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Calorie Count Blog

The Junk Food Thing


By Mary_RD on Feb 13, 2009 11:07 PM in Dieting & You
Edited By +Rachel Berman


Pearls of wisdom from the Calorie Count forums....

"Can’t Beat Junk" says, "I just can't resist bad food when it's around, and it's around me a lot.  I live with junk food nuts, and I work at a school where there is a cake or doughnuts or something in the staff room almost every day."

Calorie Counters respond:

This comes down to personal motivation.  Logic says you don't mind being fat all that much. Work on a really fantastic healthy diet with food that is more attractive and tempting than whatever else is offered.

Pack healthy snacks to see you through the day and make it easier to say 'no thanks' to the cakes

Discover healthy foods that taste delicious. There are so many options out there and so many ways to prepare them. Go to your local grocery store and browse the isles for something that looks appealing with good stats.

Have a protein bar instead. They can, more or less, fill your craving for junk (i.e. a candy bar) but are better nutrient-wise, plus the protein will fill you up.

I find that I crave junk when I’m hungry. If I have something healthy to
eat, the craving goes away.


Takeaway

•    Eat healthy food to drive away food cravings
•    Learn how to buy and make healthy food
•    Snack on fortified sweet foods for a fix
•    Take responsibility for your behavior


One more thing….


It doesn't help to say , "I cannot resist."  Your brain will believe that it’s true.  Instead, say, "I want to save my calories for healthy food."  Even if you don‘t believe it at first, it doesn’t matter.  That’s what "fake it ‘til you make it" means.  Eat your own food and get healthy.  Meet other healthy eaters, and see yourself as a part of that group.


And that’s what it’s all about.


What is your favorite way to deal with junk food at home and at work?



Comments


Ya know what else is a good idea?

WATER!

I too tend to crave junk when I'm hungry! :(

What helps ME with that.... is to make sure I drink about 8oz of water before meals. I have to make 'deals' with myself...

"if you want some of 'that'... then you have to drink 8oz of water AND wait 15-20 minutes before you can have some"

seems to work :)

...and sometimes, after the 20 minutes have passed, i don't even want it anymore :D


excercise .. specially HIIT ... afterwards all i want is a can of tune or any kind of protein, and a shower!


I find giving myself rewards helps me a lot! Or allotting a certain amount of calories to "junk." If 100 of my calories in a day are devoted to that, then i can have a tiny piece of cake, or 2 or 3 mini candy bars, etc, etc. This means I can feel like I'm indulging, but not. I'm also a part of the "gang." Nothing is lonelier than avoiding a party because it means guacamole and brie and all that.

I also have a cheat meal. Dinner, every Sunday, where I can eat what I want without guilt. That meal is the best when I've stuck to my diet all week.


When I get an urge to eat junk I say in my head "walk away...walk away..." over and over(I really do). Then I get either water or pick an apple or fruit. But since eating properly those urges are few and far between so the concept of small healthy snacks between healthy meals appears to have gotten cravings out of my head 95% of the time.


if you work in a place where there is a lunch room, lounge etc where people drop off junk food, maybe bring in a fresh fruit basket, or some other type of healthful alternative. it may sound a little bit mean or cocky, but think to yourself in your head "no way, that junk food isnt good enough for me, i deserve better then that. let the rest of them eat it and pay the consequences. not me, no sir."


Hi everyone, For me, my problem is at home. During the day, I am able to control myself. Its at home and not during supper...its afterwards in front of the TV, I need to snack!!! Even if I am not hungry...its just a habit. I can't watch tv without snacking...what can I do??


in the past when i had to sit next to a candy jar at work, i used to imagine that all the candy was crawling with e. coli bacteria and would make me deathly sick -- the downside was that thinking about this pretty much killed my appetite for other food too. These days, if i stop to ask myself DO I WANT THIS TWINKIE TO RESIDE ON MY BUTT? i'm more likely to answer 'No, I don't' rather than just eat it while thinking, 'Mmmm Twinkie... Good... (drool)' :) When watching TV, do something else to keep those hands busy -- something that you would hate to get food on, like cross stitch or building a model car or something.


I told my fellow office workers that i have an eating disorder and am addicted to sugar, and that although i seem to enjoy all the crap they bring in, i really am much more appreciative when they dont bring it in, or when they keep their snacks in their desks. I notice that some collegues have responded by bringing in grapes, fruits, cherry tomatoes, etc., and not the high cal, processed foods. Its really influenced my perception of people, an unexpected side effect. And i'm grateful for those who can really hear me ask for help. I don't expect the office to change culture just because I've decided to face my eating disorder, but i do like that some people seem to prefer a culture of more health, and that really helps! Ask for what you need, you just might get it!


The Bible tells us that God will not tempt us beyond on what we can stand and will show us a way out (1 Corinthians: 10:13. Also one of the fruits of the spirit of God is self control (Galatians 5:22-23. Therefore my answer to withstanding temptation is to give it to Jesus.


When my rationale hasn't tanked, what helps me is this thought: "The doughnut [insert your temptation food here] on the table doesn't taste as good as the one in your head." Helps me walk away -sometimes. When I do succomb, that first bite doesn't taste as good as it does in my head, I can put it down, and walk away. But, not perfected in this yet...


There are a million excuses for not losing the extra weight and that is just one of them. Do you want to get healthy and fit and meet your goal? If the answer is yes you will find a way to avoid that junk food, and the more you avoid it and replace it with healthy food and snacks the less you will crave it or even think about the junk. Your body is craving it like a drug and you CAN BEAT the addiction. You just have to tell yourself you CAN and you WILL.


Original Post by: emilysavestheday

I find giving myself rewards helps me a lot! Or allotting a certain amount of calories to "junk." If 100 of my calories in a day are devoted to that, then i can have a tiny piece of cake, or 2 or 3 mini candy bars, etc, etc. This means I can feel like I'm indulging, but not. I'm also a part of the "gang." Nothing is lonelier than avoiding a party because it means guacamole and brie and all that.

I also have a cheat meal. Dinner, every Sunday, where I can eat what I want without guilt. That meal is the best when I've stuck to my diet all week.

Mini candy bars are the best. You get the sugar/chocolate craving taken care of for less calories. As long as you don't eat too many.


I agree that it's a matter of changing how I think rather than just using "willpower". Once I switched my mind to, "I don't really want that" or "That won't make me happy, in fact afterwards I'll be MORE unhappy" then it has been easier to walk on by.

I choose not to "have a little bit". It doesn't work for me, in fact just the opposite - it keeps me married to the idea that life is not worth living without regularly consumed empty calories. To me, a treat is rare (1xmonth). It's a truly special recreational event to be savored rather than a scheduled part of my daily lifestyle.

This lifestyle change makes junk food irrelevant most of the time.


I eat a lb of ready to eat peeled baby carrots. 175 Calories total. I drink a warm cup of skim milk with nothing on it before dinner. Sometimes I add tasters choice instant coffee crystals and make it a "tall skimmed latte". 100 calories total.


Original Post by: mommyneedstolooseweight

Hi everyone, For me, my problem is at home. During the day, I am able to control myself. Its at home and not during supper...its afterwards in front of the TV, I need to snack!!! Even if I am not hungry...its just a habit. I can't watch tv without snacking...what can I do??

mntlw, This is a case of "old habits die hard" - you're associating TV time with munching - but the situation's not hopeless. Maybe you could change your habit by munching on good stuff like celery, carrots, and cucumber slices? Keep the "bad" food out of the house - out of sight, out of mind, right? Don't torture yourself by having it in the house and then telling yourself you can't have it. You could also keep your mouth busy with sugar-free gum (or I like cinnamon toothpicks) and keep your hands busy with . It IS hard to be good, but you'll feel so much better about yourself than if you give in, right? from one mommy(that needs to lose weight too) to another - good luck


it should say "keep your hands busy with a new hobby" - sorry, I'm not sure what happened


What helps me is asking myself the question, "Kayla..... what do i want more right now? Those cheese fries right NOW, or to be thin and healthy FOREVER?" and i always get the same answer!!!! SO TRY THAT!!!!!! IT WORKS!!!!!


for me what works is not to say no but just have a very small amount so that i do not feel deprived and that craving is satisfied kathy


ps so far have lost almost 40 pounds I started at 155 last may and am down to 117 with only 2 more pounds to go kathy


I look at the treat on offer and weigh it up: is it something that tastes really nice? Is it something I can get in the corner shop? Is it something interesting, or is this a special occasion?

So I will have a taste of everything I brought into the office when I passed my driving test (about 4 small slices of cake! +lots of berries). Or if my friends bring in interesting Indian or Mediterranean sweets, for example. But I just leave the usual cookies and cakes alone.

I've developed a reputation of eating all the time, but it is an apple, or 20g of almonds, or a pot of low fat yogurt. Nobody would believe I'm counting my calories. Treats fit in very easily. and I count them.

Anticipating your body's needs is probably the best way of losing weight, in my opinion.


I learned that I just can't have any junk food around me. I never bring it in the house. If I want to have something, I eat it out of the house, such as at a restaurant, coffee shop, etc.

If there is anything in the house chocolate or baked goods related, such as muffins (except pies, cakes, or cheesecake, which oddly don't tempt me), I can't rest until it's gone. When I am at parties, I can usually find other ways to preoccupy myself.

I have been maintaining my weight loss for 6 years, and this has never changed for me. I just can't have it available.


I often find myself eating to keep awake and grab what is handy/easy/comforting. Sometimes I eat instead of hydrate. It is a matter of realizing that I just really need to drink. So pause and think before you grab and eat.

I keep unsalted natural almonds in my car. While they are high in fat/cals, they are nutrient rich and will satisfy the need to chew and feel satisfied. I lose weight even eating up to 1/2 cup of nuts some days. I plan my other meals knowing ahead of time that these nuts are a possibility in my day.


I love chips and pretzels!!!! Learning to eat them in moderation and proper portion size is what works. Log them into the calorie counter before you eat them. It will help you decide if you really want them or something a little healthier. Be sure to measure out your portion and put the rest of the bag away seems to really work for me. During Lent every year I give up these two favorites and guess what on Easter day when I indulge on them I say it every year "They just don't taste that good". For some reason I continue to eat them through out the year, but in moderation now.


I cannot stay away form salty foods: nuts, chips, pretzels, crackers, etc. I am also a TV-watching muncher. Last winter I got hung up on unsweetened peanut butter and FINALLY realized I had to keep it out of the house. This winter it has been nuts. I LOVE nuts of any kind and if they are salty, that's even better. I recently retired and i think I may have a bit of anxiety factor going on as well. SO, today, I am going to get back into the game and stash the salty almonds and cashews that were marked down, and quit buying chips! Back to the natural almonds and ever so lightly salted mini carrots. (are roated peanuts in the shell, unsalted of course, ok?)


For me I love to cook, bake anything that has to do with being in the kitchen. I find myself taking little bites of this and that, not thinking much of it at the time, but I do realize where my extra 29 lbs came from. :(

I am looking forward to my weight loss!  I KNOW it isn't going to be easy, but I need to get into better eating habits.  Just need some inspiration and found it here.. 

Thanks Everyone.  :)Laughing



Hello Everyone!

I 100% agree with keeping the bad food out of the house totally!  Certain foods I really have trouble walking into the kitchen and seeing.  Its really best not to have to look at them.  Then again, I am telling myself that the amount I eat is not necessary.  I am an emotional eater and I can eat and eat, but its not good.  I'm trying to lose 20 more lbs..I just got finished losing 26 lbs just before the holidays and have 20 more to go.  I am eating a normal breakfast, then mostly veggies for lunch and snacks but keeping the afternoon as low in calories as possible, then having a somewhat normal dinner keeping my portions on the small side.  In short, I am trying to do a 1350 calorie diet and its not easy, but I keep telling myself how much I really need to do this.  Believe it or not, it is very helpful to talk yourself through these things.  It helps me alot also to log everything, so I just love this website.  Logging all that I eat is helping me to know how many calories per day I am eating as well as how many I need to be eating to lose, not just to maintain.  I love the tools here. 



i have a big problem i am a junkfood junkie and lately i have not been able to stop my addiction i feel like i need to go to one of those junkfood anonymous classess online or something matter of fact do they even have a junkfood anonymous classes online?because i have been trying to find one for quite some time now. GOD BLESS,



Junk food in the lunch room has been a major problem for me.  The staff use it as a fund raiser year round for the christmas party and other employees might bring in the remnants of a cake or squares so they don't over do it at home.  This is where I eat my lunch and take my breaks!  I sit at a table over loaded with junk just calling my name!

The left over cakes et al. are easiest to handle as I tell myself no and walk away.  If it is still calling my name, I tell myself OK but give myself a time, eg. afternoon break, bywhich time the treat has been scarfed by others or the craving has gone.

I am going to have to find a better place for my breaks and take a walk on my lunch to avoid the boxes of vachon cakes.


At home, I do not bring junk into the home.  Having said that I am not being able to do that lately.  The junk calls my name and I throw it in the cart.  I know once it's home, it's on my hips!!  If I can get strong enough, it goes in the trash where I won't touch it.

 

I seem to need junk and comfort when my energy levels are low.  I still think my thyroid is out of wack but my numbers ARE good. Of course when I fill myself with junk, there is little room for good nutrition.  I really need to up my vegetable intake.



I think everyone has their moments of seeing goodies and wanting them.   I have the same problem so I try not to buy anything other than what I plan to eat.  Also, I get different fruits like grapes, oranges, apples, whatever I like.  Then for dessert when I am trying very hard to be good, I get some grapes, an orange or a banana.  I know it sounds boring, but I try to think to myself that this is not FOREVER.  I will get to eat a cookie or a slice of cake again, in fact many times, everything is ok in moderation.  For now, to get the results that I want and get to my goal, I need self control.  I am really practicing more self control because I am an emotional eater.  I will admit to some bad moods with this and some moments that I am not too happy, but the scale is moving now for me, and that is a payoff.  So re-inforce your positive points with the weight loss in your mind or on paper, all the time, it really helps, and stock up on fruits and veggies they really help too!  TGIF and have a great day!



I don't eat when I watch tv for that reason...munch away at who knows how many calories cause I wasn't paying attention, surprised to find out afterward I didn't enjoy it either. I also stopped watching tv so muchand started walking in the evenings. When I do watch tv, I change the channel when food  commercials come on. The power of suggestion and realistic pictures can be overpowering!  No more cravings at night!



This weekend I was near my all time favorite: Chicken Wings!!!!!!!! and I wanted some so bad!!!!!!! but instead I ordered the celery with the buffalo sauce on the side with some blue cheese dressing and believe me, it wasn't exactly the same, but it did help me get my "buffalo" fix for sure.  And, my boyfriend was eating his chicken wings with beer, and I didn't feel left out because i was able to snack in our favorite restaurant anyway...

AND: Another weakness when we have chicken wings:  BEER!!!! I USED to order a very LARGE Blue Moon, with the orange slices: now instead I ordered ONE smaller low carb beer and asked for lime slices on the side... and the waitress brought ice water to drink along with the beer: I KNOW... not the same as the other, effect wise... but it still makes for a good subsitute when you are on a diet and trying to watch what you eat...end result: instead of gaining weight this weekend, like all weekends... I lost ONE POUND!!! YEAH!!!



Good for you, Cathy! That's awesome! My mantra, "watch out while dining out!" Amazing how many calories are in those tasty "little" treats. :) Keep up the good work and enjoy your successes, no matter how (seemingly) small, they will compoud over time!



THANKS!! I sure hope so!! I have a huge amount of weight to lose and the more I slip up and take three steps back the harder it will be to get there... thanks for the encouragement.



It's a war you will win too! If you slide back a bit, choose not to live in defeat,  rather, have a mindset that says, anything worth having (a long life) is worth fighting for! Try to think of how long athletes and sports stars battle to get to their goals/dreams; they face many trials along the way and so will you. Keep fighting through the small battles as you encounter them, and soon you will win the war! You are quite welcome, Cathy! :)  



Idk..I stopped craving bad foods.I eat every morning muesli which has very sweet dried fruits.After that I don't crave anything sweet all day n usually I stay in my calorie limit.

 

And the high calorie oily foods are just yuck for me now



Original Post by: lmilesw

The Bible tells us that God will not tempt us beyond on what we can stand and will show us a way out (1 Corinthians: 10:13. Also one of the fruits of the spirit of God is self control (Galatians 5:22-23. Therefore my answer to withstanding temptation is to give it to Jesus.

Amen to that! When I find myself faced with temptations in the lunch room, I pray, "Lord, I know that You don't want me filling Your temple with junk food. Please, give me the strength to eat what I know I should and stay away from unhealthy things."

Thanks for your post, lmilesw. It's always encouraging to know that there's another sister (or brother) out there who shares my beliefs. Laughing



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