You should eat the "common" healthy stuff: fruits and veggies! Instead of eating chips while watching TV, maybe you could eat carrot sticks or something like that. Popcorn, i hear, ISN'T junk (as long as it's not covered in butter and salt). The popcorn itself is healthy, so you can eat that too. Oatmeal is good, eat some cereal and drink some milk. Eat salad, but go easy on the dressing if you're watching your weight.
Junk food is known to have certain key ingredients -- sugar, fat, salt & refined grains -- and lacks many of the nutrients we need for good health. But we like the taste, convenience and the price. These are the characteristics of junk food that we like. So if you want to change your diet, replace them and other foods with foods that are low fat, low salt, and low sugar and are made from whole grains. I'd recommend making these changes gradually because if you go cold turkey, your chances of going back to junk food will be greater than if you change gradually.
For example, if you like those fried apple pies at some of the fast food restaurants, try eating an apple, cinnamon applesauce instead or another apple dessert. If you like hamburgers, stay away from the 1,000+ calorie burgers like the six dollar burgers (some of these burgers has as much as 62 grams of fat or about 560 calories from the wrong kind of fat). Get a regular burger for 300 - 500 calories and add extra lettuce and tomatoes on your burger. The worst part of a burger is actually the bun, the white bread. Try it with a whole wheat bun or even without the bun.
If you like French fries, don't get the large order but get the kids or the small size. Instead of getting soda, get milk, juice or water. And if you eat salads at fast food restaurants, cut the dressing, sour cream and other fatty toppings in half. If it is chicken, eat boiled, broiled or baked chicken instead of fried chicken or take the skin off. Choose fruit-based desserts instead of cheese cakes, pastries and other high fatty desserts. Then add fruit or vegetable snacks instead of cookies, chocolate, or candy to your diet. These are ways you can gradually make changes until you can let these "junk foods" go completely.
Remember the big three that make things taste so good: "fat, sugar and salt." Then start reading labels before you buy your foods. If fat, sugar or salt are at the top of the list in the ingredients then it's high, but the lower down it is the less it is. Eat more fruits (natural sugars), veggies (lot of greens to clean out your colon), grains, and dairy products such as eggs, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt (great for you).
Eat fish, poultry and meats (women don't need more than 3 1/2 ounces of meat at each meal and men can have 6 1/2 - 8 ounces of meat). If you can afford it buy free-range chicken, beef and eggs (this means the person raising the chicken, beef have grain-fed them and they have no hormones in them. I eat it all the time and noticed I feel much better. I wasn't told to do this, but used my common sense). Yams are also great in a woman's diet and are well-known for natural estrogen which all women can use (helps with PMS and perimenopause, menopause) as do bananas, which although fattening are loaded with potassium.
Exercise is a must and it can be as simple as fast walking, jogging, biking with a friend through trails or if in the city finding a more secluded park area to bike ride (but go with a buddy) and also those precious 8 - 8 ounces glasses of water a day which flushes out fat and toxins. If it's a hot day or you are really exercising and perspiring a great deal you may need to drink more than 8 glasses of water a day. If you are one of those people that don't perspire properly to cool yourself off take a "mist bottle" of tepid water with you and spray yourself and this will cool your body down. Pomegranate juice and Cranberry juice are loaded with antioxidants that are excellent for you.
Keep it simple at first as one of the other posters mentioned. Instead of all that sugar and salt use herbs, garlic, onions. When ordering out at a restaurant ask for your mayonnaise, ketchup on the side (or other sauces) and when in doubt order smaller portions or salads (dressing on the side) with seafood, chicken, beef, etc. Learn to reward yourself by buying yourself new clothes or something you like. Also I use have one night of the weekend I called "a piggy night" where I would perhaps have some unsalted chips with dip (and sometimes the dip had fat in it) or a piece of pie with ice cream. The next day I was back on my diet. For every pound you lose look at a pound of butter! That's a lot of fat to lose so don't get discouraged.
The dietary guidelines suggest eating Green Vegetables, orange vegetables,dry beans and peas.
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