Ways To Break Unhealthy Food Associations
Many people eat unhealthy food on a regular basis. Usually, unhealthy food associations are linked to many different factors. For example, people consume unhealthy food when they are in the club, watching their favorite TV program, or just sitting at home idle. It is not uncommon for people to purchase popcorns and beverages when they go out to watch movies. In the same way, people purchase ice-creams if they go out for a walk after dinner. These unhealthy food associations can cause addiction and increase your weight.
For you to stay healthy, it is vital to break such unhealthy food associations. There are numerous ways to break the habits of eating unhealthy food. The thing to bear in mind though is that the key to a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle is variety and not to have too much of something. Below are some suggestions to breaking unhealthy food associations.
Change your environment
If you frequently eat while doing something such as snacking while watching a movie, your body will begin to crave food automatically when you sit in front of your television set. Break this association by changing your environment. For instance, you can move your TV elsewhere or reorganize your TV room. Replacing these associated food cravings with positive healthy self-image can reset your mind and teach it how it can stop craving junk food.
Increase your food cycle lengths
Increase the length of your food cycles, that is, rather than having pizza each Friday, you can have it once in a month. This will aid you break the routine. Replace Pizzas every Friday with something healthier. It is vital also to watch your diet as a whole. It’s very rare that only one type of food is the problem. Usually, a lot of people tend to have a mixture of unhealthy food associations that have an effect on their health in the long run. Thus, know your food habits and check on what you always associate them with.
Keep a food diary
It is essential to keep a diary till you break your unhealthy food association completely. In your diary, list all those unhealthy foods that you eat very often and think about which ones you can eliminate from your diet without making it too dreary. Try and recognize unhealthy food associations with various activities like eating biscuits watching your favorite TV program, or hot dogs, chips and pies at the football, and eradicate them completely or modify them.
Cleanse your taste
There is a reason fancy eateries serve sorbet between the courses. This helps to clean your taste buds so that you can enjoy your next meal without being abstracted by the taste from the dishes that you consumed before. You can use this very same method to control your food craving. Try to brush your teeth or chew some gum. If you do any of these things, you will clear your taste so the food flavor does not remain in your mouth making you crave more.
When we are stressed out our body releases a hormone called cortisol. This causes you to look for rewards in the form of junk food cravings. Fat and sugar reduces the effect of this hormone. If you cannot wait out junk cravings when you’re stressed, take something healthy or distract your mind with something that can counteract the stress.
Replace unhealthy activities with healthy ones
Replace some of the activities that have unhealthy food associations with those that don’t. For instance, you can take a walk and consume salads in the morning rather than reading the newspaper and drinking large amounts of coffee. In addition, it is vital to compensate whenever you consume something unhealthy. For instance, if you’re going to the movies on Friday afternoon and consume more than you should, you can go for a bike ride or walk on Saturday morning to compensate for it.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is vital. Not only because of how it affects one physically, but psychologically as well. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can affect your metabolism by making you feel hungry even though you are not. Lack of sleep may affect the secretion of hormone cortisol. Cortisol is among the hormones that control hunger. Studies suggest that we move around less when we don’t get adequate sleep. This means we burn fewer calories.
Cleanse your body
Cleansing your body including going the whole day with significantly reduced calorie intake can reprogram your system and make you sensitive to your body’s requirements. Also, this will help your body metabolize food more efficiently. This can help to decrease junk cravings and help you make good food choices in general.
Throw junk foods out of your fridge
You are less likely to crave candy, chips or cookies if they are not available in your fridge. Do yourself a big favor by not bringing them home. If there are unhealthy foods in your fridge, toss them out and stock your fridge with healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grain, cheese, crackers among others. By removing snacks that don’t match your diet and stocking plenty that do, you are less likely to find yourself consuming unhealthy foods.
Get healthier substitutes
You might be able to fake a craving and evade the extra calories, salt, fat, and sugar by consuming the type of food that is close to what you’re craving for. If you are craving sweet, you can eat dates as they are very sugary. If you need something creamy, you can try a low-fat yogurt. Try to replace what you are craving with something that is close to what you want.
Including lots of unhealthy food in your diet can be very harmful. It can cause a lot of health problems. Junk foods contain high levels of calories, sugar, and fat. Furthermore, it offers only some nutrients. Consequently, it increases your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, and causes many other health problems. It is vitally important to comprehend that variety in your eating routine is the key to a healthy lifestyle.