As a society, we think of fast food, candy, cakes & cookies, etc. as "junk" food. Anything that you can eat that has little or no nutritional value or has been deemed bad for you. But who really knows what's bad or good for you? Many of the foods we eat have added sugar or preservatives, been genetically modified or might come from a lab. You can see I am trying to give you something to think about. But let me talk about traditional "junk" food. Is it healthy for you to eat a lot of a food that has no nutritional value? Of course not! I promote eating a wide variety of foods so you can have a healthy body, which can only be achieved if you give it the nutrients it needs. Tell yourself you can't have something, even if it is "junk" food, and you will just want it more. Eventually, you might find yourself, sitting in your car, eating your way through a box of Dunkin' Doughnuts. Now that is something that is not healthy!
When I googled National Junk Food Day, I found it mentioned on numerous sites as the day to ditch the diet and eat whatever you want. One even mentioned eating without guilt. Am I the only one who thinks it weird that we need a day to eat without guilt? I understand feeling guilty when you overeat or spend a day eating nothing with any nutritional value, but I also know that one day is not going to ruin your "diet." In realty, two or three days won't make your body break down. And I know that allowing yourself a portion-controlled "treat" everyday is good for both your body and mind. But letting your guilt overtake your mind might lead to less than stellar food decisions going forward. Beating yourself up only takes your energy away from more positive things like laughing, playing and even performing well at your job.
So here's what I suggest you do not just on National Junk Food Day, but everyday:
Sign The Permission Slip
Give yourself permission to have a "treat" everyday. I am not talking about a piece of triple layer chocolate cake everyday, but something in a portion-controlled serving. I know you are thinking that you can't eat just one of anything, but if it isn't "forbidden" you most likely will feel satisfied with less not more. But if you are worried that you won't be able to control your hands from grabbing more than one, make your treat be something that you go and buy one of like a cupcake.
Plan, Plan & Plan Some More
Try to think about what you will be doing and where you might be. If you are going to the movies, decide to have either popcorn or candy before you get there. Without a plan, you are more likely to just get both.
Make It Special
Don't eat your treat while you are running around crazy or at your desk. Instead, sit and enjoy it. When we are distracted, we miss the little things like how the chocolate feels in your mouth or the smell of a fresh baked doughnut.
Have a "Treat" Meal Every Week
If you eat nutritious meals 80-90% of time, there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating a hot dog at the ballpark or a beef wellington at a special dinner. Plan to have it and enjoy it.
Don't Skip Meals
Forgoing lunch so you can have pie is not the way to make your body healthy. If your brain is starved, do you really think it will tell you to stop at one piece?
Love It or Leave It
You thought you wanted ice cream, but after one bite you realize you had it wrong. Dump it and walk away. Since you are giving yourself permission to have a daily "treat," you shouldn't have to worry about eating something you don't want. You always have tomorrow.
If you are going to let yourself have "junk," don't waste it. Try new things. Believe me there are more than enough less nutritious foods out there for you to never have to eat the same thing twice.
You don't need a special day to ditch the diet; you just need to ditch the diet. Remember, it's all about moderation not elimination!