Dictionary.com defines addiction as:
“the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma”.
It defines junk food as:
“food that is high in calories but of little nutritional value”.
Junk food addiction is the habit of eating unhealthy food regularly just to tickle one’s taste buds. A lot of people cannot resist it despite knowing its repercussions on their health. They set goals, make diet plans etc, yet end up reverting back to the same old habits.
All around you
It is not practically possible to avoid junk food completely. It is present everywhere – be it the television advertisements, a random food related post on social media, the restaurants around and now the food delivery apps. Yet one can ensure that such cravings don’t turn into an addiction.
The food items which have the worst impact on your health are:
- Pre-packaged snack foods
- Canned food
- Sugary drinks
- Deep fried food items
- Frozen foods
- High calorie coffee drinks
- Processed food items
- Refined white flour used in breads and baked goods
Impact on health
Junk food addiction can lead to a lot of diseases like:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Digestive problems
- Fluctuations in blood sugar levels
- Effect on brain function
- Chemical changes that lead to depression
- Fatigue and weakness
It makes you impatient and can cause uncontrollable cravings. Before your body starts showing such symptoms, it is better to switch to healthier food choices.
Tips to avoid junk food
• Home cooked food: If your busy lifestyle doesn’t afford you the time to cook all the meals, it is wise to have a full-time cook rather than resorting to ordering fast food.
• Joining gym: Joining a gym or indulging in any other exercise routine shifts your focus to switching to a healthy lifestyle and consequently impacts your food choices.
• Regular meals: Eating regular meals on time no matter how busy you are; leaves less possibility of craving for junk food.
• Healthy alternatives: Lately, a lot of restaurants have opened up that serve healthy food. Having a handy list of such places can be helpful.
• Stop seeing junk food as reward: Don’t indulge in the habit of treating yourself to junk food once you finish a particular task or achieve a certain target. Try replacing the reward by other things.
• Focus on the benefits of healthy food: Consciously reminding yourself of the benefits of having a healthy meal will help break the cycle of junk food addiction.
• Distract yourself: Every time you feel an urge to eat junk food, you can distract yourself by indulging in some other activity that captures your attention.
• Healthy snacks: Keeping some healthy snacks with you while at work can help avoid junk food.
A healthy meal will have a positive impact not just on your physical health but also your skin, hair and mood in general. Make it a habit to respect your body and practice mindfulness before you eat.