Avoiding the Temptation to Eat Unhealthy Foods

Avoiding the Temptation to Eat Unhealthy FoodsAre you trying to avoid eating unhealthy foods but can’t fight the cravings?  Here is a good starting place to put you on the yellow brick road to healthy eating.

Identify your cravings. A particular food craving might point to something lacking in your diet. Find your favorite cravings below in Bold, and then note the possible item(s) missing from your present diet.

  • Chocolate:  Magnesium. Women should be cautious during menstruation, as magnesium levels do drop. Try snacking on natural fruits, nuts, or take a vitamin/mineral supplement.
  • Sugar or Simple Carbohydrates:  Protein & Complex Carbohydrates. A quick science lesson: Carbohydrates break down into sugars. Since sugar metabolizes very quickly, it is not a good source of long term energy. The best source of energy includes protein and complex carbohydrates, which break down much slower. Broken down grains, such as white rice (Minute Rice) and white flour have been stripped of this goodness, leaving only the inner starch (simple carbohydrates).
  • Fried foods:  Calcium & OMEGA 3 Fatty Acids. OMEGA 3’s are good fat! Try eating more fish, or check your grocery store for milk, cheese, or eggs containing theses essential oils plus calcium (it will state such on the label).
  • Salt:  HydrationVitamin BChloride. When you desire something salty, try to drink water instead. Also, stress can lead to a Vitamin B deficiency, so if your experiencing hardship, take a second Vitamin B supplement half way through your day.

Remove temptation. Just get rid of it, and remove all temptation from your home. To keep yourself from buying more, never go to the grocery store while hungry. When you have only healthy foods to eat, you’ll make healthy choices. When you do get a craving, it’ll be too much bother to hunt down a candy bar, when you have a healthy substitute at home.

When you go to the store, force yourself to buy good foods. Avoid ice-cream, frozen dinners, white bread, sweets and snacks. If you do this, you will find it harder and harder to eat the wrong type of foods at home.

Replace the rituals. You don’t need dessert after dinner. You don’t need candy at the movies. You don’t need a donut with your coffee. To break such habits, provide a healthy alternative beforehand, such as a piece of fruit or granola bar. Keep an assortment of healthy choices around, such as a crisp vegetable salad you can garnish with lemon or peppers, oranges, apples, water melon, and other healthy snacks.

Avoid Boredom. Keep yourself active and busy, so you’re not always thinking about just food. There is a lot more to do than eat.

Drink plenty of water! The water intake recommended does NOT include the water you receive from food or coffee. If you feel thirsty, this means you are already dehydrated – and dehydration can often be confused with hunger. Keep a large jug of lemon favored water or chilled herbal tea on hand if you don’t like plain water. Another trick is to keep a drinking glass and jug of water always in sight. If it’s in front of you, you’ll drink it.

Most people need to lower cholesterol levels to either remain or become healthy. In addition to how food affects cholesterol, we also need to understand how one’s weight, exercise, and genetics all factor into our overall health.

Reward Yourself! Permit yourself a treat from time to time, as you establish new habits. Just be sure a treat is exactly that, just a small taste and also as a reward! One or two cookies, not an entire bag. If you lack the will power in the beginning, purchase a small prepackaged goodie, so that is all there is. A “cheat-day” is a day in which you are permitted to have such a treat. It does not mean you can cheat all day long!

Tips:

  • Start slowly. It is easier to stick to a new routine if you gradually work up to it.
  • Eating healthy is a lifestyle, not a quick fix to a problem
  • “Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.”
  • There are many other things you can do instead of snacking. A short list includes: read the paper, watch a ball game, draw a picture, cut the lawn, plant some flowers, drink a cup of tea, call a friend, take a walk, groom your dog, watch a sitcom, learn a foreign language, do a dance routine, read a book, or research something.
  • Practice mindful eating.  Eat your meals slowly, with other people, and at a table made to hold a plate and have chairs around it.
  • Don’t overdo it. Eating healthy is wonderful, but it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while.

Warnings:

  • “In Moderation” does not work for everyone. Some foods trigger people, and just like an alcoholic cannot have just one glass of wine, a sugar-holic cannot have just one piece of candy. It is better to eliminate the foods you binge on or find a good substitute for them. That way you can eat normal portions of healthy food, instead of craving and eating bad junk.
  • If you really want to stay healthy, the best thing to do is eat good food with nutritional value.
  • Eating disorders affect 15% of young woman and men. This number is on the increase. They are very harmful. The most common are Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia nervosaAnorexia nervosa is when you do not allow yourself to eat or when you induce vomiting, take laxatives or exercise excessively in order to lose weight, causing the body to starve. Bulimia is characterized by binge-purge behavior- you consume large amounts of food seemingly uncontrollably, but force yourself to vomit or take laxatives, exercise or fast (purge) in order not to gain weight from binges. Both can kill you, so if these are part of your make up, then seek the help of a dietician, psychiatrist or other professional for what will work for you in terms of eating.
  • If you suspect you have an eating disorder, seek professional help immediately.

Adapted from How to Avoid the Temptation to Eat Unhealthy Foods.