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Junk Food Substitutes

We love to eat junk food and fast food because it is addictive, because we have acquired a taste for it, and because our culture (TV, etc.) encourages us to eat it.

If you want to lose weight, get rid of the junk food and train yourself to enjoy healthy alternatives instead. You can teach yourself to like healthy foods that satisfy the same cravings. Really, you can!

Addicted to candy? Fruit is just as sweet and can even be more satisfying. But you choose candy over fruit because you have been brainwashed to think that candy is a "treat" while fruit is something your mother made you eat.

Someone who had never tasted candy would identify the fruit as the treat. We are already corrupted, though, so we can't pretend candy and other unhealthy foods do not exist. BUT, we can re-train our brains to enjoy the healthy foods too.

Fruit is Nature's candy. If you have a sweet tooth, try adding more fruit to your meals.

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I know it can be done. A few years ago, I ate pizza constantly. There was a place near my home where I could buy a large pizza for $5 US (about £3 UK), and I would often stop there and yes, eat the entire pizza myself.

(If you want to get fatter, try eating two or three large pizzas a week for awhile. It's very effective.)

These days I hardly ever eat pizza, and I don't crave it. I've re-trained my brain to prefer foods that are lower in carbohydrates, lower in sugar, and lower in fat. And I am 30 pounds lighter than I was then.

Honestly, I'd rather eat a salmon salad with oil & vinegar dressing than eat a pizza. You might find that statement pretentious. But it's just a fact - and you can get to this point too.

This is not to say that I never eat junk food or fast food. I do. In fact, Fiber One's lemon bars are an occasional treat. But processed food just doesn't have the hold over me (addiction) like it once did.

A logical way to begin the transition from junk-food addiction to healthy-food addiction is to swap your favorite junk foods for "healthy junk food substitutes".

Some Alternatives to Junk Food

Here are a few examples of healthy alternatives:

Apples dipped in sugar-free honey syrup
  • Apple slices dipped in sugar-free honey syrup

  • Skim milk with chocolate protein powder instead of chocolate milk

  • Baked potato wedges with sea salt and olive oil instead of french fries

  • Square of dark chocolate (lowers blood pressure, has anti-oxidants) instead of a chocolate candy bar

  • Kale chips, unsalted pretzels, or low-salt/no-butter popcorn instead of potato chips

  • Veggie burgers (like Boca Burger) instead of real hamburger

  • Plain yogurt with honey, fruit, or nuts on top instead of ice cream

  • Dried fruit instead of candy

  • Frozen grapes or banana slices instead of candy

  • Apple or banana slices with peanut butter instead of a snack cake

  • Flavored sparkling or mineral water instead of a soda

  • Fresh or frozen berries or bananas on cereal instead of sugary cereal

  • Your seasonings (chili powder, oregano, thyme, etc.) added to no-butter, no-salt popcorn instead of buttery popcorn

  • Turkey bacon (low in fat) instead of pork bacon

  • Low-fat banana-nut bread instead of cake

These substitutes may not sound as yummy as Twinkies or chocolate chip cookies. But if you constantly make the substitutions, over time they will satisfy the same cravings as their unhealthy counterparts.

Instead of chips, have some low-salt, no-butter popcorn.

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Remember that you are on a mission to lose weight, be healthier, and enjoy a higher quality of life. Anything worth doing requires some effort and sacrifice, and losing weight is no different.

It might require a little extra work and willpower to incorporate healthier foods into your diet and force the junk food out.

You may need to just make yourself to eat the good stuff for a period of time as you wean yourself from junk food.

If you persist you will be much happier in the end. You will lose weight and enjoy a guilt-free conscious as far as junk food is concerned.

When I was eating one of those large pizzas, I never felt guilty. But, bloated and sluggish and acutely aware of my distended midsection, I always did afterward.

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This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. More information