The Secret to Quitting Junk Foods

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changing eating habitsAs a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I’ve been coaching people for years to pass on the junk and processed foods…

…encouraging them to eat better, do more exercise, and have more fun in their lives.

And of course cook more often!

Seeing smiles and sharing ideas, is always at the core of everything I do, and without it my job would be just one of those nine-to-fivers.

But I know from personal experience that the love affair for junk foods and unhealthy foods can run pretty deep, which is why it can be so tough for people to kick the junk food habit for good!

During my extracurricular research in the IIN program I discovered so many wonderful books that deal with rehabilitating habits, thoughts, and behaviors. I read Debbie Ford’s stuff, and I really liked what she has to say about making peace with certain thoughts and urges. In her book called “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers”, she talks about integrating your dark side, owning it and turning it to your advantage so that you can not only be a whole person by dumping the guilt (so many of us feel about ourselves) and the so-called “bad” qualities we possess.

So here’s the secret to kicking your junk food habit forever: Change the way you think before you change what you eat. Making bad choices, like eating junk food even though you know they are bad, boils down to one thing — how you rationalize the choice.

If you can change that, then you realize one important thing.

You can always control what you eat, period, and you don’t have to feel bad about it. But the first step is to never criticize yourself after you have the unhealthy urge, after all we’re all human! Just stop, think, and turn it around to your advantage. There are plenty of healthy ways to address cravings and so many tasty healthy, healing foods that will become your new favorites.

Here’s my little “dark side 101 scenarios” and how you can make it work for you.

  • “I’m too tired/lazy to cook, I’ll just order a pizza” could turn into “Yes I am feeling lazy, so I’m going to be smart and make healthy no-cook meals, like salads, cold soups, and fresh juices that only take 10 minutes to make.”
  • “I deserve to eat this whole box of chocolate because my boss was mean to me today” could turn into “I wish I could have been braver and stood up to my boss, but I still want to sooth myself so I’ll make a healthy hot chocolate drink and then take a long bath.”
  • “My nerves are shot today! My kids are driving me crazy, so I deserve to have this extra glass of wine!” could turn into, “I’m feeling depleted and mad at myself that I’m feeling annoyed by my kids so instead of having this extra glass of wine, I’m going to lay down and listen to my favorite calming music while my spouse helps out.”
  • “I don’t have to worry about my weight, it doesn’t matter if I eat this whole bag of chips.” Could turn into “I’m not that really into caring for my body, but I do like the extra energy healthy eating gives me. I’m going to have my favorite dip with veggie sticks.”
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