How to Reduce Cravings for Junk Food in 5 Easy Steps
Junk food is often the culprit behind mindless eating, overeating and poor nutrition overall. People lose their appetites for whole foods and healthy meals when they fill up on fattening, salty and sugary processed snacks. People can reverse this pattern inexpensively and naturally with simple choices, such as when they choose a Berkey water filter system or plan out groceries in advance.
Make reducing junk food cravings a day to night effort with these proven steps.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Late nights and rushed mornings activate junk food cravings.
The longer people stay up, the higher the risk for midnight snacks. If the body must work overtime to process late-night eating, digestive discomforts can interfere with sleep. When groggy people hit the snooze button or take off late, breakfast tends to collapse to junk food.
Seven to nine hours of sleep a night help control the appetite-driving hormone ghrelin. A wholesome breakfast generally takes little effort, and a well-rested start gives you time out of bed to prepare it. More sleep, less ghrelin and breakfast will fuel the alertness you need to resist unhealthy snacks in your struggle to stay energized.
2. Plan Out Food
It’s better to look forward to the right foods than fight against the wrong foods.
Once your stomach is growling, it’s too late to stop junk food cravings. Unfortunately, chips and cakes are usually more available than nutrient-dense salads and sandwiches. To overcome this reality, arm yourself with alternatives.
- Bring your lunch or leftovers to work to avoid fast-food restaurants and deliveries.
- Keep low-salt nuts, pretzels and vegetable chips on your person or at work.
- Air-popped and olive oil-based popcorn is best, however microwave popcorn can substitute as a healthy salty snack in a pinch.
- Handle sugar cravings with dark chocolate, “dessert” spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, or fruit.
- If you really must satisfy cravings for chips and desserts, always buy the smallest package or portion available.
3. Fill Up On Water
Hydration keeps you full and fully conscious of what you eat.
Dehydration can register as hunger after hours of coffee and junk but little real food. The body sinks into panic mode, poor decision-making and more when it senses low water reserves. A recent groundbreaking nutrition study on children and academic performance concluded junk food lowers test scores, but frequent water drinkers showed strong memory skills.
Water should flush toxins from the body, not bring more in.
Refillable, stainless steel bottles are less toxic to your body and the planet. Multi-use, filtered bottles are the best options on the go. High-end water filter systems keep your family drinking purified, mineral rich water at home.
4. Grocery Shop Smartly
Most junk food cravings go away if the junk isn’t right there to satisfy them.
People bump into most snacks, processed foods and canned goods in the center aisles of grocery stores. Once shoppers wander away from the produce and fresh meat sections of the average store’s perimeter, they land in a maze of preservative-filled conveniences and novelty items. Next, their impulse buys spiral out of control with the most popular junk food brands shelved at eye level as a marketing and advertising ploy.
A good old-fashioned grocery list is your first step against falling into this trap. While you can definitely treat yourself to your favorite foods, do not go overboard. Remember: If you bring home junk food, you will most likely go for it when you get the cravings.
5. Practice Infrequent Alcohol
Alcohol and junk food go hand in hand.
While spirits are the stuff of life’s celebrations and wine even has anti-aging benefits, excessive alcohol will lead to poor eating. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and makes people more likely to break good habits. As people seek to balance themselves into feeling better after too many drinks, they instinctively reach for junk foods.
Enjoy yourself at special occasions and nights out, but set firm limits. Take advantage of healthy party hors d’oeuvres like vegetable and fruit trays, or cheese cubes and nuts. If you happen to overdo it, resist late night eating for herbal tea and extra sleep.
Stop the cascade of useless foods replacing superfoods until undesirable conditions and even diseases show up. Look forward to automatic side effects when these steps control cravings for unhealthy options. Clear skin, whittled waistlines and savings usually show up when junk food goes.
These are some of our favorite ways to reduce junk food cravings. You don’t have to give up junk food forever, but you can learn ways to reduce your cravings and increase your intake of healthy foods. Making these changes can help you feel better, feel more full, and it can be better for your health. If you’re willing to make some changes, the above tips can help you be less reliant on junk food and live a better life!