As much as Joey loves pizza, We too can’t resist gorging on our favorite junk foods. Despite all our attempts to stick to a healthy diet, our uncontrollable cravings can really get the best of us. Yes, we’ve all been there. It can be really hard to hold ourselves back from devouring on those cheesy fries or those delectable fudge brownies you saw at the patisserie.
Though there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself occasionally; your junk food cravings can turn into binges in no time.
But, there is light at the end of the tunnel! If you too can’t resist your junk food cravings, then we’ve rounded up some amazing and useful tips to help you avoid eating junk food, and keep those cravings at bay!
Tips for avoiding junk food cravings
Eat small meals throughout the day
Most of us think that one way of controlling the cravings is to limit our food intake. But, this notion is completely wrong. You are bound to experience junk food cravings when you stick only to two or three major meals a day.
Therefore, it is advised to incorporate four to five smaller, healthier and wholesome meals throughout the day. It is important to fuel your body throughout the day to keep your hunger satiated. Make sure to have a balance of sugar, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates in your meals.
Drinking water has loads of benefits for your body. And when it comes to avoiding junk food, water can come to your rescue. This is because thirst is often mistaken as hunger.
So the next time if you find yourself reaching for that pack of chips, try drinking a full glass of water instead. You can also switch water lemon juice, iced tea, or fresh fruit juices. The key is to stay hydrated.
Get enough sleep
This is probably the most sought after tip to solve all your health woos. But did you know that getting enough sleep can also keep your junk food cravings at bay? Your appetite is primarily affected by hormones that fluctuate throughout the day.
An erratic sleeping schedule hinders these hormone rates, which in turn contribute to the cravings for unhealthy food. Also, it’s easier to give in to the cravings when you are really tired. So, it is advised to clock inadequate sleep hours to avoid eating junk food.
Manage your stress levels
Do you also binge on a pint of chocolate ice cream after a stressful day at work? We often tend to indulge in stress eating i.e using food as a way to cope with stress. This is because stress induces the release of certain chemicals in our body such as opiate and neuropeptide which can trigger sudden cravings for junk food.
Therefore, it is important to employ other stress management techniques like meditating, exercising, and eating healthy.
Grab a chewing gum
Chewing a gum could really do you some favours by keeping you off your sweet cravings. According to a study, chewing a gum for at least 45 minutes can suppress your cravings. Plus, it also helps in keeping your teeth healthy.
Indulge in some physical activity
In a bid to avoid eating junk food, indulging in some physical activity can really help you keep those cravings at bay. Doing moderate physical exercises like brisk walking, jogging, and cycling have two-fold benefits.
Firstly, it would prove as a distraction for your junk food cravings and secondly, it would also reduce the stress that may be contributing to your cravings.
Switch to healthier substitutes
Sometimes, we may simply give in to our junk food cravings because we don’t have healthier options available. It is too easy to heat up some leftover pizza or frozen foods, rather than cooking a healthy meal.
Since human beings are often attracted to convenience, your refrigerator is your getaway to all the unhealthy and junk foods to satisfy your cravings. One pit stop solution is to have healthy substitutes for your favourite junk foods.
For instance – you can switch ice cream for frozen yogurt, plain chocolate for dry chocolate, candies for nuts and fruits, potato chips for kale chips etc. this way, you can still satiate your cravings but in a healthier way.
Chalk out the long term consequences
Whenever your cravings sneak in, you are too prompted to get your favourite junk food in your belly. But what if you get carried away by the immediate cravings and regret it later?
What if you are planning to lose weight and the cheese pizza you just ate spoilt all your plans? That said, research suggests that thinking about the long term consequences of eating unhealthy foods actually helps in the suppression of cravings and encourages you to avoid eating junk foods.
Distraction is the key when you want to ward off your junk food cravings. So, whenever you find yourself drooling over those chocolate brownies or want to reach for another bag of potato chips, try distracting yourself.
It could be anything. Right from checking your phone, watching a movie, talking to someone, doing some household chores, etc. it can be really effective in distracting your brain and diminishing those cravings.
Indulge in mindful eating
Mindful eating tends to comply with the overall concept of mindfulness. Mindfulness in general is about cultivating mindfulness and being present at a moment without judgment.
Practicing mindfulness is not only great for your life in general but can also help you in making some healthier food choices. By becoming more aware of your body and what it really wants, you’ll be able to pass away all those junk food cravings until they get the better of you. This may sound tricky but trust me, it really works.
Give in to the cravings for a while
As a matter of fact, the more you are kept away from something, the more you crave it. Well, this also applies to junk and unhealthy foods. the more you’ll restrict yourself from bingeing on your favourite desserts, the more you’ll crave them.
So, the trick here is to eat everything in moderation. Instead of completely cutting out your favourite junk foods, you can gorge upon them once a while.
After all, everyone deserves a cheat day for their monotonous healthy diets.