We live in an age of junk food, cola drinks, sweets, alcoholic beverages, and late-night parties. Add to this a stressful life spinning around vanishing deadlines, pollution, and unhealthy eating preferences, and a disturbing trend shall be seen evident in our routine patterns. This is not a good scenario to stay with.
Does this sound familiar- you vow to put in a mile or two on the treadmill every day and count every last calorie, but a few days later the diet is forgotten and you’re wolfing down on pizzas and beers with your friends?
You are not alone. You are one of those 50 million Americans who eat junk food every day and may not have enough willingness to set your fitness priorities right. Here is an article explaining why you need to go the other way around and make some healthy changes to your life starting today.
There is not much wrong with eating junk foods and snacks but it is not a good habit to rely on it either. Eating it once a while in limited quantities in the middle of a fitness-centric and active lifestyle. You can surely eat a pizza, some French fries, or maybe eat a hamburger, and then gulp down a diet coke- yes, it is all good if you do it only a day in a long time.
It is just as good if you are in the middle of a disciplined and healthy diet. It does not have to be a compulsion but rather a choice that we have for ourselves. We all know what minimum dietary requirements our bodies need and we should have enough discipline and willingness to set it right.
Eating unhealthy street food on a regular basis can fill your body with toxins and make you deficient in nutrients that responsible for better well-being. It will thus reduce your immunity and would make you prone to a wide range of chronic diseases like cardiovascular illness, Type 2 Diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver, irregular blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and even cancer!
Here is what you stand to lose with eating an unmoderated quantity of junk and street foods every day:
1. Increased belly fat
3. Slower metabolism and weakened digestion
4. Depression and other mental ailments like stress
5. The habit of emotional eating
6. Imbalance of hormones
7. Loss of memory
8. Irregular sleep patterns
9. Inhibited growth
10. Slower mental growth
11. Clogged arteries in the heart, leading to serious heart ailments
12. Little to no interest in eating healthy and nutritious food
If you are an emotional eater who simply can’t live without your fair share of junk and street foods every day, we advise you to consult a wellness expert today. She would be the best person to look through your patterns and would help you with a simple, gradual way to make those healthy changes to your lifestyle. Trust us, you need them.
You may require more work if you are obese or under stress or both. People who fail to resist food always have a hard time losing weight and staying in shape. Food addiction is certainly not something that’s welcomed, it is best to get rid of it as quickly as possible.
Here are some healthy swaps to help you get in shape without feeling deprived. They taste just as nice as your favorite convenience street food but come with a lot of health benefits:
A McDonald’s Big Mac has 550 calories. Add to that fries and Coke, and you’re looking at close to 1500 calories. We suggest you make burgers at home using whole grain buns and lots of salad. Use healthy grilled patties and low-fat spreads with herbs to add flavor. Serve with oven-baked sweet potato chips brushed with a little olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.
A single slice of thick crust pizza packs in about 275 calories. Multiply this by 3 or 4 slices and add the calories from your drink, and you are overshooting your daily calorie count in just one meal. The alternative is to make your pizza with whole grain flour (or use Lebanese bread), well-seasoned home-made tomato paste, low-fat cheese, and a generous pile of veggies.
A small piece of deep-fried chicken coated in breadcrumbs contains as many as 250 calories. And who can stop at just one piece? Substitute this with a piece of chicken that’s dipped in egg, rolled in breadcrumbs and herbs, and baked or grilled in an oven.
A chicken fajita burrito from Chipotle Mexican Grill can be a whopping 1200 calories. If you love Mexican food but don’t want to derail your diet, you may try a deconstructed burrito with lettuce, beans, avocado, and salsa. A serving of fresh tomato salsa has only 10 calories compared to the decidedly more substantial 230 in guacamole. Go easy on the sour cream and cheese and skip the rice.
Eating junk and street food can cause serious havoc on your digestive system and health. Add to it a habitual consumption of alcohol over the weekends and you could be in a serious situation. Here’s a free resource that offers expert insights about how to deal with the situation with minimum fuss.
Snacking can be a serious business. Just 100 grams of potato chips and cream cheese dip comes loaded with 900 calories! Substitute with multi-grain pita chips, baked sweet potato or banana chips, and kale chips as healthier alternatives. Hummus is packed with protein and is low in calories.
If you’ve been watching what you eat and are wondering why you’re not losing weight, then you might be drinking your calories. A glass of Long Island Iced Tea has a massive 780 calories while Margaritas and Pina Coladas are close to 700 calories per glass.
On the other hand, a glass of red wine has only 75 calories. It is good for your heart and is loaded with antioxidants. Choose your drinks wisely- you can make yourself a refreshing Mojito with white rum, mint, lime juice, and soda water, swapping the sugar syrup for a dash of brown sugar.
Grabbing a chocolate chip muffin at your local bakery can set you back by 500 calories and you would need to walk briskly for 6 miles to burn shed it off. We thus suggest that you bake some apples, cinnamon, and oat bran muffins to bake a delicious cake. You can add dates and prunes as natural sweeteners along with healthier ingredients like carrot, ginger, banana, and walnuts.
Tip: Conversely, sugary foods are the leading cause of obesity and high cholesterol levels in millions of people around the world. Here’s an article explaining why you should avoid them.
When you absentmindedly stuff a Hob Nob or Bourbon biscuit into your mouth, you can expect yourself to eat about 70 calories. Cereal and granola bars are loaded with whole grains instead of butter and sugar. Other healthier options are muesli and chia seed biscuits that contain rolled oats, carrots, pumpkin, and sultanas. This is better than a 100-gram serving of butter cookies with 500 calories.
If you must eat chocolate, pick your indulgence carefully. Not all chocolates are made equal. Milky Way has 98 calories per bar and 3.5 g of fat while a Snickers bar has close to 300 calories and 16.5 g of fat. Dark chocolate is calorie-rich (550 calories in 100 g), but a small piece is often enough to satisfy cravings.
A cup of Ben and Jerry’s Fudge Brownie Ice Cream has 500 calories, even without any additional toppings like nuts or chocolate sauce. A healthy alternative is to freeze fruit like bananas or berries and blend them in a food processor until smooth. Add healthy toppings like almonds or honey for added taste and sweetness.
When you do give in to temptation, remember gelato has less cream and about 30% fewer calories than ice cream. Small tweaks in your eating habits can result in big changes. Try these ideas for food that has all the flavor but none of the fat.
It would be easy to go ahead with the junk food alternatives that are mentioned above. They would help you more if you could take the time to understand the reasons you keep on snacking all the time. This would also help you get to the basics of what you should eat and what time, and just how you can use this restraint to get better results for your fitness every day.
Ease of making and tangy taste are the two main reasons why people go for having roadside and canned or processed foods. The pleasure that our taste buds get from eating such foods is usually habit-forming and may make a person habitual to it.
This may slowly remove the habit of eating healthy and nutritious food altogether, thus causing a lot of health problems. If you feel hungry all the time, it is your body’s way of telling you that you are short of energy to work effectively. This is just the time that you provide it quality nutrition instead of any toxic food so it can maintain its functionality for longer.
If you don’t, someday you will find that feeling depleted has become your way of life and you are suffering from a ton of health issues too. If you are stressed out, we suggest you consult a wellness expert to check if your eating habits are affecting your mental health or vice versa.
We are some foods that stop hunger and help you keep a tab on your appetite in a better way:
The same part of the brain is responsible for thirst and hunger signals, and this makes it difficult for the body to distinguish whether you are thirsty or hungry. Keep a water bottle at your desk so you remember to sip water throughout the day. Keeping yourself hydrated will help you avoid unnecessary snacking and munching.
If you eat a lot of simple carbs and sugar it will make it impossible to feel satisfied. This is because your glucose levels will rise and crash rapidly, causing your body to need more fuel. This may turn into a vicious cycle where you will never feel satisfied, no matter how much you keep eating.
It might sound contradictory to your weight loss goals but it is true that if you space your meals too far it can make you constantly hungry. The simple logic behind this is that if your stomach is empty for long your body is likely to release more ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone, leaving you feeling famished. To avoid overeating, try eating a meal or snack every three to four hours.
Mental tension is the most common reason to feel hungry. When you are stressed, the production of cortisol (the stress-causing hormone) increases in your body. It tends to increase the cravings for sugar-rich and fatty foods to ease our tension and to comfort us physiologically.
Eating something sweet may make you feel better temporarily but eventually, it will come back with a lot of health risks. The situation may be worse if you are obese or are an emotional eater or if you are suffering from diabetes.
The three main components of healthy snacks are fiber, protein, and fat. They are responsible for slowing down the process of digestion to keep blood sugar stable and to keep you feeling full for longer. If you opt for foods that are rich only in fats and carbs it is going to create an imbalance in your body resulting in overeating.
To avoid such situations always carry with you some healthy snacks like roasted nuts, cherry tomatoes, cottage cheese, and avocado. It is just as important to keep drinking 8 glasses of water every day to replenish your energy reserves.
Sleep has a close relation with hunger hormones namely, leptin (reduces appetite) and ghrelin (stimulates appetite). When you sleep less, the leptin levels go down and ghrelin levels go up. This cyclic process makes you feel hungry.
When you’re exhausted, your body craves a quick fuel source like glucose, which gets you reaching for those sugar-laden foods. These food items set you off on a hunger spree since they give you a quick energy boost, followed by a sugar crash that makes you crave more of it.
If none of the potential reasons match with your overeating habits, it may be worth seeing a doctor to rule out any real health concerns. There are many diseases like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, depression, and anxiety that may result in increased appetite. We hope you take out time to go through the reasons you are investing so much time in eating all the unhealthy stuff.
Junk food snacks may taste delicious but they come with health risks
They can help you understand what fast foods you should avoid in your diet. Needless to say, you would always gain from eating a regular, healthy, and organic diet than you would from unhealthy and processed fast foods.
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