Have You Ever Wondered Why We Crave Junk Food So Much?

When we think about going on a diet we don’t just think about the good and healthy food that we will be eating but our mind’s start to wander and we find ourselves thinking about the foods that we will have to cut down on.
Like cake, cookies, pies, chips soda, fast food and candy.

Then,  since our culture has always celebrated happy occasions with these types of sugary or fatty foods we equate them with the feeling of being happy. Just think about birthday parties or weddings.  How many birthday parties serve good nutritious food compared to having birthday cake and ice cream?

So when you think about going on a diet and having to give up less nutritious food your mind tells your body that it is being punished since it can’t have the “happy food”. Once you feel punished the forbidden seems more appetizing and it’s on your mind more often.

But what if you made a few changes in your mindset so that having less junk food was the happier option?
Then you would not feel so deprived or feel that you are being denied something that you think you want.
And believe it or not, there are many times when we go for a treat, eat it and still don’t feel satisfied.

There are two different ways that you can change your feeling about junk food compared to healthier food, making being on a diet a positive experience.

1. When you start a diet, never say that you won’t have a certain type of food again. If you love french fries and feel as though you have to give them up you are going to be miserable during the entire time that you diet and a diet should be a live long goal – not just a few weeks or months.

You don’t need to give up your favorite foods, just just need to cut down and cut back.  Instead of having fries once a week could you have them just once a month? If you could you would enjoy them so much more. It will be something that you look forward to having. The when you do have your fries ( or other treat) only eat half the amount that you normally would.

While you might think that by holding off your treat and looking forward to it may make you crave it more, but you will find out that when you do have it, it really doesn’t satisfy you like you thought that it would.
Then after a few months, you will find that your craving for that food gets less and less.

Now let’s suppose that by only allowing you to have your special food on the rare occasion makes you love it even more?
Well that’s find since you will still have it less often and will only have half the amount that you would have in the past so you won’t really kill your diet.

2. The other way to help your diet feel less restricted or having you feel as though you are being deprived is to try and change your mindset towards more healthy food.
Let’s say that you love having bread with each meal and you prefer a highly processed white bread over healthier ones.
Now I could say, chuck the white and only have 100% whole wheat ( which is much healthier, has less calories and fat, more fiber and will help you feel full longer).

Now going directly from white bread to 100% whole wheat would be a big change for you and you might resent having to eat the wheat bread and you’ll soon be back to your over processed white bread.

So instead of jumping from one type directly to another choose a bread that is one step up from white – a mixed grain bread.
It will be close enough to your white bread to still enjoy it while you are starting to move your diet in the right direction.

You can do the same thing with milk. Go from whole fat to 2% milk, to 1% and then fat free ( or use rice or almond milk) .
Almond milk has about the same calories as skim milk yet, it tastes a bit like melted ice cream if you choose the vanilla flavored version.  Yes, the vanilla almond milk does have a bit of sugar but again after you use it for a bit you can switch over to the plain.

You see when you start on a diet there are no rules or regulations that say you must start today & your diet must be super strict.
You’ll find that if you make small changes over a period of time you’ll start seeing the older junk food type food less appealing and the healthier food will become more appetizing.

This way you won’t feel deprived and you will be able to live this healthy lifestyle year in a year out and you will learn how to still enjoy birthday cake or food at other celebrations and then go right back to your healthier way of eating.

I have a friend who sticks to a low fat diet most of the year. He does really good on the diet ad has lost about 40 pounds and has been able to cut down on all of his prescription drugs. However since he really does like burgers, fries and rib eye steaks, he has decided that he will only eat them when he either goes on vacation or on during a holiday celebration like the 4th of July, Labor Day, Christmas etc.

Since he is not giving up his fattier food for life he doesn’t miss them. He looks forward to the times when he can have it and over the last two years he has found that he really doesn’t enjoy the fattier food as much so he naturally eats less.

So if you never, say never your “forbidden” food doesn’t seem as tantalizing and you won’t crave it like you once did.

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