Junk food cravings are strong. It is hard to resist the call of warm doughnuts, gooey chocolate bars, nachos, or ice cream crammed with candy and caramel. The cravings for junk are strong, and you need to be stronger than the cravings when you are trying to lose weight. Here are nine ways to ditch the cravings for junk food once and for all.
1. Step away from temptation.
Junk food may seem like it is everywhere but it’s really not. There is no junk food in your car or home unless you put it there or someone you live with brings it. Step away from the junk food by not buying it, asking family members not to bring it into your house, and avoiding places where you are tempted to purchase junk food.
2. Identify cravings correctly.
You may think you have a craving for chocolate or chips, but there is a good chance your cravings are not for junk but something else. You may be bored, feel lonely or sad, need to talk to a friend, or be in need of some fresh air.
3. Learn how bad the junk food really is.
It’s one thing to kinda know that junk food is bad for you but another to fully understand how bad that food truly is. For example, you know that movie popcorn isn’t the best, but would you ever eat it again if you knew it had over 1,000 calories and 60 g of saturated fat in a large container? Perhaps not.
4. Move on after a mess up.
If you give in to junk food cravings one day, just move on the next day. Don’t dwell on your mistake or just give up and eat more junk. The less junk food you eat the faster the cravings will go away.
5. Know your weak times.
Even at 300 pounds I didn’t crave junk food from morning to night. I had pockets of time where the junk food cravings were the strongest. I learned what those times were and so should you. Many people crave junk food during the afternoon doldrums or late at night.
6. Have alternatives ready.
If you are craving a candy bar from the vending machine and have your $0.75 in your hand and no healthy alternative, what are you likely to do? You are likely to plop those quarters in the machine and chow down. Have healthy alternatives ready such as fruit, granola bars, trail mix, or water spiked with a bit of fruit juice.
7. Be prepared to wait.
Cravings come on strong but they typically don’t stay strong for long. If you can wait out the cravings they will go away or diminish to the point that you don’t feel such a desire for junk food. Give yourself 15 to 30 minutes for the cravings to become manageable.
8. Remove yourself from the situation.
There are times when junk food cravings arise because you are in a situation where junk food is everywhere. For example, one time I was at a ladies’ night out party and there was an entire table dedicated to chocolate. I became increasingly miserable as I wanted to eat every food item on that table. I knew if I had just a taste I would fall into the chocolate abyss because I wasn’t feeling mentally strong right then. So I thanked the hostess and left.
9. Exercise the cravings away.
If you are craving junk food, try going for a walk or lifting weights for 15 or 20 minutes. The endorphins from exercise will help offset the junk food cravings and you will likely find the cravings are gone once you have finished your quick workout.