How to Resist Temptation in the Face of Junk Food

healthy eating, health tips, counting calories


It's no secret that I love junk food.  Candy, cookies, cake, chips - these are just some of the foods I love to eat and cause me to constantly fall off the diet train.  I'm an emotional eater and whether I'm happy, sad, bored, or celebrating I never reach for something healthy to stuff in my face.  That's why I don't keep junk food at my house.  It's best to just remove the temptation instead of trying to fight it.  And that works most of the time.

But what about when I'm not at home?  If you're anything like me, saying no to an appetizer or dessert at a dinner party, snacking on fruit instead of cookies or pastries at a business meeting, ordering a salad when everyone else is having a burger and fries, or not diving into the chip bowl at a party can be next to impossible.  I go out of town once a month to visit my Mom and she loves to stock up on my favorite junk food because she knows it's a treat I don't allow myself when I'm at home.  She also has plenty of healthy alternatives for me, but when faced with either mini chocolate donuts or yogurt for breakfast, the chocolate donuts win every time.  What's a girl to do?

Since I don't want to wreck my diet this year, I've come up with these 5 tips for resisting the temptation of junk food when Little Debbie is staring me down:



  1. Have a Plan and Be Prepared:  Saying no to temptation is much harder when you're taken by surprise.  If you know you're going to be somewhere where there is tempting food, visualize the environment before you go and come up with a plan to not eat all the things (or just eat the healthy things) while you are there.  Put it in your mind that you're going to make healthy choices and follow through.  Psych yourself up, but don't psych yourself out.
  2. Count Your Calories and Know When to Indulge a Little:  It's important to know your calories in vs. your calories out.  If you know how many calories you plan to eat for the day and track them, it becomes easier to say no to mindless eating and make better food choices.  Tracking your calories also lets you plan for indulgences along the way.  And keeping track of your calories is super easy thanks to smartphones and technology (yay, technology!).  I use MyFitnessPal and I don't even have to guess how many calories is in whatever I'm eating.
  3. Know Your Alternatives:  If you know where you're going and what to expect, you can plan for healthier alternatives.  If you're going to a restaurant, look up the menu before you go - this not only makes you face all the unhealthy options on the menu beforehand and say no to them before you even get there, but it also lets you decide on the healthy option you can say yes to.  If you're going to a party or happy hour, decide to sip on a martini for an hour instead of drinking a beer or two in that same time frame.  I also really like the Eat This, Not That {affiliate} series of books.
  4. Bring Your Own Healthy Option:  If you're going to a meeting at work that has donuts, bring your own piece of fruit or yogurt to eat instead.  If you're going to a party, bring a healthy dish to share with everyone.  Pack your lunch to avoid the fast food trap.
  5. Don't Leave the House Hungry:  Nothing wrecks my self control quite like being hangry (plus I'm likely to get stabby).  If I get to a restaurant and I'm starving, I'll want to order two appetizers, a huge entree, and a dessert, and I'll eat so fast I'll stuff myself to the point of pain before I even know what happened.  The point is, eat small meals during the day and keep some healthy snacks nearby to keep hunger at bay.  Obviously, if you're going out to dinner or to a dinner party, you don't want to eat a meal before you leave, but having a small snack beforehand can make it much easier to stick to your guns and not cave to temptation which will save you calories in the long run.

It's easy to eat healthy when you're in a bubble without any temptation around.  But that's not the world we live in.  You don't want to have to avoid a social life just to lose weight and stick to your diet.  If you deny yourself a good time or end up resenting your diet, you're not going reach your goals or maintain healthy habits.  Being prepared for the different ways junk food can tempt you is the best way to not give in to that temptation.  I hope these tips help you to just say no to junk food.  Tell me, what works for you?  I'd love to know!!

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