Junk food is food containing high levels of calories from sugar or fat and has little “nutritional value”. It primarily contains excessive fat, sugar, salt, and calories. Frequent consumption of junk increases the intake of excess fat, simple carbohydrates, and processed sugar.
Junk food cravings are very common. These cravings can become your worst enemy when you are on a Healthy Life/ weight loss journey. Junk food cravings can turn into binges and may increase the risk of weight gain/ Lifestyle Problem.
Here are some helpful tips to help curb your cravings for junk food.
Have small meals in short intervals
Eat regularly and avoid long periods of hunger. Cravings do not arise when the stomach is full. So, avoid skipping meals. The best is to start your day with a healthy breakfast and follow up with a nutritious lunch and dinner. Keep healthy snacks close at hand.
Consume more proteins
High protein diets aids in weight loss. Protein can make to feel full for longer and allow your body to consume lesser calories. Protein-rich foods will leave less space for junk and avoid experiencing cravings. Have a protein-rich meal the first thing in the day for healthy life.
Eat healthy fats
Fats do not make you fat. There are many different types of fats. Out of which, trans fats and saturated fats are considered unhealthy fats. On the contrary, heart-healthy fats help you feel full and reduce cravings.
Thirst can also lead to cravings. Drinking a glass of water when you feel like eating junk may suffice the craving, and at the same time, provide other health benefits. If plain water sounds boring, enjoy it by adding a slice of lime, lemon or cucumber.
Related read: Importance of water in our diet
Sleep deprivation tends to increase calories intake. Not getting enough sleep can lead to increased cravings for junk food and weight gain. Lack of sound sleep can lead to poor appetite regulation and cravings. When you have slept adequately, it becomes easier to fight cravings.
Stay away from stress
Stress influences your eating behaviour and can induce junk cravings. People, who are stressed, tend to eat significantly more calories and experience more cravings than non-stressed women/ people.
There are plenty of healthy, whole foods that can satisfy a craving for something sweet or salty. Besides, being aware of your craving and their triggers makes them much easier to avoid. It also makes it a lot easier to eat healthily and lose weight.
With the teen years come a tremendous amount of physical, biological and emotional changes. This is a significant time for physical growth and sexual maturation. Physical growth in this age increases the need for nutrients and calories.
Out of this, nutrition is an important determinant of physical growth and needs due attention. This is the time when the teen should develop a positive relationship with the right food.
Why do teenagers need healthy food and good nutrition?
Teenagers go through major physical changes in puberty. They need to eat healthy food and provide the body with the right nutrition to fuel these physical changes. Moreover, inadequate nutritional intake during adolescence can also affect the reproductive years and beyond.
Check out Nutrition for Healthy Living
Key Nutrients for Teens
Like any other age, teenagers also requires major nutrients including protein, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins to support different body functions.
However, due to body physiology during adolescence, places extra nutritional demand on the body. Different nutrients are responsible to fulfill various demands of the teenage body.
- Proteins – Required for bodybuilding and help in the repair and maintenance of body tissues.
- Fats – High-energy foods and a source of energy. They also make the food more palatable and provide fat-soluble vitamins.
- Carbohydrates – The main source of energy.
- Vitamins & Minerals – Enable the body to use other nutrients and also play an important role in the growth, repair and regulation of vital body functions.
- Iron & Calcium – Required to manage rapid physical growth during adolescence. Calcium needs during adolescence are greater due to the rapid increase in lean body mass and skeletal growth.
- Zinc – Helps in growth and sexual maturation.
A balanced diet provides all nutrients in required amounts and proportions for maintaining health and general well being. It makes a small provision for extra nutrients to withstand a short duration of leanness. It can be achieved through a blend of the above-mentioned food groups. How much a teen should eat depends on their individual needs.
Along with good nutrition, physical activity during adolescence is important to build muscles, bones, and lift the teen’s spirits.
Whether a teen looks and feels too skinny or too fat, it is important to focus his or her attention on eating well and eating healthy and staying fit.
Even when your fitness goals have nothing to do with how much weight to lose, nutrition is still a vital aspect of fitness. In whichever stage of life you are and whatever your fitness goals are, nutrition is one such element that plays an important role in your overall fitness and well-being.
With that said, nutrition is not just about eating healthy food. One needs to understand the body’s requirements according to the health condition and lifestyle.
However, with so many weight loss and healthy living formulas being marketed everywhere, it can sometimes become overwhelming. Besides, these well-marketed methods may give results, but can be at the cost of your overall good health, either physically or mentally.
That’s where right guidance and coaching plays an important role. Nutrition Coaches bridge the gap between the desire to be healthy and being healthy. A nutrition coach can be a great way of ensuring that what you are eating is safely helping you achieve your fitness goals.
Benefits of Nutrition Coach
Nutrition & Wellness Coach is an expert in the field who provides continuous support and guidance throughout the fitness journey. as you set goals and make sustainable changes that improve your health and wellbeing.
When you are confused with the choices to lead a healthy and fit lifestyle, nutrition coaches with their knowledge can come to your rescue. Here are some reasons to hire a coach instead of trying to figure it out all by yourself.
Readymade diet plans are generic eating plans that are made without considering a person’s body type, composition and lifestyle factors.
A nutritional coach will draft a personalised nutrition plan according to an individual’s body and lifestyle requirement instead of a one size fits all approach. He will monitor a client’s progress and will make systematic and precise amendments as per the needs.
A certified nutritional coach can formulate healthy meal plans to meet client’s nutritional needs and aid their workouts. A good coach knows the best so they teach clients that a meal plan that promotes starvation isn’t a viable option for long-term success.
During the fitness journey, everyone experiences low-motivated days when they may even feel tempted to give up. A coach supports and encourages the client and helps them mentally get over those hitches on the road. They help the client to stay focused on long-term goals.
The advice of the nutrition coach is based on scientific and thorough research. They have expertise in understanding the body processes and how to get the best from resources. They can expose the nutritional myths and help clients in more balanced eating.
It is important to keep a track of the progress to make changes in the diet and lifestyle. The scale isn’t always a good measure and the coach knows when to use it and when not to. A nutrition coach helps clients track their progress and make changes in their diet and exercise routine over time.
Disclaimer: Nutrition or Wellness Coach Does Not Treat Illness
It is beyond the scope of practice of a nutrition coach to diagnose or treat any medical ailment. They can refer their clients to a specialist for additional medical testing. They ensure to get medical clearance before beginning a new eating plan.