3 Steps to Eat Less Junk Food
Ways to View This Blog:
Maybe it’s ice cream. Maybe it’s soda. Maybe it’s a certain brand of chips.
No matter what it is specifically, chances are there’s SOMETHING (if not multiple somethings) you have trouble resisting or controlling how much you eat.
It might not even be all the time, but when the going gets tough (e.g. you’re stressed, starving, or bored) you’re gonna eat it and you’re probably not gonna stop until it’s gone.
We have 3 steps to help you gain better control over the situation.
The Big Step
Megan (the nutrition coach here and my wife) loves Oreos.
I don’t think you understand.
She looooves Oreos.
Like, if the house were on fire and she had to choose between saving our family pictures or a package of Oreos, I’m pretty sure she’d go with the Oreos. 😜
That’ll never be a real choice she has to make, for a couple reasons. One is that it’s a made up scenario and completely ridiculous. The second reason is, because she knows how much she loves Oreos, we don’t keep them in the house.
You’ve probably heard the advice before to remove food temptations from your home. Maybe you’ve even tried it once or twice.
The problem is, if you do it with the wrong approach, or just for the wrong reasons, it never lasts — it’s too big of a step. It’s kind of like when people say “All you have to do to lose weight is move more and eat less” — it’s not wrong, per se, but it’s not helpful.
(In fact, that particular advice can be harmful.)
In the same way, if you start purging your cupboards of anything and everything capable of being labeled as “junk,” you’re likely doing more harm than good. Fortunately, there’s a better way.
The 3 Little Steps
Even though we ARE recommending you remove certain items from your pantry or fridge, it’s easier than it sounds if you break it down into these simple steps…
1. Be Selective
Don’t start throwing everything out to impress your fitness-y friend who doesn’t eat anything unless she can still see dirt on it from the garden. Only get rid of the things you literally can’t control yourself around.
It’s possible you’ll need to take more than one thing off your regular grocery list, but it’s important to be realistic.
For example, if there are Oreos in our house, Megan will eat them and will do it often. But we still have plenty of other “not healthy” things on hand, like goldfish crackers, white bread, and all the ingredients to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies (just to name a few).
The goal isn’t perfection. That NEVER works. We’re just trying to make it easier to choose better options when possible.
People are more successful when they attempt to DO something rather than NOT DO something.
For example, if you down a bag of Doritos at lunch every day, don’t simply decide to “not eat chips” — replace it with something else.
You could substitute your crunchy snack with a healthier alternative (carrots, apples, etc.), but if that doesn’t sound like a habit that’ll stick, you could start even smaller.
The replacement just needs to be something you have more control over.
In other words, if you can’t stop yourself from devouring an entire bag of Doritos, but you enjoy baked potato chips and have no problem eating just a handful of them… go with that!
There’s nothing special about baked potato chips, but if you won’t binge on it and you still get to eat something you like, that’s a win. It’s not perfect, but it IS better, and in the long-term “better” is more realistic than “perfect” anyway.
3. Plan Treats
Megan isn’t gonna give up Oreos for the rest of her life and we don’t expect you to give up your favorite treats forever either.
It’s not realistic to just stop eating foods you love. It’s more doable to plan when you’ll enjoy them.
Don’t be scared of the word “plan.”
It doesn’t have to mean scheduling your treats a week in advance — although sometimes that makes sense, like if you have a birthday or vacation coming up.
More often it’s better to plan by saying something like, “I’ll have a treat 2-3 times per week,” and then you can decide on any given day in any given moment whether a specific treat is worth it or not.
What you’ll find is that it’s easier to say “no” to a treat when you know you’re allowed to say yes if you really want to.
No Food Is "Bad"
There are many ways to continue to enjoy treats even if you don’t keep them in stock in your kitchen.
For Megan, she realized she doesn’t ever NEED Oreos. She gets just as much pleasure having chocolate chip cookies every once in a while.
Fortunately, that’s an easier thing to control because we make them from scratch, which means, unlike with Oreos, it takes more than 0.9 seconds to go from “maybe I want this” to “I just ate 12.” She’s forced to take time to think about the decision, and that’s enough of a “plan” to stay on track.
(See, I told you planning doesn’t have to be scary.)
The way you do it might look totally different, but the point is that no foods are “bad.”
If we’re at a party and there are Oreos on the snack table, she can eat ‘em and not feel guilty about it. It’s not about avoiding something because it’s bad, it’s just a matter of finding slightly more convenient ways to help you reach your goals.
That probably means keeping a certain food item or two out of your house. But it doesn’t mean you have to give it up forever, so there’s no reason to put off this advice any longer.
Getting more control over junk food doesn’t have to be as painful as you thought.
An Alternative Step
Just to clarify, those 3 steps aren’t the ONLY way to eat less junk food. As with all things in fitness and nutrition, there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution.
Eating too many sweets, snacking too often, or bingeing on nights and weekends are all things that require a closer look at the big picture of your overall diet and lifestyle.
The solution could come from:
👉 Learning to eat MORE food WHILE losing weight (rather than a yo-yo diet)
👉 Getting enough of specific nutrients (to stay full and AVOID needing to snack)
👉 Being more active (which sends signals to your body to help manage hunger)
👉 Seeking help from a therapist (which is NOT something to be ashamed of)
Among other things.
The 3 steps in this blog are a great starting point, but if you want to start losing weight without having to figure out all the other stuff on your own, we can GUARANTEE you’ll get results if you work with us.
Your best next step is to book a free 20-min. call with us. It’s NOT a sales call. We will NOT try to pressure you into anything. It’s simply an opportunity to chat with us and see if our coaching is a good fit for you.
Whether you work with us or not, you’ll walk away with a better idea of what it’ll take to reach your goals.
Don’t simply try to NOT EAT “junk food” (no foods are inherently “bad”).
Instead, TOSS only the things you lose control over when it’s around, REPLACE it with a better choice (even if it’s only slightly better), and INTENTIONALLY DECIDE how often you’ll have a treat (be flexible and realistic).
There IS a balance of losing weight WHILE enjoying treats (without letting them control you). The above steps are a strong starting point, but if you don’t want to figure everything out on your own, we can GUARANTEE you’ll get results if you work with us.
Book a free 20-min. call with us. It’s NOT a sales call, but an opportunity to determine your next steps, whether you work with us or not (no pressure either way).