Today is junk food day! A day when it is totally okay to splurge on whatever your heart desires! Who doesn’t love fried food, chocolate, salty potato chips, or and surgery drinks every once in a while? But, what about tomorrow or the next day? What do we do when we get the munchies and want a quick snack? This morning we dug into an article from Liz Vaccariello on Reader’s Digest about ways to train your brain to hate junk food. These tips will help you outsmart your junk food cravings and turn toward a healthier option!
Check out her full article, HERE!
1. Practice the five-ingredient rule
If there are more than five ingredients on a food label—a red flag for food processing—don’t buy it. (Or if you do, consider it a treat instead of an everyday purchase). This is an easy way to avoid impulse buys like flavor-blasted chips or pre-made cookies when food shopping.
2. Aim for three colors
A 2012 Cornell study found that people prefer three food items and three different colors on their plates, compared with more or less of either category. So instead of reaching for a candy bar, snack on nuts (loaded with healthy fats), fruit slices, and a small square of dark chocolate to get a healthy variety of colors, textures, and nutrients.
3. Break your routine
It only takes a few weeks to form a habit. So if you always associate 3 p.m. with a trip to the vending machine, start a tradition to walk around the block for five minutes instead. This may kick your craving altogether.
4. Make healthy food your treat
One of the best, easiest desserts? Stash red grapes in the freezer, and cap off dinner with something sweet without kick-starting sugar cravings.
5. Keep the healthy stuff handy
Store healthy foods you want to eat more front and center in your fridge and out on your countertops. Snack foods are so easy to dig into—you just rip open a bag. If you had, say, red peppers all sliced and ready to go, they’re all the more tempting to dip into hummus.
6. Know your trigger foods
Whether you’ve got a sweet tooth for chocolate and red velvet anything or love salty treats like pretzels, know the foods that send you down the spiral of junk food binging. You’ve already accomplished half of the battle by identifying them. Keep them out of the house.
7. Gross yourself out
One surefire way to consume less processed food is to learn more about what you’re really eating. Here are a few that make us cringe: Those frozen “grilled chicken” breasts get their marks from a machine infused with vegetable oil. The preservative BHA is added to processed food like Tang, Kool Aid, and breakfast sausage even though Health and Human Services consider it a likely carcinogen. The vitamin D3 added to many yogurt brands is manufactured from sheeps’s grease. And the “natural flavor” in BBQ Baked Lays is made with milk and chicken powder. Yuck!
8. Chew more than you need
Adam Melonas, renowned chef and founder of UNREAL candy (along with Nicky Bronner, a 15-year-old determined to “unjunk candy”) shared this smart tip: “If you can make people chew more, they’ll eat less.” Next time you sneak in a treat, chew slowly and consciously. Wait until you finish one bite to take the next.
Even though we love junk food and fully plan on celebrating the sugary, salty, and friend foods today, we hope these tips help you beat those cravings tomorrow, next week and next month!
Check out our Morning Thing Fave 5 for our favorite healthy snacks, HERE!