When you live a hectic life, your daily diet tends to fall back on habit and convenience. You skip meals, open a bag of chips, or grab a doughnut with your morning coffee. Life is probably not going to calm down, but you can take some simple steps to eliminate junk from your diet.
Watch Out for Empty Calories
Your body needs calories for energy and to sustain basic functions. But watch out for empty calories—foods that have lots of calories but not much nutrition. Examples include soft drinks (including energy drinks), cookies, crackers, and pretty much any baked good. Beer, wine, and alcohol are also on the list.
You eat these because they're convenient and taste good. That means you need to find alternative tasty but nutritious foods to substitute for them and make them equally as convenient. Fruit, nuts, seeds, and cheese are all good replacements for junk.
Eat Fresher Foods
Processed foods aren't inherently bad—oatmeal, dried fruit, and yogurt are all processed in some way. But overly-processed foods tend to be packed with sugar, fat, or unhealthy additives. Sugary cereal, chips, ice cream, and even some high-sugar granola bars are ultra-processed.
If you make an effort to eat fresher foods, you will be less tempted to eat junk foods. It can be as simple as adding fresh fruits to your breakfast or carrying vegetables like celery or carrot sticks for a snack. You'll notice a difference in how you feel and look. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is great for your skin.
Avoid Fast Food
The occasional fast-food meal isn't going to hurt you, but if you're making a habit of it, you're eating junk. Fast food tends to contain high levels of sodium, trans fat, carbs, and sugar, if you have a soft drink. These can cause headaches, lead to water retention, and raise blood sugar levels.
Preparing your lunches ahead of time can help you avoid fast food. Many people set aside time on Sunday for preparing healthy lunches for each day of the week. Store them in the fridge and take one to work each day.
The best way to avoid junk food is to be prepared with healthier foods. They need to be delicious and easy to grab and go. Then, when you're busy and stressed, you'll have better convenience foods to choose from.
Check out this article on how to not let diet restrictions prevent you from eating healthy!
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