Most of us eat more junk food than we should. Even if you’re not hitting the bakery or calling for pizza a few times a week, you might be overindulging in your sugary iced coffee drinks. And sometimes those cravings for cookies, candy, chips, and crackers can be a sign of more than bad judgment – for some people junk food consumption can be a full-blown addiction. An addict doesn’t have to get their fix from drugs and alcohol, it can be sugar, fat, and salt too. Here are some signs you’re past junk food cravings and moving into junk food dependence.
- You crave junk food first thing in the morning – If you’re really addicted to something, your body starts to crave it when you withdrawal from your last fix. Just like an alcoholic craves a drink to function, junk food addicts crave that “high” to start the day.
- You have headaches several times a week – A headache might be your body telling you something’s wrong. So if you’re eating too much salt, sugar, fat and artificial colors and sweeteners, your body gets used to them and it’s harder to function without them.
- You crave sweet or salty foods even when you’re not hungry – junk food addicts don’t just reach for it when they’re hungry, they eat it to deal with headaches, being tired, or jittery. So if your junk food fix fixes your problem, that’s a sign you probably need to cut back and stop using junk to mask your symptoms.
- You can’t have just one slice, piece, or bite—if it’s open, you consume the entire package – Food scientists work hard to reach the bliss point on salty and sugary treats, so they know how to make us crave those unhealthy snacks. So if you feel like you have no willpower when it comes to sugar, salt, fat and artificial colors and sweeteners, you could be addicted.
- More than 50% of your daily calories come from junk food – Having a healthy relationship with junk food means you only eat a little of it every once in awhile. Those treats shouldn’t be a regular part of your diet. So if you’re eating doughnuts, pizza, ice cream, and nachos all the time instead of healthy food, it’s time to make a change. It might not be easy, but it’ll be worth it.