Wednesday, February 21, 2024

How To Stop Being Addicted To Junk Food

How To Stop Junk Food Addiction

Addicted To Junk Food ? Simple Tips To Stop Overeating | World Food Day

By Holly Klamer, RDResearched Based Article

For many people, a diet based on junk food is a way of life. Whilst they are aware of the repercussions for their health, they often feel that they are incapable of changing their way of eating.

These people usually know what types of food they should be putting into their bodies, however, they are powerless to make these changes, relying instead on a constant fix of fat and sugar to get them through the day. As with alcohol, or stronger drugs, addiction to junk food can be an incredibly dangerous situation for our health.

How To Reduce Junk Food Addiction3 Minutes

As an individual, it is your responsibility to take healthy steps towards a better life. This way you can safeguard your family as well from avoidable ailments. A health insurance plan is only a safety net when it comes to your finances, but your health is in your hands. We do understand that totally eradicating junk food from your diet is close to impossible, so we are not asking you to do that. All we are saying is eat healthy when you can and watch what you eat.So, we urge you to take a step in the right direction and work towards ensuring that you help yourself. We will always be here to help you, but as the saying goes, God helps those who help themselves. Get cracking on a healthier tomorrow, today.Also, thank us later!

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It All Begins In The Brain

To be more specific, the prefrontal cortex. This region of the brain plays a role in our decision-making and impulse control. Need I say more!

So what can cause of prefrontal cortex to mess with our willpower? Here are a few: being sleep deprived, being distracted, and being drunk.

If for example, you are not getting enough sleep at night you are more likely to make poor food choices and dig into that bag of chips.

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Best Practices: How To Train Your Brain To Crave Healthily


  • Train Your Brain to Crave Healthily
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    Why Is Junk Food so Dangerous for Human Being?

    Excessive passion for processed food and snacks belongs to the top reasons for obesity and high disease rates in different countries all over the world, but Americans are the undisputed leaders. They spend more $60 billion a year on snack foods, and this figure is very frightening. Unprocessed foods are created by nature, thats why human body easily digests them taste and consistency of such food easily satiate hunger. In contrast to that, junk food and other processed foods contain a big amount of salt, sugar, and flavour enhancers that are very addictive.

    Effective Tips How to Train the Brain to Be Healthy Food Addicted

    1. Take a clear look at your cravings. Our brain consumes a lot of energy, for that reason it constantly needs nutrients. On the one hand, foods rich in fats and carbs give a powerful boost of energy and activate the production of dopamine that makes us feel happy. On the other hand, they cause addiction circuits in the way described above in order to anticipate their eating by people. To prevent cravings before they begin is the best solution to break the addiction cycle. You should consume more healthy good-tasting foods rich in carbs, as their digestion takes more time and abates the link between the taste of foods and the hyperactivation of the addiction centers.

    Final Word

    How To Break Junk Food Addiction

    Addicted to Junk Food? Simple tips to stop eating junk food

    Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â itâs anonymous and free!

    Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â itâs anonymous and free!

    HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

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    Be Honest With Yourself About Whats Holding You Back From Progress

    • How do you see your body, and to what or to whom do you compare yourself?
    • What thoughts and emotions do you associate with food and eating?
    • What gets in the way of improving your eating and exercise habits?
    • What emotions are catalysts in unhealthy eating and drinking at the time you indulge, and what can you do to minimize their influence or work through them?

    How To Stop Eating Junk Food: 10 Tips To Take Back Control

    CHEF SKY HANKA March 25, 2021

    Want to stop eating junk food? Want to get out of the 3pm slump feeling groggy and tired, or for-go the mindless crunchy snacking late at night?

    This is the break-up we all want, repave your health and wellness with these 10 tips to break cravings and reclaim control over our intense desire for junk food.

    Read Also: What To Do If Your Addicted To Food

    How Many People Have Food Addiction

    A recent systematic review examined the total prevalence of food addiction in people all over the world8Pursey K, Stanwell P, Gearhardt A, et al. The prevalence of food addiction as assessed by the Yale Food Addiction Scale: a systematic review. Nutrients. 2014 6:4552-4590.. Some interesting findings from this review emerged:

    • The global prevalence of food addiction is 19.9%.
    • Females had higher rates of food addiction than males .
    • Overweight/obese people had higher rates of food addiction than normal weight people .
    • People with an eating disorder had much higher rates of food addiction than people without an eating disorder .

    Some people think that food addiction is just another term for binge-eating disorder.

    The evidence does not support this, because more than 40% of people with binge-eating disorder do not receive a diagnosis of food addiction9Linardon J, Messer M. Assessment of food addiction using the Yale Food Addiction Scale 2.0 in individuals with binge-eating disorder symptomatology: Factor structure, psychometric properties, and clinical significance. Psychiatry Research. 2019..

    This suggests that the food addiction construct is not entirely overlapping binge-eating disorder.

    First Steps In Overcoming Food Addiction

    How to Quit Eating Junk Food (Cure Junk Food Craving Stop Addiction)

    A few things can help prepare for giving up junk foods and make the transition easier:

    • Trigger foods. Write down a list of the foods that cause cravings and/or binges. These are the trigger foods to avoid completely.
    • Fast food places. Make a list of fast food places that serve healthy foods and note their healthy options. This may prevent a relapse when hungry and not in the mood to cook.
    • What to eat. Think about what foods to eat preferably healthy foods that are liked and already eaten regularly.
    • Pros and cons. Consider making several copies of the pro-and-con list. Keep a copy in the kitchen, glove compartment, and purse or wallet.

    Additionally, dont go on a diet. Put weight loss on hold for at least 13 months.

    Overcoming food addiction is difficult enough. Adding hunger and restrictions to the mix is likely to make things harder.

    After taking these preparatory steps, set a date in the near future like the coming weekend from which point onward the addictive trigger foods wont be touched again.


    To overcome food addiction, its important to plan. Make a list of trigger foods and know what is going to be eaten instead.

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    The Relationship Between Alcohol & Processed Foods

    A 2015 paper from the American College of Nutrition explains this relationship between addictions to alcohol and processed foods:

    When processed food addiction is compared to substance-based addictions such as alcoholism and smoking, a clear, consistent disease concept emerges. The similarities between alcohol addiction and processed food addiction include neuro-dysfunction of cravings and suppression of cognitive function, genetics, impulsive and irritable behavior, mood disorders, conformance to addiction diagnostic criteria, family patterns, young age of onset, a fetal syndrome, serious consequences, disrupted careers and relationships, and food industry business practices of advertising, pricing, marketing to children and easy availability. Abstinence has also shown to be effective in treatment.

    I find that to be so profound. According to this research paper, alcohol addiction in the 18th century and processed food addiction today are based on the same 5-A Equation. This includes five words that begin with the letter A that are necessary for creating highly addictive substances. Here are the 5 As:

    Availability: Make the substance available everywhere 24/7

    Affordability: Produce the product for as cheap as possible & make it seem like an irresistible value

    Addictive properties in the product: Add components that keep people hooked and coming back for more

    Advertising: Spend millions of dollars on marketing to create a new norm in society

    A Culpable Food Industry

    Many people believe the food industry spikes food with processed sugars and flours knowing this will lead to food addiction.

    Indeed, many supermarket premade dishes contain more sugar than a bar of chocolate! The sweetness of these dishes is often hidden by an infusion of salt and spices.

    In fact, some even say processed sugar is more addictive than cocaine!

    I recommend you read the book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss.

    Studies conducted on rats exposed to junk food prove the rats suffer withdrawal symptoms when the junk food is removed similar to that suffered by rats addicted to drugs or alcohol.

    This was particularly the case for rats addicted to sugar. When sugar was withdrawn, the rats suffered several withdrawal symptoms: shaking, anxiety and a change in body temperature.

    Scientists say youre least likely to become addicted to unprocessed natural foods such as vegetables, nuts, beans and seeds.

    Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Sugar Addiction

    Its A Serious Problem

    Though the term addiction is often thrown around lightly, having a true addiction is a serious condition that typically requires treatment to overcome.

    The symptoms and thought processes associated with food addiction are similar to those of drug abuse. Its just a different substance, and the social consequences may be less severe.

    Food addiction can cause physical harm and lead to chronic health conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes .

    In addition, it may negatively impact a persons self-esteem and self-image, making them unhappy with their body.

    As with other addictions, food addiction may take an emotional toll and increase a persons risk of premature death.


    Food addiction increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Excessive weight may also affect a persons self-esteem.

    Completely avoiding junk foods may seem impossible. Theyre everywhere and a major part of modern culture.

    However, in some cases, entirely abstaining from certain trigger foods can become necessary.

    Once the firm decision to never eat these foods again is made, avoiding them may become easier, as the need to justify eating or not eating them is eliminated. Cravings may also disappear or decrease significantly.

    Consider writing a list of pros and cons to think through the decision.

    Write everything down no matter how peculiar or vain it may seem. Then compare the two lists and ask if its worth it.

    If the answer is a resounding yes, be assured that its the right decision.

    Cleaning Out Your Palette

    Stop junk food addiction 4 Steps to Quit Junk Food

    According to Dr. Neal Barnard, addictive foods, like cheese, sugar, and chocolate all have chemical compounds that activate the brains secretion of chemicals like dopamine.

    Dopamine makes you feel pleasure when you eat junk food.

    However, consuming junk food is linked to chronic disease. In addition, they make your tissues become inflamed, narrow your blood vessels, cause your blood pressure to rise, and more.

    Therefore, in order to avoid any health issues as a consequence of eating junk food, the first step we need to take is to clean out our palette.

    When you stop eating junk food, your palate will adapt to your new diet. In fact, unhealthy foods will start to taste too salty, or too sweet, and eventually, you wont think they taste nearly as good anymore.

    But in order for this to happen, the body needs to get rid of toxins through the liver, kidneys, sweat, intestines, lungs, skin, urine, and lymphatic system.

    When you dont get rid of the contaminants in your body, these vital systems work too hard and are compromised, contaminants arent thoroughly purified, and the body is harmfully affected.

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    Eat A Well Balanced Diet

    Fad dieting, severe restriction and skipping meals will predispose you to binge eating and overconsumption at your next meal time. Dont do it. Follow a healthy, well-balanced meal plan with protein, high fibre carbohydrate, healthy fats and lots of fruit and vegetables.

    The most important thing to remember is to not give up. You want to change your eating habits and lifestyle forever, so give yourself a break if you have a relapse into old habits and try again tomorrow. The great thing about life is that its never too late.

    Here at The Healthy Eating Hub we are keen to help you kick your food addiction.

    If youd like further help with your nutrition please click below:

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    Ask For Support From Friends And Family

    Support from friends and family can help you overcome all sorts of addictions. Ask a loved one to remind you to make better food choices.

    You should also spend time with people who maintain healthy eating habits. Its highly unlikely youll eat junk food if everyone around you is eating healthy foods.

    At the same time, its hard to overcome junk food addiction if your friend or partner eats it all the time.

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    Why Is Junk Food Addictive

    Sugar, fat and other ingredients commonly found in junk food can cause us to become addicted to these foods. Eating a lot of sugar and fat causes the release of dopamine in the body, which is a chemical that makes us feels good. Consequently, we want to have this feeling more often and turn to sweet foods to get it.

    Sugary foods also generally cause a large spike in blood glucose levels, which drops rapidly, leaving us hungry and craving more sugar. Lack of sugar in the diet of a person who normally consumes a lot has also been associated with opiate like withdrawal effects in the body.

    Apart from this physiological effect of junk food, there is also the fact that it tastes good. Fast food companies spend a lot of money developing the tastiest products they can and the result is we like to eat them. Flavours, salt and MSG all contribute to the palatability of these foods and as we become accustomed to these ingredients, we may need more and more.

    Tip #: Make Peace With Your Body

    How I Stopped My Junk Food Addiction

    One of the big reasons food rules develop is because we want to manipulate the size/shape/weight of our bodies. In order to make peace with food you have got to learn to make peace with your body. This is SO important that we devote an entire stage to it in The SociEATy.

    I have a blog post on how to overcome negative body image as well as how to overcome your fear of weight gain that will be super helpful.

    And if youâre like âColleen⦠Okay so thatâs all great but I want to be HEALTHY!â I gotchu. Weight and body size are NOT great indicators of health. I want you to be healthy, gorgeous. I mean, as a Registered Dietitian thatâs kinda my job, right?

    You truly can be healthy at any size . Kinda like we all have different shoe sizes or the way a Chihuahua looks different from a German Shepard, we all have unique body shapes and sizes.

    I teach how to implement gentle nutrition to honor your health AND make peace with food. I have an entire blog post on what gentle nutrition is and also one of my fave tools for implementing it, the food and mood journal.

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    The Slippery Slope Of Food Addiction

    Someone doesnt just that she wants to feel out of control with food. Instead, its often a slippery slope that leads a person into an addiction with a particular food. Below are some of the warning signs and common traits among people suffering from a food addiction:

    • Changes in mood
    • Labeling food as good and bad
    • Restrictive dieting
    • Thinking about food all the time
    • Feeling unsatisfied even after meal times
    • Weight fluctuations and/or difficulty managing weight
    • Body dissatisfaction
    • Feeling disgusted, guilty or upset after eating
    • Feeling stressed or tension that is only relieved by eating

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    Make The Change Gradually

    Not everyone can quit cold turkey. Junk food can be an addiction just like cigarettes or alcohol. Thats why you should consider tapering off a little at a time. Youll still have the same goal, you can just be a bit more realistic in your approach.

    If youre wanting to build serious mass, heres a place to learn about bulking and cutting.

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    What Causes Food Addiction And What Are The Signs

    People with food addiction struggle every day with a loss of control or inability to stop eating foods that are high in carbohydrates, fat, salt, sugar, or artificial sweeteners. They also suffer from painful feelings of shame and embarrassment when it comes to their food behaviors.

    Food addiction is a relatively new topic. But, its a complex condition that has similarities to other types of addiction, such as drugs, alcohol, shopping, or gambling. However, help is available.Understanding the causes and signs of food addiction can help you lower your risk and change potentially problematic behaviors.

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