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© 2014 Shanna Lea
We all know junk food is junk. And we’ve all been caught up in the cycle of eating addictive foods. We know now that junk food causes us to gain weight and start down the road to illness.
Junk food also causes us to retain water—which makes you feel bloated and sluggish. You also feel tired and lack the energy to move your body effectively. Long term effects of eating junk food leads to inflammation in the body, resulting in weight gain, clogged arteries, arthritis and other diseases.
So why do we love junk food? Our brains have strong positive reactions to fat and sugar that induces “feel good” hormones in the brain that mimic the effects of addiction drugs like heroin and cocaine. Its no wonder we get addicted. When is the last time you had a craving for spinach as strong as your craving for cookies or chips?
And this is just the beginning. Add in the bad trans-fats, MSG, all the preservatives and additives in junk food that are designed to make you crave more, and you can see why it’s so addicting.
To overcome your cravings for chips, ice cream, soda and cookies you have to retrain your body, change old habits to new ones and change tastes. It does take time and effort, but renewal in health is worth all of it. Removing junk food from your diet is one way to be proactive in regaining your health.
How to Remove Junk Food from Your Diet
- Reprogram your taste buds. If you are like most people, you’ve been eating junk food most of your life. Your body is used to it and will crave these foods until you retrain your body and mind to crave healthy foods. Many people say they don’t like the taste of healthy food, but that’s because they are used to the taste of junk food.
- Changing your mindset. Many times we get caught up in the “but it’s cheaper” mindset. But use common sense, and face this excuse for what it is–an excuse. What we save by buying junk food is really spent down the line at the doctor and hospital for medical bills to manage the diseases that junk foods cause.
- It will take some planning to remove junk food from your diet, but it is very doable. Plan ahead for what healthy substitutes you want in the house. When you experience cravings, what will you already have on hand to eat instead of what you are craving?
Substitutions for Junk Food
To curb junk food cravings, you first need to eat regular healthy meals. Our bodies need adequate full fat, protein and plants to be healthy. Healthy fats include butter, lard, tallow, and duck fat from pastured animals. Coconut oil and olive oil are other great healthy fats. Protein from pastured animals also curbs the cravings and keeps you full. So make sure you get plenty of healthy fats and protein in those meals, along with lots of veggies.
Loading up on veggies rich in magnesium will also fill in those nutritional deficiencies caused by the junk food. Dr Terry Wahls reversed her multiple sclerosis by following this healthy lifestyle. By following her recommended 6-9 cups of vegetables a day, I was able to curb my cravings for chocolate and sugar. I didn’t sacrifice protein or fat either. Check out her book The Wahls Protocol to learn more about reversing autoimmune diseases through a healthy diet.
Try a few of these substitutes to get you started:
- Kale chips
- Full fat yogurt or kefir
- Water, herbal teas or infusions
- Go easy on fruits and dried fruits, as they still contain natural sugar that can spike your old cravings
These are just a few ways to remove junk food from your diet. It may seem challenging in the beginning, but remember, you are retraining your body and mind to go back to a natural way of eating that you were designed for. And the end goal is good health for you and your family. Be sure to come back and let me know what healthy substitutes helped you!