Junk Food is Actually Addictive and Here’s How I Quit
For me, the hardest part about traveling the road to health and wellness is nutrition. I can do the workouts. I can manage my time and motivation to pull out my Beachbody On Demand workouts and get it done. I actually really enjoying hopping on my bicycle and going for a high calorie burning ride around town. But when it comes to eating right, that is where I really struggle.
I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not a personal trainer. I’m just a regular guy who became worn down from a lifetime of neglect as far as my health. I ate basically whatever I wanted regardless of the consequences. I’ve never really struggled with obesity or anything but eating the wrong foods for decades still takes a toll. These foods were affecting my digestion. They gave me heartburn. They were stealing energy from me.
My Junk Food Story
When I was a kid, my parents were caring but not strict when it came to the wrong foods. My dad tried valiantly and so did my mom to encourage me to eat my veggies, but as a kid I just hated them. After I entered adulthood, I came to enjoy the right foods, but my long history of eating the wrong foods was programmed into my brain. You can exercise like crazy and even eat “right”, but if you’re still eating large quantities of the wrong foods you’re not going to meet your fitness goals.
For me, I definitely rode a roller coaster. I wanted to quit, but every time I did I quit cold turkey. It turns out, science backs up why this is such a bad idea. I failed. Every time. Science knew why, but I didn’t yet.
It wasn’t until I started with Beachbody that I realized if I didn’t quit everything all at once, I was actually doing myself a favor. I was able to wean myself off junk foods and eventually found myself simply not craving them. In fact, I was craving the correct foods, like fruits and veggies.
Unfortunately, as of today, I did veer off the trail over the last month or two. I let emotions dictate my eating habits and I went back to sodas, junk food, ice cream, and all the rest. Thankfully, now I know how to get back on the trail. Additionally, after experiencing the quality of life without junk food, I think it will be all that much easier to say goodbye to them again!
You read that right: Junk Food is actually Addictive and Science Proves It
I watched a pretty interesting YouTube video done by Discovery Science. They were discussing some studies done on people and on lab animals and how we all actually have developed addictions to junk food. The fats and sugars are so intensely desired by lab rats that they’ll actually endure physical pain to get what they (think) they want. Worse, ingredients like high fructose corn syrup actually prevent the brain from signaling the body that it is satiated. When you eat fruit, for example, the glucose sugars are recognized and your brain tells you when to quit. But sodas and junk food? You actually do not know when to quit – and then you have an overeating problem.
At the end of the day, there is an easy recipe for success.
Wean yourself off. One day at a time. One vice at a time. Drink sodas every day? Maybe multiple sodas? Pare down your servings one at a time week to week and over time you will actually TRAIN your body to not desire it. Once you get to a point where you discover yourself not craving it, you really discover how wonderful you feel without it. If I’m wrong, you can always go back. I know I prefer life without them (in large quantities, anyway!)
Want to learn more healthy eating tips? Join me and Beachbody on the journey towards kicking the junk food habit!