8 Motivational Tips to Train Your Brain to Hate Junk Food

Junk food addiction is a real thing, as unreal as it may sound. Studies clearly show that people actually crave junk food, which is why trying to not eat it with deliberation is complicated. According to findings, these cravings are designed to ensure that people are simply unable to resist the temptation. The reason is that just the right amount of fats, sugar, and salts, along with additives are included by food manufacturers which entice individuals into not only consuming more junk food, but also wanting more even if they are full.

Junk and sugary food make you less productive. Eliminating them from your diet is challenging, but not all hope is lost. Remember, certain tactics help you in getting over this addiction even if you are a junk food lover. You have to practice them regularly to make them a part of your routine.

Read on to find out how you can train your brain to hate junk food with these 8 tricks.

1. Understand Your Own Psyche

There is nothing more important than understanding your own thought process and vices. You are the best judge of you, which means that nobody other than yourself will know what it is that you crave the most. Is it sugar that you are addicted to or fast food items? Fries or shakes? Once you have the answer to this question, keeping your eyes and mind away from these things will become less complicated.

The very first thing you need to do is stop keeping foods in the pantry that you desire. If it is sugary items, only keep fruits, nuts and whole wheat products that contain no more than five ingredients. According to research, you are likely to end up eating the items that are within easy reach. If your workplace is near an eating outlet that you frequently visit, make sure you change the route that you use to get to work.

One more thing, no matter what you do, do not go out to ‘fast food’ places when you plan a night out or an evening with friends. No matter how hard you try to avoid junk food, it becomes next to impossible when you are under peer pressure or under the influence of alcohol. It is best to try the avoidance policy instead of forcing yourself into the dilemma of choosing to quit or take.

2. Creating a Game Plan to Hate Junk

A game plan always works no matter what kind of action you intend to enforce in your life. The thing is when you already have an idea in mind, you tend to follow it instead of going about doing anything random. So what should be your eating scheme that helps in staying far away from junk and processed food?

Start by shopping for healthy foods from the grocery store with a list. Having a list will help you in keeping away from junk foods like deli meats, store bought doughnuts and such. Also, bear in mind that grocery stores are too laid out in a manner that will force you into buying more than you intend and need in the first place.

Make sure you stay away from the center aisles. These are the ones that bear the processed and packaged. Fresh produce is always kept in the first few aisles, and this is the place you should stick to.

The next step is thinking out a meal in advance. Try not to rely on sandwiches or fried pre-processed foods. These too come in the category of junk foods. Plan a meal that consists of everything from entrees to main to dessert. This will help you in sticking to your healthy diet. Once you are home, cook the food and make the process as interesting as possible. This will reinforce the idea of cooking every day.

3. Actionable Intent to Stop Eating Junk

The plan is useless until and unless there is some proper action involved. Don’t think that the healthy food will arrive at your doorstep and cook itself. You will have to make a move to get the situation going. Get rid of all the items that are either in the kitchen or in the fridge that can be called junk. Also, dispose of your secret stash.

Keep reminding yourself again and again that the end product of this junk food reduction is a healthy and happier you. Getting into sports also helps in quitting the intake of junk food. If you are not into sports, join a health or fitness group that might be at the gym or is involved in yoga. These are going to work wonders for your junk addiction.

4. Chew More Eat Less

Did you know that if you take time in eating, you are likely to eat less? Even if it is junk food that you are holding? It’s true, according to science. The time you spend chewing the food is going to elongate the total number of minutes you eat. As per research, 20 minutes from the time you begin eating your stomach gives a signal of fullness.

So try to pass these 20 minutes chewing. This exercise will take some time to master but with time you can easily learn the process and then it will soon become your habit.

5. Pay Attention to Colors and Environment

You may have noticed that McDonald’s uses red and yellow. These colors along with orange are the ones that spark up hunger and gives you queues to eat more. Hence the reason why most eateries prefer having these colors in their decor scheme.

Make sure that your eating area is deprived of these colors. What’s more, the cutlery and utensils you use, must not have any of these colors in them. Opt for plates and cutleries that are nondescript and boring. This 17way, you won’t particularly enjoy using them for serving meals, even if it is Chinese takeout. One more thing to do is to use smaller plates so that you take lesser quantities.

6. Textures and Colors of Food

The reason why fast food looks so appealing is that there is so much happening in the food, meaning the different colors, textures, and designs. For healthy eating, you need to replicate that with healthy foods. Try to not only serve three-course meals but also add a variety of colors and textures. Be sure to have everything from salty to sugary in the meal so that your taste buds are fully satisfied.

7. The More You Know, the lesser Junk You will consume

Gross yourself out, it’s that simple. Watch videos and read on to find out about how junk food is created and you will want to stop eating it without any kind of effort. Did you know that the pink and red dyes used are from Cochineal insects? Many other ‘gross’ facts will help you in getting over your junk food addiction.

8. Have Cheat Days!

Yes, you need those. Nobody is suggesting that you quit having fast foods altogether as it is next to impossible. So have cheat days, like once a week or once in 10 days. These will keep you away from junk food the rest of the time and help curb your untimely cravings as well.

Yes, cutting out junk food from your life may seem like the most difficult thing for you right now but with practice comes perfection – so you can do it. It is about mindset and cheating your brain into believing another pattern of thought. Just be sure of your own will, and you will be able to defeat the habit of junk food for good.


6 tips for traveling when you have a chronic illness, because it doesn’t have to ruin your plans

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have the travel bug, so it was a dream come true when, about 9 years ago, my study took an unexpected turn: I had the opportunity to travel to UK for study and work and write about it. What could be better, right? Although I had been lucky enough to travel all over the world during my childhood and college years, I hadn’t traveled much after graduation.first because of financial limitations, and then for health reasons. I became ill in my early 20s, but it took five years for doctors to diagnose me with what we now know is lupus, an autoimmune illness characterized by extreme fatigue, joint pain, photosensitivity, fevers, and headaches. Functioning day-to-day required Herculean effort, so the idea of having enough strength to travel and spend my days exploring new places seemed out of the question. After I was finally diagnosed in 2017, I began a treatment regimen that includes medication, acupuncture, dietary changes, and DBT therapy.

Treatment has helped enormously, but lupus isn’t curable, so the illness will always be part of my life, and flareups are inevitable. I was thrilled at the prospect of becoming a travel writer because it meant I’d be traveling all over the country and world, but from a health standpoint, I was nervous. So I figured I’d give it a try and, if frequent travel took a heavy toll on my body, I knew I could stop at any time.

It’s been about two years since I began traveling at least once a month, mainly for work. My trips range from quick weekend getaways in America to several weeks in a foreign country. Inevitably, I’ve ended up in situations where I have a flareup in a different state or country but, through experience, I’ve learned it’s entirely possible to travel with a chronic illness—it just requires advance preparation, flexibility, and using some simple hacks that can make a world of difference. Here are six tips for traveling with a chronic illness.

1:- Talk with your doctor in advance

First things first: Before booking a trip, talk it over with your doctor and make sure he or she considers it safe. Explain your travel plan and itinerary, and ask if they have any concerns or suggestions. Basically, get the “all clear” from your physician to ensure you’re not taking any unreasonable risks that could compromise your health.

2:- Research your destination

One lesson I learned the hard way is that it’s important to research your destination purely from a health perspective. For example, I have asthma in addition to lupus, so when I took a trip to a location with a high elevation and kicked it off with a lengthy snowshoe expedition, I was in a world of pain. By the next day, I had developed severe altitude sickness (of course even the most healthy individuals can get altitude sickness, but it’s a major blow when you’re already managing a chronic illness).

Now, in addition to changes in altitude, I also keep a close eye on the climate and temperature. Like many people with autoimmune illnesses, I’m sensitive to temperature (both cold and hot) and spending too much time in the sun triggers lupus flareups. Familiarizing myself with the geography and climate of my destinations has helped me prepare for trips and, in some cases, opt out if it seems like I’ll be missing out on too much because too much sun exposure is dangerous for me. All of our triggers are different, so do your research with yours in mind.

3:- Make your health a priority while you pack

The most important thing to pack is, of course, your medications—and keep them in your carry-on just in case your checked luggage doesn’t arrive on time. I’ve also adjusted my packing list to include things that protect my immune system and provide symptom relief. Planes are notorious for being filled with germs, so I recommend packing Clorox wipes in your carry-on—the first thing I do when I board a plane is wipe down my tray table and armrests. I also apply hand sanitizer constantly. Catching a cold on a trip is a bummer for anyone, but for those of us with chronic illnesses, it can cause a major setback.

Other items I pack are hydrating face masks, warm socks, and both hot and cold compresses, because these are all things I use at home when my symptoms flare up. Any items you use for symptom relief at home should definitely be on your packing list—if you start to feel unwell on your trip, you’ll want to have them handy.

4:- Have a plan in place in case you experience an emergency

My policy is hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Once you’ve booked your accommodations and set your itinerary, make sure to find the nearest hospital and urgent care center at your destination. Keep these addresses and phone numbers with you at all times just in case you need medical attention. If you’re traveling to a foreign country, I highly recommend getting travel medical insurance.

5:- Don’t overbook yourself

Every time I book a trip, I naturally want to do as much as possible and make the most of my time there. But I’ve learned that I need to be realistic about my own limitations. Before I got sick, I would be out and about from dawn until dusk. Today, that’s not feasible for me and I’ve learned that’s okay. I make sure to allow some downtime each day so I can go back to my hotel and re-charge.

If your trip includes any physically taxing activities, I recommend staggering them and having more leisurely days in between. And flexibility is key—if you’re having a tough day health-wise and you happen to have a big activity or excursion planned, don’t force yourself. First of all, the most enjoyable activities aren’t all that enjoyable when you’re having trouble standing up. Secondly, pushing yourself will cause further health setbacks and could impact the rest of your trip. Instead, re-jigger your schedule when necessary so you can rest up and rejuvenate. It’s always disappointing to have to cancel or re-schedule something, but your body will thank you and and you’ll be better poised to make the most of the remainder of your trip.

6:- Stick to your usual diet (if applicable) and stay hydrated

Many people with chronic illnesses have certain foods that trigger our symptoms. If part of your treatment plan involves diet, try to stick to it as much as possible while traveling. This is another area where I recommend planning in advance, particularly if you’re traveling to a different country. Familiarize yourself with the cuisine and the dining options in the area where you’ll be staying and make sure you’ll be able to find foods that are consistent with what your doctor recommends.

It’s also crucial to stay hydrated while you’re traveling. In particular, make sure to drink plenty of water on the flight. It’s often tempting to drink more alcohol than usual when we’re on vacation, but if alcohol triggers or worsens your symptoms, that glass of wine or cocktail at dinner just isn’t worth it. Every time I’ve decided to have more than one drink, I’ve kicked myself in the morning because I wake up with a headache and feeling overall worse for the wear. This, of course, means I may not be able to do as much sightseeing as I planned, and sacrificing those opportunities just isn’t worth it for a drink.

Every chronic illness is different and we know our bodies better than anyone, so the most important thing is to prepare in advance with your specific triggers and symptoms in mind. But if you love to travel, there’s no need to sacrifice amazing experiences. We may need to adjust how we travel and do more advance planning than our healthier peers, but we don’t need to let our illnesses take away an activity that brings us joy.