Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance.
Junk food: It’s full of sugar, calories, and very little nutrition. It’s also delicious.
Now envision the average workday. It’s morning time, and you walk into the break room to see… doughnuts. Yes, you were good this morning and ate breakfast already, but that chocolate doughnut looks amazing. So you take one, thinking, “I’ll work it off later.” Two hours later, your coworkers are eating mexican and invite you to come along, so you go eat chips and salsa and lots of cheesy goodness. Stomach full, you lug your body back to work where someone just made cookies. Yum. They smell so good, so you just take one. Eventually you go home and have dinner, and if you’re smart, you’ll have a salad and take your dog for a walk.
You weren’t planning on having any of those extra calories, but junk food temptation is a beast. However, if you don’t change these indulgent habits quickly, you’re going to have to buy a new wardrobe to fit into.
As a wellness speaker, I have a lot of people ask me the best way to handle this situation. Here’s my advice.
Remember the 90/10 rule.
If 90% of your diet is healthy and the other 10% is junk, and you stick to this 90% of the time, you’re doing alright. Just make sure you don’t OD on junk food so that your work performance is still good.
Keep in mind the calories.
Start connecting cravings to how much exercise you’d have to do to get rid of that doughnut. Check out this helpful infographic on the right. Do you have time to swim for 130 minutes and do crunches for 88 minutes? Didn’t think so.
If you’re having intense cravings for a candy bar or bag of chips, giving into it with a small portion can take the edge off and divert your attention to more important matters. Nobody’s perfect and can stick to one habit all the time, so having just a little junk food here and there is a realistic way to live.
Take every moment at a time and remember that cravings typically only last for three minutes. So, like all temptations, if you notice they’re cropping up, set yourself apart for them. Go drink some water or unsweet tea. Pop in a piece of gum to take you mind off it. Soon those cookies and doughnuts might not seem so important.
You should be looking at feeling good being the reward for eating well, but saving a bag of gummy bears for the end of the week can also be used as a reward for keeping up a good job throughout the week.
If you practice moderation, a little bit of junk food on special occasions can be more beneficial to your overall health and wellness than trying to withstand completely.
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