5 ways to ditch the junk
We all know junk food’s bad for us. In fact, even Jamie Oliver is on a one-man anti-sugar crusade. But did you know that your job can have an impact on how much junk you eat? A new survey from couchercloud.com found that, ironically, health care workers eat the most junk, followed by employees in the transport and IT industries, retail and hospitality. And a huge 43 per cent say they eat more junk than healthy food every day.
It seems Britain runs on crisps – but it is possible to lower your junk food consumption without feeling deprived – so here’s five easy ways to do it…
Don’t have it in the house
This sounds blindingly obvious, but difficult. It isn’t – the reason it’s so easy to eat biscuits and cakes is because they’re there. If you do your shop online, you can avoid the temptation of throwing things in the trolley, and choose with more care. If you really crave cake, buy the ingredients to make one – then you won’t bother till you really want it.
Find an equivalent taste
Fat and sugar is delicious, there’s no question about it. But diabetes, heart problems and obesity are less tasty, so it’ll pay off to re-train your tastebuds to enjoy different sensations. The Japanese ‘umami’ sour/sweet taste is deeply satisfying, so try seaweed snacks, Japanese rice crackers, or marmite-coated cashews to get a big hit of flavour without the bad stuff.
Sounds silly, but if you’re longing for a junk food hit, buy the expensive stuff – buy caramel sea-salt truffles, or hand-cooked kettle chips rather than the standard chocolate bar and bag of salt & vinegar. That way, you’ll appreciate the treat much more, and save it till you really want it. One Lindor ball can be worth ten of the kids’ chocolate buttons in satisfaction terms.
Eat more protein
Mostly people crave fat and sugar when they’re tired and need a carb boost to feel better. Protein, however, will keep you feeling fuller for much longer – so don’t have a croissant or toast and jam for breakfast, have poached eggs, or a piece of cheese and a handful of nuts and seeds. You’ll be amazed how dramatically mid-morning cravings drop.
Take leftovers to work
Yes, it’s a bit boring. And it requires forward planning. But one of the biggest reasons workers gobble up junk at lunchtime is because it’s all that’s available in a short time. The average newsagent does not sell healthy, nutritionally balanced meals, and while they’re possible to find on the road, they’ll also cost you the best part of £10. Make double the food the night before, snap half into a plastic pot, and you have a free and filling lunch that’ll be far more satisfying than a bag of cheesy puffs.
What’s your junk food downfall? Let us know on Twitter @candismagazine