Junk Foods vs Healthy Food... Does Eating Junk Food = "Living a Little"?

cereal junk food

By Mike Geary - Certified Nutrition Specialist 
Author of best-sellers: The Fat Burning Kitchen & The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging


Whenever I happen to be over someone's house for a party or get-together of some sort, the subject at some point will inadvertently turn to someone asking me about my best-selling fitness book which then leads us into other discussions about food or fitness.  With approx 70% of the population overweight or obese these days, it's not hard to find someone interested in eating healthier and getting in better shape.

The interesting thing that I have noticed over the years is that almost every single person that has told me that they are "trying" to lose weight, almost always has their house filled with tons of junk foods instead of whole unprocessed natural healthy foods.

It's not uncommon for people to tell me that they're trying really hard to lose weight, but I'll notice boxes of frosted flakes and fruit loops on their counter, cookies, crackers, and donuts in their cupboard, and soda or syrup-filled juices in their fridge.

So the question that always boggles my mind is that if all of these people really want to get in shape and lose weight so bad, why on earth does everybody still have their house filled with junk food instead of healthy foods?

I always tread lightly in these situations because if people don't ask for my advice, I certainly don't want to go spreading my fitness advice around without them wanting to hear my advice... but if they do ask for my help, then I'll ask about why they buy junk foods if they want to improve their body...

Interestingly, the answer usually is that they don't want to give up their favorite foods because they think that eating these junk foods allows them to "live a little" (more like "die a little" with each bite!).

In my opinion, eating junk food has nothing at all to do with enjoying life...actually, when you give up junk food you actually enjoy living more because you FEEL better all the time and have more energy every day...plus getting into better shape by NOT eating junk food gives you more confidence because you actually look better in addition to feeling better, thereby enjoying life more once again.

One thing that many people don't realize is that eating healthy DOESN'T mean eating bland and boring food.  Rather, when you learn to enjoy natural unprocessed foods and start exploring all of the varieties of natural healthy foods this planet has to offer, you discover that you enjoy the natural flavors of real food better than overly processed aggressive tastes so common with excessively salty and sweet junk foods.

An example of this is that the other day I was at a golf course and wanted an unsweetened iced tea, but all they had available was these bottles of heavily sweetened tea. Well, I haven't bought a fully sweetened tea in probably a couple years now... I've actually gotten used to drinking unsweetened tea and have learned to appreciate the natural taste of tea without needing sugar or dangerous artificial sweeteners.

I swear I almost gagged when I drank this bottle of iced tea... it was so syrupy sweet that it was just plain disgusting. 

Same thing for coffee... I used to need a lot of sugar in coffee, but after a while of slowly using less and less sugar, I can actually drink black coffee now and enjoy the natural flavor of it without needing sugar (although I prefer coffee with a tiny bit of stevia and also some grass-fed cream, which is actually quite healthy) ...

These are just examples of how once you start appreciating the natural flavors of real foods, you find that you no longer need the overly aggressive sugary, salty, or artificial flavors that have been ingrained in us by food manufacturers and all of the junk they push on us.
 
Anyway, I believe everyone should actually enjoy what you eat, but do it without eating overly processed foods... people are often surprised to hear that a lot of the foods that they think are junk foods, I actually consider healthy foods, but only because I put a healthy spin on traditional junk food...

For example:

  • Junk food:  a cheap fast-food burger on a crappy refined white bun
  • My healthy alternative:  A grass-fed burger (with higher omega-3's and CLA) with raw grass-fed cheese on a sprouted grain roll topped with avocado slices
     
  • Junk food:  Deep fried and breaded chicken fingers with french fries (tons of nasty trannies)
  • My healthy alternative:  grilled chicken breast strips with peanut dipping sauce and vegetables
     
  • Junk food:  a piece of chocolate cupcake, chocolate donut, or chocolate candy bar
  • My healthy alternative:  a couple squares of super-dark chocolate (greater than 70% cocoa content only)... higher in fiber and much less sugar

Now that's how to enjoy food while eating healthier at the same time!  I hope this gives you ideas on how to get a new perspective on what really constitutes junk food or healthy foods.

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