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The ITG Diet blog delivers informative weight loss tips, health resources and nutritional information to help you along your weight loss journey.

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01
Apr

How Can I Quit Craving Junk Food?

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craving-junk-food.jpgEven those of us with the strongest willpower seem to have periodic lapses in judgement when it comes to indulging in snacks and junk foods. American reliance on these processed foods is a big reason for the obesity epidemic today. It seems scary to realize that we depend on foods with no good nutritional value to get us through everyday life. We then find ourselves craving more and more of those foods just to feel better, even if the feelings only last a short time with the rush of sugar in our systems. Ultimately, these foods affect our health in a negative way. Why is it so hard to give up junk food and fight the urge of salty and sugary cravings?

It’s All about Your Brain

When you look at the processed foods in a store and read the labels, combinations of sugars, salt and fat make those foods tastier to us. The science behind this is that our taste buds send signals to our brain which in turn stimulates neurons. Those neurons are connected to releasing endorphins, which give us a pleasurable and rewarding experience. Think about taking a bite into a big, sugary-coated donut. The feelings you get from anticipating the taste, flavors and texture are an overwhelmingly positive experience. You may want to go back for seconds because the reward is so great to our mind and body.

A Recipe for Addiction

Most foods today are no longer produced by the labor of a farmer growing fruits and vegetables, or even a baker baking a cake made of sugar and flour. Scientists, called flavorists, are now hard at work in laboratories creating the newest snacks, cookies and junk food that are a careful combination of flavors, chemicals, and other unnatural ingredients. All of these combined are just the recipe needed to make these concoctions as addictive as possible. Bet you didn’t think about that the last time you ate a candy bar! Whole foods come from nature, just as your body does – therefore those whole foods are guaranteed to work with your body to make sure you no longer feel hungry and no longer feel cravings. This is in stark contrast to junk food with no nutritional values that literally make your body and your mind need more for no apparent reason. Sounds almost along the lines of a man-made drug!

Begin Making the Change

By incorporating more natural, whole foods into your diet on a daily basis, you will feel fuller for longer since satisfying your hunger will come naturally. We all know it is quite easy to down an entire bag of potato chips and literally feel as though we haven’t eaten anything at all. Eating an entire bag of mixed vegetables seems out of the question, but just eating a cup or two would help satisfy your appetite and send the message to your brain that you don’t need to continue picking at foods or snacking more. With the ITG Diet, within the first couple of weeks your body and mind begin to make the connection that you are fuller for longer just by eating natural whole foods on a regular basis and increasing your intake of high quality proteins. Making healthier snacking choices can be very tough! With the help of your coach and the knowledge you will learn regarding making better-informed decisions about the foods you eat, you will be able to help yourself quit craving junk food.

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Joseph is a Certified ITG Coach as well as Operations Director for ITG Diet. He lost over 60 pounds on the ITG Diet Plan, dropped 10 inches from the waist and has decreased his body fat from 33% all the way down to 9%! 

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