8 Tips to Reduce Junk Food Consumption

Pre-packaged junk food is easy to find excuses to eat, whether you are trying to save money, need it for a quick meal, or simply because it tastes good. Packaged food is appealing because of its appeal in advertising, culture and communities. How can we stop eating junk food?

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These are my tips to eat less packaged food (junk food).

1. You can make it yourself, so don’t buy it in any packaging.

Easy Desserts You Can Make from Scratch This Chocolate Mug Cake is quick and easy to make. It only requires 5 ingredients. Chia pudding can be made in 5 minutes, instead of the time it takes to make boxed pudding. It’s also healthier.

Get yourself some Dessert Mugs! Jumbo Coffee and Cereal Set, 4 Wide Ceramic Mugs, 24 Ounce, Multi-Purpose Wide Mug, for Soup, Cappuccino Latte Coffee, Cappuccino Latte Coffee, Tea, Cereal Bowl, Ice Cream Dessert Bowl.

Avoid boxed mac and cheese

Don't buy it in a box if you can make it from scratch. Like this image of this homemade mac and cheese.

You can make mac and cheese from scratch! Although I wouldn’t recommend mac and cheese as a healthy option, I know it’s a big hit with kids. You can make this healthier by using whole milk, gluten-free noodles, and rBST-free cheese. You can shred the cheese while the pasta is boiling. It won’t take much time. To eat healthier, it’s worth taking 5 extra minutes. This recipe is Paleo, while this one uses cashews. Salad dressings are often loaded with sugar and unhealthy oils. In the past few years, I have been making my own salad dressings. You can make a simple salad dressing by adding olive oil, red vinegar, and salt to the mix. Although it’s not very exciting, it is easy to make in a pinch. We also have made our own dressings and put them in a container. These salad dressings are made with just three ingredients (or less). Most of them can be used as a healthy option.

These bottles are perfect for DIY condiments. Nicebottles Clear Glass Beverage/Sauce Bottles 12 Oz, White Caps – Case of 6

Fries Cut up sweet potatoes or potatoes and sprinkle olive oil and salt on them. Then, bake them. It’s not difficult. Bagged fries can contain a lot of processed ingredients. I used to buy the best fries, but they weren’t as healthy as homemade. Bagged fries are not something I miss.

This will cut perfectly your fries! French Fry Cutter, Geedel Professional potato cutter for French Fries Vegetable chopper for vegetables, onions, carrots, cucumbers, and many more.

Juices You can make smoothies with fresh fruits, or juicing to get more nutrients. A handful of spinach, some strawberries and a banana mixed with yogurt is my favorite way to make a juice. Flax seeds and chia seeds are also great additions. This is a great way to replace soda, or you can try Kombucha or selzer waters.

NutriBullet This item is great for making smoothies and sauces. It’s easy to use and clean up. View the item

You can also find great healthy breakfast ideas using lots of whole food (some simple, some a lot more complicated) by clicking here: More than 30+ Dairy and Gluten-Free Breakfast Ideas (& Sugar Free) as well as healthy snack ideas.

2. Here are some quick meal ideas

Soup as an example of a meal that is great to freeze and eat at a later time.

If you have the time and energy, you can make large meals that you can freeze so you can eat them later. Reheated soups, chili, and casseroles are great. My husband is a huge fan of homemade pizza, so we make lots and freeze them to have on hand for quick meals. You can also make quick meals with canned goods. Our canned wild-caught salmon can be used in quick salads, while my husband prefers canned tuna.

You don’t have to make a meal, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use Mcdonalds’ drive-thru. I won’t be there.

There are healthier options. You can get a salad from many places. Just make sure you have your own dressing. Jimmy John’s offers an Unwich wrap, which is a wrap made of lettuce and not bread. Some restaurants offer baked chicken wings as an alternative to fried. Noodles offers zoodles with zucchini, as well as regular noodles. Farm to table restaurants are also a healthier option for a sit-down dinner. Going out for dinner can sometimes be more healthy than buying a prepackaged meal, chicken nuggets or frozen pizza.

3. Plan Ahead

Make a Grocery List ahead of time and stick to it!

An image of a shopping list to talk about the importance of planning your grocery list ahead of time.

I plan 7 meals for the week by sitting down with my recipe book a day in advance. I’ve developed a system that allows me to choose between one or two vegetarian meals and a few chicken recipes. There are no more than two meals with meat. Some recipes can also be made with fish. I eat more fish and chicken because they are healthier. Gluten is something I avoid.

Bread is a favorite of mine, so it’s a treat to get it once in a while. Gluten-free bread is just as good as regular flour. Gluten-free bread is not as delicious as organic Italian bread.

Another thing that I consider is not eating more than two meals with cheddar cheese. Before I started a dairy-free diet, I used to eat lots of cheese recipes. Since then I have gotten rid of a lot of cheese. I can go without cheese for a week or even a month. Fresh vegetables are a common ingredient in my meals. I don’t eat frozen vegetables. I try to plan simple, quick and complex recipes that are equally time-consuming.

Event planning could be used to plan your dinners, breakfasts, and lunches one day in advance. However, I rarely do this. Do you ever forget to freeze your meat before cooking? Most meat can be defrosted in hot water in about 30 minutes.

ALSO…Don’t go to the Grocery store hungry! Because I am often hungry, I plan my grocery list. I find it difficult to think about food after eating. My #1 rule is not to go grocery shopping hungry. Before I go grocery shopping, I always eat. Extra items will most likely end up in my cart if I don’t.

To avoid snacking, ensure you eat enough during meal times. Make sure you eat enough fat and protein with every meal. This will fill you up.

4. Explore New Recipes

An image of a whole chicken surrounded by vegetables to talk about how to eat whole foods.

To eat more whole foods, less gluten, and less dairy, make it your goal to cook two new recipes per week. Although many people believe eating healthy is boring, it’s not. If you try new things and experiment with different foods, you won’t be bored. You’ll find recipes that you enjoy and you won’t crave junk food as often. I was afraid that most of the recipes I tried to make were boring and difficult to eat when I began to avoid gluten and dairy. I discovered how wrong I was over time!

My Pinterest page has many healthy and delicious recipes. As you probably know, I love Pinterest. Pinterest is my favorite place to find healthy and easy recipes.

As I have mentioned, paleo recipes are often the best way to find the healthiest recipes. You can also order the ingredients online and have them delivered to your home. They don’t usually have organic fruits or vegetables, grass-fed-beef, organic chicken, etc. However, fresh ingredients are more common.

My blog, Reading and Decoding Food Labels and Toxic Ingredients will help you avoid some of the most harmful ingredients in packaged foods.

5. Get enough sleep

Why sleep causes junk food cravings with a picture of a woman sleeping in white sheets with white pajamas.

Scientifically, junk food cravings can be caused by a lack of sleep.

Are you sleep deprived and crave junk food? It is scientifically proven that this is the case.

Our ancient instincts lead us to crave sweet and fatty foods. Even though we have a lot of sugar and fat today, our bodies still crave the same sugar and fat that was available before the modern famines. This seems strange to me. What do you think? What do you think? This results in an increase of hunger (LaMotte 2019, 2019).

6. Manage Your Stress

When you are stressed, it is normal to crave junk food. Emotionally, it is perfectly normal to eat junk food. It is possible to manage stress differently. You can find my entire blog on stress management here: Managing 3 Stages Of Stress.

7. You shouldn’t buy it

If you know that you will be craving junk food, don’t purchase junk food. If you don’t have any junk food, it is easier to resist your cravings. For snacks, I usually have only two bags of chips (healthier), one box of gluten-free crackers and some dark chocolate. I don’t have much else. It would be difficult for me to stop eating snack foods if I had a lot.

Healthy eating is affordable! Even though I eat healthier now, I still spend the same amount of money on groceries as I did 8 years ago when I lived in an apartment. I also didn’t eat as well back then.

8. Reframe Your Thoughts

How reframing your thoughts helps with junk food cravings with a picture of a brain and a key unlocking it.

Reframing your thoughts and acknowledging that most packaged foods are junk food is not something I recommend. It’s more than the cookies, chips, and candy that we associate with junk food. It includes the bag of fries, chicken nuggets and frozen pizza.

This trick was also taught to me by Dr. Oz. It said, “When you feel hungry for sweet or salty foods, think about what if you replace the craving with an apple. Are you still hungry?” Sometimes we are not hungry, but we just emotionally eat. Sometimes we believe we are hungry, but really we just need more water. Drink more water before you go. It is vital to keep hydrated.

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LaMotte, Sandee. CNN/There is a scientific reason junk food cravings are so strong. (2019, October 23). Retrieved from: sleephttps://www.cnn.com/2019/10/23/health/sleep-junk-food-cravings-wellness/index.html

Levenson, Jared. Why do I crave junk food? 6 Reasons/Eating Enlightment. Retrieved by: https://www.eatingenlightenment.com/2021/08/23/why-do-i-crave-junk-food/

8 Tips to Eating Less Junk Food (or Packaged Food): The Wellness Resolution

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About the Author: Marty