Avoid These Disguised “Junk” Foods

Back in the beginning of June, 2013, I had began a diet that consisted mostly of protein shakes in order to get in better shape for my  beauty pageant. I had it for breakfast, dinner and pre-bedtime beverage. I frequented my dietitian, who taught me about nutrition 101. I explained my situation to her and she shared her knowledge with me.

She had recommended NUTRILITE to me. And because it truly worked for me the first time, I am writing about it today. After going on her regime I stopped craving food and stopped thinking about food 24/7. It helped that I had a higher purpose (pageant), but food just lost its hold on me. I trusted the brand because the ingredients are all natural. You can actually read the label and find the ingredients at a local produce store. In addition, all products are organic, more than I can say about the food I eat day to day. I actually noticed a huge difference because my stomach was flat again, even at night. I never felt bloated. I was getting closer and closer to my goal without starving myself. I felt energized and satisfied.

The way it was explained to me is that your body is a powerhouse that get all its resources from food. If you provide it with the right building blocks – vitamins, minerals, protein – then it will function efficiently and only tell you to eat what is needed to maintain a equilibrium in the body. When you don’t give it the right building blocks and only empty calories – white carbohydrates, animal fat, and red meat – it sends distress signals, which our body wrongfully interpret as “eat more” rather than “eat more nutrient-rich food”.

It’s as if you are suffocating in a room full of carbon dioxide and you gasp for air, except you’re still depriving yourself of oxygen. What you need is to move to another room that has oxygen. In other words, your body craves food that are high-calorie and nutrient-deficient because it thinks it’s hungry. But the more you eat empty “junk” foods, the more you’ll hunger and crave them. You need to stop this cycle!

How I stopped was with the help of my supplements and picking the right foods to consume in the right portions. Some food I avoided besides the obvious junk foods (burgers, fries, pizza, etc.) were:

Processed Food – These tend to be foods you find in a box or bag that can be stored for a long time. I can’t say all processed foods are bad, but it’s difficult to differentiate the good from the overwhelming number of bad ones, so why risk it. They also have preservatives, which is never good for you or natural. No, popcorn is not processed, so feel free to eat those, but choose the ones without any seasoning (butter) and add your own! Use powdered spices as they provide the flavor and not the calories. Just be smart about which food has been processed – grounded up and put back together with added ingredients to make it taste better or look different from their natural state.

Food Bars – Though it doesn’t exactly fit the bill of process foods, nutrition bars should also be avoided because of the added sugar for taste. No to granola bars, Luna bars, Clif bars or oatmeal squares unless you’re an athlete or working out intensively for a long time and need that extra boost of energy. Go for the steel-cut Irish oatmeal or grits with nuts instead. Popped whole grains are also great quick snacks if you’re really hungry. But back to an earlier point I made, you should not be snacking if your body is truly balanced.

Skim Milk
Skim Milk

Milk – This can be counter-intuitive because milk has many benefits such as calcium and protein. On the other hand, milk contains lactose, which just means sugar. Any ingredient you see on the label that ends with -ose is a sugar. It’s best practice to get the same nutrition minus the sugar. A good alternative is almond or soy milk, I tend to blend it in a smoothie in the morning. I also like to add protein powder, which also contain milk extracts and 10% daily calcium per scoop. 

Coffee – Another substance that’s counter-intuitive. The downfall of coffee is that it’s addicting. That alone is pretty scary to me. Why is coffee addicting? Coffee contains large amounts of naturally occurring caffeine. Caffeine antagonizes, or blocks, adenosine receptors. Adenosine is a by-product of cellular activity, and the adenosine receptors play a role in producing feelings of tiredness and the need to sleep. Studies have shown just taking 100mg (1 cup of coffee, 2.5 cups of cola, 4 cups of green tea non-repeating leafs) of caffeine a day can lead to addiction. This avoidance is more for your general health than weight loss, but important to not rely on coffee to give your metabolism a boost. If you’re looking for that boost, go with Slimmitry. In addition to 26mg of caffeine per tablet, you get 80mg of EGCG, 50 mg of yerba mate and other ingredients that’s a better option than coffee. I have never experienced withdraw symptoms and I’ve narrowed my intake of it to 1 tablet a day in the morning as part of my daily dose of health.

Potatoes – Avoid in any form. It has no beneficial substances and get turned into sugar almost immediately. You might as well be eating spoonful of sugar. Opt for sweet potatoes if you are craving the taste. Though sweeter, sweet potatoes are more similar to carrots than as its name indicate. It’s a good source of Vitamin A. Purple sweet potatoes also contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

White Bread, Pasta, Rice – Pretty self-explanatory and you hear it often. Any grain with its shell removed is lacking in any nutritional value. Choose the whole wheat and brown rice instead.

Vinaigrette – Most people would tell you to avoid fatty dressing like ranch or honey mustard, but I’m telling you that you should avoid all vinaigrette because it offers nothing but sugar. Choose lemon juice instead. Go for the balsamic vinegar if you want a stronger taste. A bit of extra virgin olive oil is good for you, but be conscious of how much fat you’re consuming.

Juice – A big must and surely you hear it often. Anything deplete of its fiber will fail to fill you up and keep you hungry despite the calories from fructose, aka sugar. Freshly pressed vegetable juice is okay, but the whole veggie is better. Stick to water, you’ll get use to it and stop craving sweet liquids.

I know this is a lot of don’t-do’s but it’s good to keep them in mind. Your mind will slowly adjust to wanting to eat more organic and natural ingredients. It takes time, but begin to accept it today. It’s okay to still eat them from time to time, but ultimately you want to get to a point where you unconsciously pick the alternative and better option.

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I love discovering and sharing knowledge on health, beauty and life. What are you doing to take care of your mind, spirit and body? Follow me on my blog to for some quick tips.

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