When it comes to losing weight, eating a healthy diet is one of the most important things that you can do. The weight you lose is based on eating less calories than what you burn during the day. One of the easiest ways to lower your calorie count without actually having to count your calories is by focusing on nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods like vegetables and fruits.
Unfortunately, there are some foods that can stand in your way. Certain junk foods are extremely high in calories, but have very few nutrients to justify the extra calories in them. Junk food is a type of food that you could easily live without because they provide very little nutrients for your diet in comparison to the amount of calories that they add.
If you are trying to adopt a healthier diet, lose weight or just want a New Year’s resolution, the No Junk Food Challenge is a good place to start. You can set this challenge for any number of days. Before long, you will quickly see amazing changes taking place in your body from a healthier weight to a higher level of energy.
What Can You Eat on the No Junk Food Challenge?
Junk food is basically any type of food that contains useless calories. While junk food may taste good, it does not contain the nutrients that you need to feel full. Instead of resorting to junk food for your snacks or meals, focus on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Vegetables, in particular, are known for having very low calories and high nutritional value. For example, it would take multiple large handfuls of spinach to equal just 50 calories, and spinach is high in iron, vitamin K and a host of other vitamins.
The No Junk Food Challenge is typically done for 21 days, but you can really do it for any amount of time. The 21-day requirement is set because it is supposed to take 21 days to adopt a new habit or break an old one. During the No Junk Food Challenge, you have to follow these simple rules:
– No fast food
– No cakes, muffins, pies or donuts
– No soda
– No candy
– No chocolate
– No ice cream
– No cookies or biscuits
– No white bread
– No chips or similar fried foods
– No pastries
Instead, focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Beans and oatmeal are great sources of fiber. Fish, lean meats, lentils and beans can help provide your protein intake.
The Benefits of the No Junk Food Challenge
Obviously, you will attain more benefits from the No Junk Food Challenge if you do it for even longer or adopt it as your regular diet. Overall, you can expect some of the following benefits from this challenge:
1. Lowered Health Risks
Junk food is high in preservatives, salt, saturated fat and sugar. These ingredients would normally increase your changes of high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes, high cholesterol and cancer. By avoiding or eliminating junk food completely, you can lower your risk of developing all of these problems.
2. Lose Weight
Since junk food is high in calories, it can lead to weight gain. Plus, junk food is not very filling, so you end up eating even more calories than necessary to feel full. If you stop eating junk food and switch to a healthier diet, even three weeks of doing the challenge can result in losing weight.
3. Better Nutrition
When you switch to healthy, nutrient-dense foods, it immediately begins to impact your overall health. People who eat a healthy diet often report getting sick less and enjoying a higher level of energy. The new, healthier foods will help provide your body with the nutrients that it needs to work its best. As a result, your brain, bones, heart, digestive system and muscles can feel their best with the better nutrition in your new diet.
Sticking to the No Junk Food Challenge
To stay the course, try doing the No Junk Food Challenge with a friend. The buddy system helps to hold you accountable and makes the challenge more enjoyable. You can also tell other people that you are doing the challenge so that you get extra support as you do the challenge.
For an easier experience sticking to the challenge, try using just home-cooked meals. Obviously, you have to avoid fast food restaurants entirely to follow the challenge. Home-cooked meals are better than typical restaurants because you can control the amount of fat, sugar and salt added to your food. Try using healthy foods like vegetables, beans, fruit, lean meats and whole grains.
If you are used to eating a bowl of ice cream every night, it may be difficult to break this habit at first. Instead of discontinuing your nightly snack, try switching to something healthier. Yogurt and fruit could replace ice cream, and chopped vegetables could replace fries with your meals. There are many replacement options available that you can use instead of junk food.