While we all have more health information at our fingertips than ever before, the truth is that many people are confused about what is “healthy.” With major changes in the way our food is grown, processed, cooked, and marketed, it’s completely understandable why so many people are misled about common foods and beverages. To make matters worse, there are a number of everyday foods and beverages that are unhealthier than you think, like Starbucks coffee and Pop Tarts. It’s become increasingly more difficult for the average person to figure out how to stop eating junk food and lose weight or improve chronic illnesses.

It’s no secret food manufacturers design junk food to be addictive. Some snacks, like granola bars, are even marketed to be healthier than they really are. Over time, these choices can lead to a number of health issues, chronic illnesses, and weight gain. While constantly considering your food intake isn’t recommended, you can begin to form better habits by unraveling old myths, making smart changes, and staying on track with a nutrition accountability coach.

What Hidden Junk Foods Do You Consume Daily?

As addressed, with shifts in food manufacturing, marketing, and misinformation, many people still remain unsure of what “healthy” foods are. We consider junk foods to include anything that has low nutritional value, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and high empty calories, sugar, and fat. These foods are also high in added sugar, trans fat, sodium, and preservatives. Unfortunately, most foods served today have low nutritional value — everything from cereal to yogurt, fruit juice, fried food, and more.

The combination of fat and sugar makes junk foods addicting and easy to overconsume. For most, it is challenging to learn how to stop eating junk food and lose weight. There is a lot the everyday person may have never considered — from nutrients to calories, serving sizes, food groups, labels, marketing buzzwords, ingredients, and potential sensitivities. Unqualified influencers can further spark confusion, leading to poor decisions and unhealthy approaches.

Fully Enjoy the Benefits of Eating Clean

Fortunately, cutting back on junk food will make a noticeable difference in your life. By obtaining the nutrients you need, you’ll finally feel more energetic — and ready to exercise. You’ll lower your blood pressure and risk of chronic diseases like heart disease. Heightened sugar intake is one of key risk factors for this chronic ailment. Additionally, cutting down on junk food means you are intaking less fat, sugar and calories, naturally leading to weight loss.

How to Start Thinking About Food Differently

Oftentimes our trainers and clients find that focusing on the positive end of incorporating healthy food to be more effective than simply restricting junk food. As you begin to incorporate healthier foods into your life, you’ll naturally learn how to stop eating junk food and lose weight. Making a positive change and breaking old habits can be hard. If you find yourself feeling like you’re trying to reinvent the wheel, it might be time to start thinking about food differently.

That being said, uncovering what you can improve can be a challenge. If you are unsure of the positive difference you can make, there are qualified nutritionists who make it their job to help. In the meantime, enjoy a few tips to begin incorporating healthier foods and habits into your life.

Enjoy Healthier Alternatives To Your All-Time Favorites

While you may be tempted to turn to your all-time favorites in a pinch, you can begin to replace your junk food with healthier options. If you are craving sweets, berries, bananas, and watermelon offer natural sugars — without the preservatives. Homemade oats can make for a healthier cereal and granola bar alternative, and nuts like almonds can offer a satisfying crunch that rival any other salty snack. Now is the time to experiment with fruits like apples and oranges, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, proteins, dairy, healthy fats, and beverages.

Try Planning Out Your Meals for the Week

Before your workweek begins, consider packing healthy snacks or planning out your meals for the week. Whether you ultimately make them yourself, or eat out, planning your meals ahead of time is a more effective way to manage strong cravings. When grocery shopping, be sure to avoid the center of the store (where all of the processed foods are displayed). By shopping for fruit, vegetables, produce, dairy, meat, and fish on the perimeter of the store, you make healthier choices, cut down on time, and even save money.

Stick to a Routine Schedule

If you haven’t been able to learn how to stop eating junk food and lose weight, it might be worth reconsidering your schedule. Regularly missing meals is a sure way to make poor food decisions. Adjusting your sleep schedule and having routine meals not only reduces your cravings, but helps you stay on track with your other health goals. Be sure to build the habit of drinking water throughout the day, it’ll help you cut back on sugar-loaded beverages like coffee and soft drinks.

Consider A Nutrition Accountability Coach To Start Eating Cleaner

Nutrition is never a one-size-fits-all solution. There are a number of factors that should be included in your nutrition plan, from age, height, weight, and gender to lifestyle factors, health goals, family history, and pre-existing conditions. If you find yourself struggling to set goals and needing a custom plan, a nutrition accountability coach may be the solution.

Whether you are a student athlete or a grandparent looking for a change, our coaches can help you learn how to stop eating junk food and lose weight or meet any other goal you have in mind. At Ohio Personal Trainers, our trainers in Chagrin Falls and Hudson, Ohio focus on everything from nutrition to personal training, strength training, and cardio to build a completely tailored program. Build better eating habits today with a free consultation.