Don’t Be a Junk Food Junkie!

junkfoodAnyone trying to lose weight knows darn well to stay away from junk food. But knowing and doing are two very different things. 

Fast food chains and corporations churning out sugary sweets and salty snacks have spread like wildfire across the globe. We all know that there are absolutely no health benefits associated with candy bars, French fries and cupcakes.  Yet we continue to eat them, so much so that obesity has become a worldwide epidemic. But why?

Nutrition experts believe that a variety of things contribute to our love of junk food. The most notable factors are, however, psychological: you crave junk when you are unhappy, stressed, or even elated because it is comfort food; it makes you feel good, if only for a brief amount of time. 

Yet there may also be an evolutionary reason that we crave junk food. According to Dr. Leigh Gibson, a Reader in Biopsychology at Roehampton University, cravings can be linked to prehistoric times when human beings survived by acquiring high calorie foods. Craving high calorie, junk food type foods meant that you could go longer between meals when food was at best an uncertainty and at worst a scarcity. The problem today is that society has evolved too fast and our physiological evolution has not caught up. In the Western world, food is in excess, but we are still wired to crave it as if it were scarce. In tandem with our psychologically stressed lives, this creates a recipe for weight loss disaster: we want and need to eat and we continue to eat the wrong kinds of things.

So how do you avoid the junk food pitfall? There is no magic secret; like most other things in life, eating healthy is a choice that is reinforced by a daily, conscious effort. A nutritious diet and regular exercise are the keys to losing and managing your weight, so it is important to maintain control over your cravings for junk foods.  Junk food is a mental and physical quick fix that will only lead to long-term health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Still, don’t feel guilty if you find yourself craving a bag of crisps or a Mars bar!  Loving junk food is a part of your biological make-up. But if you believe in mind over matter, then you know that you can curb your junk food cravings and stay on the weight loss path. There is nothing wrong with indulging yourself in a sweet or salty treat, but it shouldn’t become a lifestyle.

Do you need to lose weight but find yourself constantly craving junk food? If so, get involved in the discussion on Facebook and Twitter. We are here to help you and we want to give you a forum to express yourself!

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