Alternatives to “Junk Food”

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Eating healthy or staying on a diet is often hard for most people. It is not because one has a weak character, they’re not committed, or because it is more expensive. It is often because the individual jumps right into a plan expecting immediate changes, or because they are restricting themselves.

Eating healthy is a lifestyle change, and cutting cold turkey will not help you. You will not see changes over night, and your cravings will not magically disappear.  The best way to get healthy, is to set LONG TERM goals; start with baby steps. For example, if you drink 3 pops a day try only drinking one. You still have not limited yourself from having it completely but it’s a step in the right direction.

I’ve found that one of the easiest steps to adopting a healthier lifestyle, is replacing “junk” food with healthier options. Again, this is not a quick fix. You are allowed to eat chips, and drink pop, this just makes it easier to have them in moderation. In my experience, the less you have of an item, the less you begin to crave it.

I have listed a few alternatives below that I frequently used. They have become some of my favourites.

Chips- popcorn, nuts

Candy- dried fruit, fresh fruit

Chocolate bar- Dark chocolate

French fries- oven fries

Ice cream- nice cream (bananas), or homemade popsicles

Pop- juice/ fizzy water/ flavoured water

Instead of buying pizza, pasta sauce, or granola bars at the grocery store (which often have added sugar, sodium, and fat), it is better to make them yourself. I make almost everything myself now, and I prefer the taste because you can modify it to your liking. I have also discovered that making meals at home saves a lot of money.

Another way to save money, and to prevent buying “unhealthy food” at the store is to plan your meals ahead of time. This way you are only buying what you need, and you have a meal in mind, so you are less likely to eat out.

A simple way that I stay healthy is by incorporating fresh produce into my meals. I try to have half of my plate containing veggies, but it can be as simple as adding spinach to pizza or peas to pasta.

You may have noticed that I added “” to the words junk and unhealthy. This is because while the foods usually do not contain many nutrients, they are still food. Snacking on a donut while having coffee, or having a piece of cake is okay. It’s okay to treat yourself. Being healthy should not make you unhappy, that is not the point. Health is not a quick achievement, nor do I think it is one that we ever fully achieve, but being healthy has made me happier, so i will continue to treat my body right.

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