June is a beautiful month cause in India it brings respite from the awfully hot summers. It marks the beginning of the monsoons, lovely breeze and Mother Nature bringing in the greens. This has always been my favorite season because I love the rains, getting wet in the showers brings me immense joy.
This is also the month when cravings are at its peak and all one wants to do is lounge around and enjoy the weather with some mouthwatering pakoras (deep fried snack) and piping hot chai (Indian tea).
And from my last post you must have realized that my tolerance level for carving has reached zero.
So the beginning of this month I decide that I needed to get of the gluttony vehicle and get back on my fitness journey, so this month is the No Junk June.
So what is junk, Merriam Webster defines junk food as “food that is high in calories but low in nutritional content, or something that is appealing or enjoyable but of little or no real value”. What really stuck was the phrase “no real value”, so true.
So is all high calorie food junk, no not necessarily, high calorie is not junk but low nutritional value is junk. Most of us know these monsters, there are always high on salt, sugar, refined flours and fat. The funny thing is the more we tend to avoid them the more they are thrown on our face, with TV ads, huge posters, brochures sent home, stuck to the windscreen and marketed everywhere. So how does one stay away from all this, it is difficult yet simple. Generally a tendency to binge only comes when your body is starving. Picture this, you skip breakfast and driving down to work you see this huge poster of fried chicken or ohh so lovely burger and the friendly number besides it to deliver it wherever you are in record time…..does sound extra tempting. This is just one of the scenarios that happen on a daily basis. There is also peer pressure or family pressure to try just one and then one becomes unstoppable. All it takes to stop this is to say No to it in your head, plan and organize meals, ok it is easier said than done
I realized the havoc that these foods have created only when I was back on my workout routine. Oh yes I am back to exercising and living healthy but more on that in the next post .So I wanted to continue my Rush fit advanced schedule but come the first routine I felt nauseated and giddy. That’s when the light bulb struck that junk food had destroyed most of the hardwork of last year. I certainly need to work back my stamina and endurance, lesson learnt. Anyways on the workout front I moved to the Intermediate schedule.
But that’s what junk food does to you, a study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny at the Scripps Research Institute in 2008 suggested that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a manner similar to addictive drugs like cocaine or heroin. After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure. After the junk food was taken away and replaced with a healthy diet, the rats starved for two weeks instead of eating nutritious fare * (source Wikipedia). No wonder one can’t stop at one piece of a French fry.
Ok all this most of us know yet we continue to binge and eat junk, so how does correct or better still treat the addiction. Here is my plan to for the No Junk June
· Plan my meal, yes I know that was no brainer, but the less hungry I stay the less the chance I will reach for that fat dripping piece of chicken. It is simple as putting up a menu in your kitchen of what you will have for each meal for the entire week at the beginning of the week. This also makes grocery shopping simple. If you are a more computer savvy person then use online menu planners or better still some cool app on the phone. Whatever your choice do it now, I love writing stuff down so put up an empty poster on my wardrobe and put my menu there. It also helps me remove the anxiety of thinking what to cook each morning.
· Eat 6 times a day, no it isn’t tough, we all have our three meals and the in between snacks can be either a handful nuts, or small sandwich or a fruit. Something that is easier to even carry in your jacket pocket. I have a small box of my favorite nuts in my work desk drawer. Now instead of heading off to the cafeteria to binge on god knows what junk we just meet at my desk and snack on some lovely nuts and go nuts over some office gossip.
· Drink 3lt of water. Hunger and thirst signal are controlled by the same part of the brain. So when you think you are hungry, it actually maybe just thirsty. I personally don’t drink so the 3lt, 1lt in the Morning after I wake up and the rest throughout the day. This is surely going to be the toughest thing, but if keeps those burgers and gulab jamuns away, I ought to do it
· Choose healthier foods when I eat out. Friday’s lunches at work are usually days everyone eats out. We got to fancy restaurants and eat all the not so healthy stuff. Every Friday from now I promise to eat healthy and eat in moderation no matter what the pressure. My journey is way precious then any of the stuff on the dessert counters.
· Follow my plan to the T but not get into the mindset of everything or none. What I mean is if I falter once, I will not turn that into a eating fest. So if I do give into eating a scoop of ice-cream I will not consider that as failure and finish the entire tub. I will trust my self
So come join me on my journey of No Junk, Know Health. Drop a comment if you are in on it with me or just leave a word of encouragement.