How To Stop Craving Junk Food: 5 Surprising Tips

Posted by Mourad Jabbour On Sunday, March 31, 2013 0 comments

A sudden uncontrollable craving can sabotage even the best-laid healthy eating plans. Even though most cravings don't last more than 20 to 30 minutes, they can be difficult to resist. In fact, the food industry invests a lot into scientifically researching what gets us hooked on food and what keeps us coming back. It can be hard to compete with this with willpower alone. The following five tips will help you understand how to stop craving junk food.
  1. Stress. When you are stressed out your body releases the hormone cortisol. This causes you to seek out rewards in the form of junk food cravings. Sugar and fat decrease the effect of this hormone. If you can't wait out cravings when you are stressed then eat something healthy or distract yourself with something that will counteract the stress.

  2. Sleep. When you don't sleep enough your body releases various hormones that make you want to eat and increases the chance that you will reach for some junk food. Caffeine can help in the short term (think low cal coffee, not a super caramel mocha latte). Improving your sleep habits is the best solution in the long term.

  3. Association. If you regularly eat while doing an activity - say snacking while watching TV - your body will automatically start to crave food when you sit in front of your TV. You can break this association by changing your environment (e.g. re-arrange your TV room or move your TV somewhere else). Replacing these associated food cravings with a more positive healthy self-image will help reprogram your brain and teach it how to stop craving junk food.

  4. Going cold turkey. Sometimes completely eliminating something from your diet is easier than cutting down on it. You will need to find a healthy substitute to replace the junk food such as nuts, protein bars or shakes, and healthy meals instead of fast food.

  5. Cleansing. Cleansing your body including going a day with drastically reduced calorie intake can reset your system and make you more sensitive to your body's needs. It will also help your body metabolize food more effectively. This can help to reduce cravings as well as help you make better food choices in general.
These five points can help you better understand how to stop craving junk food. Try implementing just one item from the list for a week or two. Given enough time, it will become habit and you can move on to implementing another item from the list. Eventually you can work towards more healthy eating habits and fewer junk food cravings.


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