Taking Those First Steps To Kicking The Junk Food Habit
Junk food is bad for us, that much is certainly obvious. As obesity rates continue to rise it’s becoming more of an issue. But the real problem comes from regular consumption of junk food at the expense of healthier options. Having takeaway pizzas several times a week is naturally going to mess you up over time, and it’s not just because of all the fat and junk in that sort of food. If you’re not eating healthy then you can only be eating crap. In effect we put our bodies through a grueling diet without giving anything back.
But let’s be realistic. Junk food can be really nice, otherwise we wouldn’t salivate over the sight of a big, greasy burger or get hunger pangs when we smell fish and chips (if you live on the coast like me you’ll no doubt appreciate that one). It would be silly to try and completely cut it them from our diet – you’re only feel extra bad when after several weeks of eating good you finally cave and order a kebab.
The trick is to find a good balance between the two. Eating healthy options most of the time will compensate for the occasional treat to McDonalds, for instance. And that’s all junk food should be if it’s to remain a harmless indulgence. The problem comes when junk food stops being a treat and takes over from healthy eating.
But why does it take over so easily? Junk food has several qualities that make it ideal for the modern lifestyle – it’s quick, it’s easy and it’s cheap. When you’ve spent all your day rushing around putting out a bunch of fires at work, all you’re going to want to do is throw a ready meal in the microwave and relax in front of the TV. This makes achieving that healthy habit – getting the right balance – a particularly difficult challenge.
This is why you need to tread lightly and take small steps in adjusting your eating habits. Trying to alter your main meals, like dinner or even lunch, is going to take a lot of willpower and planning for obvious reasons. But adjusting your breakfast (typically the simplest meal of the day) and snacks especially, is far easier.
Try gradually replacing that chocolate bar with a banana or apple, that can of coke with a bottle of water, those Coco Pops with Fruit ‘n Fibre. Making these sort of changes over time is easy becuause they’re not such a big shift from what you eat that you’ll have difficult adjusting, but they will have a big cumulative effect on your diet and you’ll have created a strong foundation for future adjustments.