have more cravings for junk and oily food. Adding more varieties to your meal can make wonders. Try new recipes, shuffle your ingredients, change the menu of lunch and dinner from time to time to enjoy your meals. For example, instead of eating the same rice and chappati every day you can shift to whole-grain noodles or pasta with vegetables and cheese. A well-made salad with your favorite dressing or your favorite soup or simply a low-fat, less-sugary dessert with your favorite topping can make you love your home-made food too stop junk food cravings.
8. Sleep: A good sleep relaxes our body and makes us active and fit. Staying awake in the night increases our hunger and thus enhances our cravings for junk food. Sleeping helps us get over such useless cravings.
9. Eat properly: Not eating properly during meal-times is also another way by which your cravings for junk food increase. Having a balanced meal not only satisfies your hunger but also distances you from junk food.
10. Make a routine: When you know what you have for supper or dinner you have fewer cravings for other food. Knowing the menu beforehand gives you less chance to imagine and thus decreases your cravings for junk food. So, depending on your taste and mood, plan your meals for the day accordingly so that you have less or no cravings for junk food.
We hope that the points discussed above will help you overcome unhealthy cravings to a great extent and thus help you stay healthy and fit.