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Junk food – how do you give it up? If you’re struggling with junk food cravings, here’s the secret to giving it for good..
Don’t give up junk food. I’m a naturopath, and I haven’t given up junk food. I know so much about the human body, and I still eat “junk food” in moderation.
What you need to do is focus on INCREASING other foods in your diet. So, focus on increasing your vegetable intake, or getting more fruit into your diet. Focus on drinking on more water each day. Start making bliss balls and healthy treats that you love to eat.
When you focus on increasing foods rather than restricting them, you have a much healthier relationship with food. You will start to change the way you approach food.
When you look at the abundance of food that you can enjoy, it’s a much better mindset than when you focus on this ‘checklist’ of foods you’re never ever going to eat again in your whole entire life. Restriction, deprivation and control actually increases your cravings for the exact foods you’re trying to avoid – I’m sure you’ve experienced that before when dieting, right? You end up rebelling against the rules and restrictions and find yourself bingeing on the foods you were promising to never eat again.
I’ve been through this so many times in my own weight loss journey. I would literally sit down and make a list of ALL the foods I was never going to eat again, even making the list my phone wallpaper or putting it up on my fridge to try to convince myself that this time, I was going to stick to the diet.
It felt horrible, and it always ended in me craving (and binge eating) the foods I wanted to eliminate.
Focusing on how good wholesome foods make you feel is the key to improving your relationship with food, and finding a healthy state of balance.
I don’t think we should aim for a perfect diet – in fact, I don’t even think the perfect diet exists. The important thing is finding a sense of balance and moderation that works for you. And that doesn’t come from creating restriction and deprivation.
I’ve changed my entire relationship with food and with my body by shifting my perception about ‘junk foods’, and by creating a sense of balance and moderation that works for me. For me, it’s about doing what feels right for my body. Because I don’t have any ‘rules’ around my eating habits, I’m able to enjoy foods like hot chips (my favourite!) in moderation, without feeling guilt or shame.
Focus on ‘more good’, not ‘less bad’.
(Even though I don’t really like using the words good and bad when it comes to our food choices.)
When I had a relationship with food that was about guilt and deprivation and restriction, when I did eat the foods I wanted to avoid I would generally end up bingeing on them. I felt so guilty for eating it that I would eat the entire packet, and feel entirely shitty afterwards, but I justified it by saying that if I ate it all now, then I won’t be able to eat any tomorrow and that means tomorrow I can resume my ‘perfect’ diet.
Now, if I feel like a chocolate chip biscuit I am going to have 1, or 2, or 3 and really enjoy them. And I don’t need to feel guilty, I don’t need to eat the entire packet, because there is nothing wrong with eating a chocolate chip biscuit.
It’s a completely different approach to eating, and it makes such a huge difference. I’ve lived it – I know how it feels on both sides of the fence.
This isn’t to say that when you focus on increasing your green veggies, you’re never going to crave chocolate chip cookies ever again.
It doesn’t work that way. It’s about having a healthy relationship with food that allows you to enjoy foods in moderation and mostly eat foods that nourish your body and make you feel really good.
Balance and moderation really is key, and it’s not as hard to attain as you might think.
If you’d like to learn how you can work with me 1:1 to clear away your unhealthy food habits and create a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that works for you, click here.