Just like any other thing that you have grown accustomed too, bad habits are very hard to kick off. You might have asked yourself before if it is actually possible to crave a salad instead of pizza. Fortunately, you are not alone and several food companies have been figuring out the science about flavor preferences. After studying different ratios of sugars, fats, salts and others, it has been confirmed that you can actually rewire your brain to prefer healthier options. Here are some ways how:
The Five Ingredient Rule
Quitting junk food might be just as tough as quitting any other addiction, but you do not need a dedication and discipline like that of Batman’s before you can get anywhere. If you want to quit eating junk food for good, the first rule is you should always check the ingredient list or nutrition facts when you are about to purchase something.
If you see more than five ingredients, do not buy it. When there are more than five ingredients in one food item, that should already be a red flag. This only means that such food is processed and thus, it is no good for you. If you really do insist, have it as a treat and limit consumption.
Avoid Things That Trigger You
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” – Mike Murdock
Studies have shown that it only takes a week for you to form a new habit or to lose a new one. So if you happen to associate your afternoon breaks with eating them, take a walk around the block instead. Distract yourself as much as possible when you are very likely to get triggered by eating junk food.
If you see that convenience store where you get all that junk, try walking faster and distracting yourself as much as you can when it is in the line of sight. Of course, this will not be easy but do this as much as you can and you will lose the habit before you know.
Watch Your Blood Sugar
Keeping your blood sugar in check is very crucial. When your blood sugar spirals out of control, this is what can drive you to reach out for that tub of ice cream and finish it all off in one sitting.
If your blood sugar is too low, this means you will eat anything in sight regardless of how unhealthy it is. To avoid getting into this frenzy, eat a small snack every three to four hours. Of course, this snack should consist of healthy options such as seeds, nuts, yogurt or fruits.
Love Your Veggies
The thought of falling in love with the idea of eating more vegetables more than anything else does not sound very realistic, but you actually can be happy with eating vegetables. A study conducted by the University of Warwick’s Medical School shows that those who ate five or more portions of fruits and vegetables in a day were happier than those who do not do so.
Dr. Saverio Stranges, the study’s lead researcher said that he too was surprised by these findings. “These novel findings suggest that fruit and vegetable intake might play a potential role as a driver, not just of physical, but also of mental well being.”
Limit Access to Junkfood
If you really want to get rid of your habit, make these unhealthy options as inaccessible as possible, while making healthier options within arm’s reach. Put the healthiest foods where you can access them the easiest. You can do this by stocking junk food in areas where you would need a stool to access them, while always having a basket full of fresh fruits ready.
You can also have some cucumber and carrots sliced ahead of time and place these and a cup of organic hummus or Greek yogurt where you used to put your chips and dip. You will get tired of exerting extra effort for those junk foods and you will begin to love your healthier options.
Teaching yourself how to eat healthily does not require super powers or any magic spell. Just some small tweaks with your relationship with food can teach you invaluable eating habits. Do you know of any other tips? Share them with us in the comments below.