Food addiction: Sugar and high-fat junk food stimulate the brain in a certain way having the same effects on our brain as alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, etc.
Junk food addiction is common in today’s society where people lose control and struggle with their eating behaviour, similar to a person struggling with nicotine or alcohol addiction. Food addiction and cravings are difficult to overcome for high fat and sugary foods.
Junk food is processed foods that have refined ingredients mixed with additives. They are cheap and made so tasty that promotes overeating. They are engineered and designed in a way to get people hooked to them and are very hard to resist.
Tips to overcome junk food addiction:
• Eat whole foods: The quality and quantity of food that you eat plays a big role in weight loss. Eat good quality whole foods and avoid processed food items as much as you can in your diet.
• Eat more fibre: When you consume more fibre rich food, it helps to keep you full for a longer period of time and increases satiety.
• Avoid drinking sugar: Beverages like vitamin water, colas, fruit juices are all loaded with sugar which is the most fattening item. To avoid all these sugary beverages one should eat whole fruits.
• Chew your food properly: When you take time and chew your food it is linked to increased fullness, decreased food intake and smaller portion sizes. Fast eaters are more likely to gain weight than slow eaters.
• Keep unhealthy food out of sight: If you store unhealthy food within your reach, it increases cravings and hunger that causes you to eat more leading to weight gain. So keep fruits and vegetables in plain sight and store away all the unhealthy snacks.
• High protein breakfast: This helps keep you full for a longer period of time and reduces cravings throughout the day. Protein intake helps to decrease the levels of ghrelin (the hunger hormone), thus we don’t have an increased appetite. Start your day with eggs, cottage cheese, chia seeds, nuts, etc.
• Water: Having plenty of water in the morning helps to increase your energy expenditure. It also keeps you well hydrated and reduces your appetite.
• Practice mindfulness: Try to bring awareness to your feelings, thoughts and connect with food through your senses. Mindfulness helps to promote healthy eating habits which aid in weight loss.
• Plan your lunch: Planning your meals is linked to improved diet quality and reduced risk of excess body fat as you don’t tend to eat unhealthy food items.
• Track your food intake: When you keep a food diary, it can be an effective way to account for things. It makes it easier to track our exercise and diet.