Eating Junk Food ? Trick your Brain to Hate Junk Food
11-12-2017 | Posted By: Chhavi | 2718 View(s)
We have seen parents tell their kids to stay away from junk food because it is bad for health. But kids are kids and they, of course, will lay their hands on chips and candies because they taste so good. And why to blame only kids
Everyone loves junk food. But, there is no denying the fact that it is incredibly unhealthy and excessive consumption of junk food can lead to many health problems such as Diabetes, Memory Disorders, Obesity, etc. If you are trying to lose weight, then you must give up junk food. But, how to stop eating junk food? Junk food is so tasty that it is really hard to resist it. But if you want to shed a few pounds, you must stop eating junk food.
Even I loved eating junk food, but when I started having health problems due to eating pizzas and burgers, I realised the mistake I had made. Believe me when I say this – Homecooked meals are the best! Period! Whatever you get outside, no matter if it is a diet coke or a vegetable pizza – It is going to harm your health. But what is junk food and what is it made of that makes it so bad for our health? What happens when we eat junk food? Yes, I know you are gonna say that you get a heavenly feeling when you have your favourite fast food in your tummy. However, do you know what goes inside your body after consuming junk food? Do you know what junk food is? Let’s know everything now!
What is Junk Food?
Junk food is defined as processed food with little or no nutritional value. It is generally high in sugar, salt and fat. Junk food includes both convenience foods and fast food. Junk food is high in calories, and it doesn’t provide you with the benefit of getting minerals, fibre and vitamins that are needed to maintain a healthy body and mind. The items which fall into the fast food category include chips, pastries, sandwiches, burgers, croissants, kebabs, pizza and the list goes on. Drinks such as Soft Drinks also come under this category.
Junk food is made in a way that appeals to people so that they crave more. These food items tempt you with complicated or delicate flavours and make you love junk food. It then becomes a regular habit to consume junk food, which harms the health.
So now we know what is junk food, don’t we? Let us now understand what is the reason why people eat junk food in excess. Many people know that junk food shouldn’t be consumed in excess, but even then they find it hard to stop eating junk food. Why do people do that? Why are they not able to quit junk food when they know it’s so bad? Well, there is an answer to that.
Why do People Crave Junk Food?
Steven Witherly, a famous food scientist who has spent over 20 years studying what makes certain foods more tasty and addictive than others. According to this famous scientist, when people eat tasty food, there are 2 factors that make the experience pleasurable.
First, there is the sensation of eating junk food. This includes what it smells like, what it tastes like, and how it feels in your mouth. Food companies usually spend a lot of money to discover the most satisfying meal for you. This is done to create the satisfying sensation that your brain associates with a particular drink or food.
The second factor that affects food cravings is the actual macronutrient makeup of the food – the blend of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that it contains. The manufacturers of junk food look for a perfect combination of fat, sugar, and salt that excites your brain and makes you crave junk food.
So this is why people want to eat junk food. However, it doesn’t matter how delicious junk food is, what matters is that it makes us unhealthy. There are several reasons why you should abstain from eating junk food. Let’s know them one by one!
Why You Should Refrain from Junk Food!
1. It Makes you Feel Weak All the Time
Do you feel like sleeping after having a pizza? Well if you do not quit eating junk food, you might feel tired and weak always. Junk food lacks the essential nutrients like vitamins and proteins required for the proper functioning of the body. It is true junk food makes us feel satisfied, and we feel like we are at the top of the world when we binge watch Netflix series while eating a bag full of chips, but these foods can deteriorate our health by causing fatigue. It can even lower your energy levels to the extent that it may become challenging for you to perform your daily tasks.
2. It Takes Away the Smile from your Face
Junk food can cause depression in teenagers and young adults. Teenagers have to go through a lot of hormonal changes, and these changes make them go through mood swings and behavioural changes. It is extremely crucial to eat a nutritious and healthy diet to maintain that hormonal balance.
Junk foods contain fats that can accumulate over a period of time in the body and make you obese. Fast Food is the quickest way of becoming obese. It results in a high intake of Calories which results in obesity. Furthermore, Obesity is considered a major risk factor for heart disease. So to prevent heart disease, you should avoid eating junk food.
4. It makes you sit in the Loo for Hours
Junk food causes digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux and constipation. That is due to the fact that junk food is deep fried and the oil from these food items get deposited in the stomach and causes acidity. You should stop eating junk food to boost digestion. If you are dealing with indigestion problem, then you must consult a doctor.
5. It Impairs Memory
A recent study suggests that trans fats from junk foods replace healthy fats in the brain and interferes with its normal signalling mechanism. Even studies in animals have shown that fats from junk food slow down the ability to learn new skills.
6. It can Put you at Risk of Heart Disease
Junk food items are packed with trans fats and saturated fats that increase triglyceride and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in the blood, leading to plaque formation and heart disease. Also, junk food raises blood sugar levels in the body and damages the linings of the blood vessels, which in turn causes chronic inflammation.
This inflammation that junk food causes make bad cholesterol to stick to the walls of the arteries and then blocks blood flow to the heart. When the arteries are blocked enough to not let blood flow to the heart, a heart attack occurs. Individuals who consume fast food four times a week are more likely to end up with heart diseases
7. It can put your Kidneys in Trouble
Do you know why you are not able to say no to chips and fries? That’s because they contain loads of finely processed salt which increases the secretion of enzymes and salivation that increases your cravings. Eating foods high in bad fats and sodium increases blood pressure and can cause kidney disease. As fast food contains excessive amounts of salt, the kidneys need to work more which could result in Kidney Disorders.
8. Can Cause Liver Dysfunction
A high amount of trans fats in junk food cause deposition of fats in the liver, which can damage your liver. Prevention is better than Cure. Get a full body checkup done to keep a tab on your health and monitor the health of your liver. This will help you keep your liver healthy.
9. It increases the Risk of Cancer
According to a medical study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, eating junk food regularly increases the chances of developing colorectal cancer. Another study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre showed that men who consumed fried foods more than twice in a month were more at risk of developing prostate cancer.
10. Mess with Blood Sugar Levels
Eating a healthy diet helps your body gets a steady supply of glucose which maintains insulin sensitivity. But eating junk food puts a lot of stress on your metabolism that can impact the ability and efficiency of your body to use insulin properly.
11. It can Cause Infertility
Junk food contains ingredients that can have an impact on fertility. One study found that processed food contains chemicals known as phthalates that can impact how hormones act in your body. If you get exposed to high levels of these chemicals, it could lead to reproductive issues, including congenital disabilities.
12.Loss of Appetite
Regular consumption of fast food high in fat and sugar results in a loss of appetite raises problems of digestion and can also cause food poisoning. Quit eating junk food to improve digestion.
Individuals who consume Fast Food with high intake of Sugar, Fat and Oils are more prone to depression. Since Junk Foods lacks nutrients essential for the body, the chances of teenagers to suffer from depression increases by 58 per cent if they eat junk food.
14. Diabetes Type 2
It has been established beyond doubt that fast food contributes highly towards lifestyle problems like Type 2 Diabetes. It is always advisable to cut down or refrain from fast food to reduce this risk.
Studies have shown that food rich in calorie content can be a cause of Stress.
16. The Absence of a vital and essential Element
Our body needs to regulate the supply of nutrients, vitamins, and enzymes to work and keep the organs of the body in good shape. These are absent in fast food, leading to malnutrition and other problems. This also exposes us to a wide range of diseases and disorders of the body (both physical and emotional).
People who indulge in an unhealthy eating habit have a great chance of gastroesophageal infection reflux (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
18.Can Hinder Growth
Junk Food can hinder Growth in Children and as such Kids should always stay away from Junk Food.
19. It Can lead to Sleep Disturbance.
It has been established that Junk food can lead to sleep problems.
20. Lowers Immunity
Junk food can weaken your immune system thereby increasing the chances of your getting ill very frequently. Stop eating junk food to boost immunity.
What is Junk Food and why is it bad for your health? I think you must have got the answer to both the question. Now the most important issue is – How to stop eating junk food? Don’t worry! We have this covered too! Here it is
How to Stop Eating Junk Food?
1. Make a Plan
Planning your meals can make you stop eating junk food. When we do not plan our meals, then as soon as we feel hungry and tired, we reach for junk food. Most people order a pizza and burger because it is more convenient than cooking food. But, planning and preparing meal beforehand can improve your diet and lower your chances of opting for junk food.
2. Eat a Protein-Rich Diet
Protein takes time to digest and makes us feel full for longer, which is why you should add protein-rich foods to your diet. Also, lack of protein in the body causes several health problems. Some of the healthy sources of protein are cheese, eggs, Greek Yoghurt, beans, lean chicken and so on.
3. Aim for Three Colours
A recent study found that people prefer three food items with different colours on their plates. So, instead of eating a candy bar, you can fill your plate with nuts, fruit slices and a small piece of dark chocolate to get a healthy variety of vitamins, microelements, antioxidants and nutrients.
You can also try making salads with vegetables of as many colours as possible. It will not only be a treat for your eyes but will also help you curb junk food cravings.
4. Understand Your Triggers
Most people get the craving for junk food when they feel tired, lonely, sad or happy. Also, there are certain foods like chocolate, pizza and so on that leads to junk food binging. So, first, you should understand what makes you eat junk food. By understanding the triggers, you can make a plan and work on those triggers to stop junk food cravings. How to Stop eating junk food? Know your triggers, and work on them!
5. Eat Frequently
If you eat small healthy meals frequently, you will not have the temptation to snack on fries and chips. So, how to stop eating junk food? The answer is simple- You need to include five to six meals in your daily schedule. You should eat something healthy every three hours because doing this will keep your stomach full and you won’t have any urge to eat junk food.
6. Keep Healthy Snacks Handy
Snacking is healthy only if you snack on nutritious food. You should replace junk food with healthy snacks and make sure that you have them handy. For instance, if you love eating chips, replace them with cashews or almonds. Similarly, if you have a sweet tooth, then instead of eating a candy bar, you can eat a small square of dark chocolate or drink a glass of fresh fruit juice to satisfy your sweet tooth. Also, make sure that the healthy snacks are within your reach so that you can consume them whenever hunger pangs get you.
7. Manage Stress
Numerous studies claim that there is a strong link between stress and junk food craving. When people feel stressed, they often eat junk food for getting instant happiness. So, if you want to curb junk food cravings, you must not allow stress to take over your mind and body.
Practise deep breathing exercise, give time to your hobbies, watch motivational videos, read articles that suggest ways to manage stress and surround yourself with positive people to keep yourself happy and calm.
8. Keep Junk Food Away From You
How to Stop Eating Junk Food? Don’t keep any in your house! It is obvious that you will consume fried chips, soda and candy bars if you see these foods lying on your kitchen shelf. So, do not keep junk food in your house. When you do not see any junk food, you will be able to fight against junk food cravings more effectively.
9. Practise Mindful Eating
Focus on what you are eating and practice mindful eating because it teaches you how to balance your eating habits, emotions, physical sensation and hunger cravings. When you eat, chew your food properly and focus solely on eating. Do not watch TV or talk on the phone while having a meal. Slow eating aids weight loss and hence you must chew your food properly and practise mindful eating.
10. Drink Enough Water
Sometimes, we are just thirsty and not hungry. So, if you feel an urge to eat junk food, just drink a glass of water. Within a couple of minutes, you will notice that your hunger craving has gone. It is best to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water throughout the day to stay healthy and fit.
11. Avoid Going to the Supermarket When You Are Hungry
Supermarkets are full of unhealthy snacks and junk foods, and they always keep junk food at a place where it is visible to the customers. Going to the supermarket when you are hungry will make you grab a packet of chips, soda drink and other foods that are bad for your health. So, eat a healthy meal and keep your stomach full before going shopping.
The tips mentioned above are simple enough to try. Eat a healthy diet, sleep well and hit the gym to live a healthier and fitter life. If you know any other ways that help in reducing junk food cravings, then do tell us in the comments section below. Given the facts, it is very clear that the fast foods though may sound good to your taste buds but are very dangerous for our health. It is, therefore, advisable to refrain from such foods to the maximum and inculcate a habit of having nutritious food at the expense of fast foods.
If you have the habit of eating junk food on a regular basis, change it NOW. Eating junk food raises blood sugar levels and leads to many health conditions as mentioned in the article. Book a health checkup package to keep a tab on your health and stay away from health conditions.