How to get rid of junk food from your diet
Eating healthy need not be boring. There are several healthy alternatives to "junk". As the name suggests, it needs to be trashed and replaced with better, healthier choices.
1 Plan your meals.
Planning your meals slightly in advance is key to incorporating superfoods while replacing junk food. We tend to reach out to junk food as it is easy to access and doesn't require planning. With a few mindful changes, we will see things transforming around our house, giving us less scope to cheat. Food is medicine. It is just about being innovative and eating mindfully (mostly plants, and the least out of a bag). Eat a rainbow, which means that the easiest way to get all nutrients and vitamins is to eat fruits and vegetables of all hues, such as green leaves, carrots, beetroot, berries, eggplants and so on. Bake kale chips or lotus-stem chips at home with your favourite flavour instead of eating a store-bought bag of potato chips. Keep nuts and seeds around the house to snack on instead of processed food. Drink sparkling water with lemon, ginger juice, mint or berries instead of aerated beverages. Keep ginger lemon tea concentrate refrigerated. Mix with some soda, date paste, fresh lemon and salt.
2 Up your water intake.
We often mistake thirst for hunger. Next time you think you are hungry between meals, pause and drink some water first. This is because thirst signals to the brain are usually very weak, and can be misinterpreted as hunger. Learn to reverse it.
3 Opt for healthy alternatives to sugar.
Refined sugar has absolutely no nutritional value and causes the insulin level in your body to skyrocket. Replacing it intelligently with dates is the best thing one can do for the body. Dates have a low glycemic index and are very nutritious and packed with antioxidants. Create homemade energy truffle balls made with cacao, nut butter, coconut flour and date paste; you can keep them refrigerated for weeks. This will take care of the sweet cravings. Having a bowl of berries with unsweetened nut butter is another alternative. Berries are loaded with antioxidants and boost brain function. Ice cream lovers need not fret either; a good alternative is homemade frozen yoghurt, which can easily be made by mixing some date paste, berries and nuts in yoghurt, and freezing it. Another clean dessert is chia pudding that can be made in different flavours using date paste to sweeten the deal.
4 Try intermittent fasting.
Attempting to do 16-18 hours of intermittent fasting, 4-5 times a week, gives our digestive system a healthy break. Fasting is a great way to improve focus. We look forward to having an entire plate of healthy, nutrient-filled foods as opposed to bingeing on something unhealthy. It disciplines us to eat mindfully, centres our minds, and forces us to stop snacking.
5 Read labels.
The easiest test to perform is the 'ingredients test'. Read the ingredients and, if more than a couple of them sound like gibberish or like a tongue-twister, don't buy it.
Mindless bingeing and loading up on junk decreases the serotonin production in our body, increases cravings and can result in low self-esteem. Keeping the gut clean, eating mindfully and changing your palate to nutrient-dense whole foods along with good sleep, low stress levels, and positive conversations and relationships are the answers for a happier mind, body and soul.