Some things make us happier than they should, and junk food takes the cake in its widespread popularity. Junk food. Fast food. “You are eating trash again”. Everybody who finds some solace in a KFC bucket has been told on and on again about how bad their eating habits are. We are aware of it, but in a world where smoking and prescription drug abuse exist, there is also room for some comfortable gluttony.
Junk food we stuff our faces with is highly processed food, and often laced with chemicals that enable addiction. We eat a double cheeseburger and our dopamine goes through the roof. We are happy with our choice of food, and even the clear-as-day guilt trip we simultaneously experience can’t do anything to wipe that smirk off our face.
Fast food chains know this and make profits out of it. That cheeseburger is not so tasty because it’s made of delicious food. It’s also tasty because it has been chemically altered to tickle our dopamine centers. We will be coming back for more like common junkies.
You can learn much from the 13 steps for recovering alcoholics while you shake off that junk food bug. You start by admitting that you have a problem. Then you move on to finding which parts of your life put you in a position to eat poorly, and handle those. All this time, you start making more trips to the farmer’s market. It is time to find some healthy alternatives.
Addictions are easily combated with other addictions. This can be a bad thing in some instances, but reaching for a Caesar salad every time you would have reached for a cheeseburger is really a good bargain. Train your brain to love the food it once didn’t appreciate – healthy food that is. Unprocessed meals. Our diets are just plain routines, and routines can be broken down and rewritten.
There are many charts and infographics that showcase healthy alternatives to common junk food. They are handy for most, but often too specific for a global audience. Some things are healthy eating staples however:
Soda pops, fizzy drinks, Coca Cola, call it what you will, it has you addicted. Reteach yourself to drink more water. Even if you drink water daily, you are probably not doing it enough. Make it a thing of routine, not something you take when you are thirsty, because thirst is a sign of dehydration. If you feel thirsty, you are probably much worse off on the inside. Change store-bought juice boxes for freshly squeezed juice. You really can’t argue that going to the store to buy something to drink is THAT much easier than squeezing a grapefruit at home. Oh yes, have some fruit nearby at all times. Fruit isn’t exactly as sweet as chocolate, but eat it often enough, and you will literally replace your hankering for chocolate with fruit. You can eat it raw, blended, served with pies and such pastry, or you can make a fruit salad. As for meat prep – grilling is by far the healthiest method.
Once again, fast food is comfort food, but it is also a learned habit. A product of mindless consumerism, and nothing to be too proud about. And what you learn, you can also unlearn, so why not learn how to eat like a healthy person?