Why do we love Junk food



Ok there are many of us that eat junk food. I do myself yes kebabs,Pizza ,Nandos when I can afford it £11 for a burger is a little expensive.

So can we just cut out and not eat any junk food? Yes it's possible and healthier but it's hard. We all need a treat now and again.


If you suddenly stop eating high fat junk food your body is going to think hey what's going on where is all that energy gone and you will feel tired and weak.




Many of us live busy lives so don't have the time or the energy to come home and cook a nice healthy meal and sometimes we just don't want to because we are not in the mood.

In this article I will try to explain how we can still eat some junk food but lower the fat content we intake.

Lower fat content means less chance of putting weight on. I am not saying you can eat junk food 7 days a week and lose weight no but we can lower the fat intake from junk food.

I will try to keep the information short and to the point in sentences.





Why do we like junk food so much?

Eating junk food makes us feel good. Many people don't think on a Friday night I will go cook a
healthy vegetable curry. We look forward to that curry,kebab and plate of chips why you ask?




It's all in the brain

Blame the prehistoric times and our ancestors the Caveman.
In the distant past
the brain of our ancestors would often crave the benefit of high-calorie food as a survival mechanism as they never knew when their next meal would be.

Our ancestors could not just call for takeaways like we do they needed high fat food that would feed them for weeks to stay alive in the harsh environments such as winter.


DNA

Over time our DNA has been programmed to enjoy eating high fat and sugary food, and our brains tell us to seek them out which is why we crave them.



Dopamine

When we feel stressed and depressed we often crave junk food. The reason is because once we eat that pizza or doner kebab we feel a little better because our brain has got its high like a drug.

Similar to how an addict develops a tolerance to drugs our brain gets a kind of high from junk food.
So our brain again says to us I want to be happy are you going to KFC or Mcdonalds for something to eat?


What is Dopamine?

The  feel-good neurotransmitter  Dopamine is chemical that ferries information between neurons.
Our brain releases it when we eat food that we crave.

Dopamine is also released while we have sex or after exercise, contributing to feelings of happiness and satisfaction like a reward.

We have all had that feeling when we find some money in our coat pocket or win £10 on a scratch card lottery.




Fat

We all need fat, to survive not eating any is not possible. Our body's can not make fat by themselves.

We need a small amount of fat to help the body function correctly and keep us alive the problem is when we eat to much.

 


Saturated fat

Saturated fats block our arteries with fat think of a hose pipe
the water is our blood and the pipe is our arteries.

If you keep squeezing parts of the hose pipe water will move slower or stop all together.

Now imagine that hose is your arteries and the blood has stopped or is moving slower the end result is going to be heart failure or death.



Why do we need fat thou?

  • Body's primary energy source
  • Support cell growth
  • Protects your organs 
  • Keep your body warm
  • Helps your body absorb some nutrients 
  • Helps produce important hormones



Quick Example of why fat is needed

When mountaineers climb Mount Everest
(Photo below)
they will burn thousands of calories even covering a short distance because of the incline,lack of oxygen and weather up there. 

They will consume an average 7,000 calories and on summit climb day it could be as high as 15,000. There is no physical way they could eat and cook a meal and move so they have to have food that has high energy candy bars,nuts,energy drinks etc to get the calories,fat,sugar for energy during the day.




My Mole hill climb

I climbed Mount Snowdon (Photo below) in the military in Wales that day myself and others had an apple,Small chocolate bar and a bottle of water to climb the mountain. 

We had no breakfast that morning and I can say getting to the top whilst it was cold and raining was hard so to do Everest you have to be 100% fit and healthy and a unique person.




Everest, which at 29,035ft stands almost 10 times higher than Snowdon.
I respect people who do the climb they are one of a kind.

I could not imagine what Mount Everest would be like. It must take a lot of strong determination and food to climb the highest place on earth.

Could you climb it with no fat or sugar in your diet, no chance 
or if you had no fat in your body you would freeze to death in minutes so you can see why fat is needed.



Beans on toast


Eating a salad sandwich or beans on toast would be an healthy option but many people especially in the winter in the UK don't want to make a sandwich.

So beans or soup would be a better choice instead of say chips if you wanted something hot,low in fat and full of nutrients.




Take away kebab

We all love kebabs so how can we still eat food we love but intake less fat?
It is simple really choose chicken kebab grilled over a reheated donner kebab I will explain why below.




Doner kebab 
  • Around 1,500 - 1,800 calories
  • Fat  70G
  • Saturated 16g
  • Salt 6.44 g
These figures are average and some may have more or less contents




Benefits and disadvantages
  • High in fat
  • Cooked by constantly reheating up
  • Full of salt
  • Unsure of full contents (Meat)
  • Cheap to buy
  • No cooking time waiting

What is in a doner kebab then?

Some studies have shown more than a third contained a different profile of animal species 
the meat used for making doner kebab meat may
be lamb, beef, veal or chicken or a mixture of all.

Other meats have been found in undercover operations testing local kebab houses around the country.
we never really know what we are eating.

This is not to say every kebab house is not serving 100% lamb; you can't really label all the kebab houses just because of a few bad apples that serve mixed meat.

I myself visit many local kebab houses now and again and they are good people, always friendly and serve clean food that is always cooked well and I would trust them to serve lamb if I did eat a doner kebab.


Chicken kebab
  • Around  700 calories
  • Fat  12G
  • Saturated 4g
  • Salt 6.44 g

Benefits and disadvantages
  • Normally grilled on a charcoal grill
  • Cooked fresh once
  • Low in fat,Salt
  • Know what your eating (Chicken)
  • Full of vitamins,Minerals
  • Great source of lean protein 




So what can we do when we eat a kebab?

Eating more salad will help fill you up more plus salad is low in fat and full of nutrients 
to help your body break down the fat from the kebab.



Pitta Vs Nan

I always choose pitta over nan as pitta has less fat and salt content then nann 
bread so it is much healthier if you want to lower your fat and salt intake.




Sauce

Now a lot of sauces Mayo, mint,yogurt,mayo,garlic 
are full of fat,sugar and salt so try to avoid them if you can or have chili sauce if it's natural and not the artificial processed type.





Chili Sauce weight loss

Red chili peppers (Sauce) may help the body in burning calories. 

Capsaicin the main ingredient in chili's can increase your metabolism and body temperature.

Altering the activity of a muscle protein called SERCA, which will then burn energy instead of storing so it can burn fat in your body.


Capsaiccin is used all over the world by people it can have amazing benefits.

Some study's have shown it may help prevent some cancers by attacking the cancer cell growth process.

Study's are still ongoing to see if the effects could be the same on humans as these tests were lab study's on animal cancer cells.

There has been a lot of success with people taking capsaican for pain relief.

Many experts say it helps reduce the amount of a substance in your body that sends signals to the brain to feel pain say from joint pain as an example. 

  • Helps suppress your appetite
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Increases metabolism
  • Reduces congestion when ill
  • May lower blood pressure
  • Helps relieve pain
  • May Improve psoriasis
  • May reduce cancer risk
  • Helps keep your heart healthy
  • May help some people prevent allergies



Carolina Reaper

I love chili I have tried the ghost chili pepper which I thought was like fire
and then I tried the hottest in the world currently the (Carolina Reaper)

I have to say that it is like Lava. I put it in my hand and my hand started burning. No, I am not joking.

Decided to put half of the reaper chili in one of my stir frys, my eyes were watering, my temperature was like being in a sauna in Egypt ,my face and skin was burning and my head started to pulse.

It has a nice flavor but I say with a word of warning be very very careful with this one
I thought the ghost chili pepper was hot. The Carolina Reaper heat is just unbearable pure lava.

Now I eat hot spices all the time and love ghost peppers etc
and the Carolina Reaper was unbearable to me so use with caution.

Have some cold milk or yogurt  nearby that will soothe your mouth and take away
most of the burning sensation. 



Never eat them raw or whole if you do decide to try it just have a small piece trust me you will thank me later.

Also you will not get more health benefits by eating them
if you want to eat spices for health benefits just eat normal low heat bird's eye chili peppers.

Never give them to young people or people who don't eat spices or chili peppers etc and never have more than one they could be dangerous. 


A comparison of there heat
Carolina Reaper 2,200,000  Scoville Heat Units
Normal red chili pepper around 50,000  Scoville Heat Units

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Salad cream VS Mayo

If possible choose salad cream over mayonnaise as it is lower in fat and salt.

Go for a low fat mayonnaise instead of regular mayo most supermarkets do low fat versions now and they taste more or less the same.

Have a look at the salad cream and mayonnaise fat content (below)

Mayo has 11 grams of fat and 0.8 saturated fat and salad cream has 3.6 grams and 0.3 of saturated fat so is much lower than the mayo.



Heinz Salad Cream 
Per Serving (15 g)
  • Calories       44 kcal
  • Fat                3.6g
  • Saturated     0.3g
  • Salt               0.2g

Heinz Seriously Good Mayonnaise
Per Serving (15 g)
  • Calories       97
  • Fat                11g
  • Saturated     0.8g
  • Salt               0.15g


Going to the gym

Many years ago I would go to the gym every day with my friend. We would do some weights and treadmill, some rowing etc. On the way home we would often stop at our local takeaway kebab house.

My friend would get a doner kebab on naan bread no salad just yogurt sauce etc

I would get chicken tikka on pitta bread with salad no sauce
I lost weight he put weight on.

In the end my friend gave up the gym saying it was pointless he wouldn't believe the kebab was stopping him losing weight.

Even the local kebab house owner would joke to us why do you both come here after the gym and would joke with my friend saying you should eat grilled chicken like him instead of a donner.



Pizza dab

I love pizza now we all know they are not healthy so how can we lower the fat content
dab dab dab what?.

Get a simple kitchen towel and dab the top of the pizza. You will see all the oil and grease then dissolved on the kitchen towel .

All the oil on the paper towel will turn into fat when you eat it.

It's only a small amount of oil but less fat and calories for you to intake and you can still enjoy your pizza.

You can use this method with a lot of foods home made chips or anything that is oily etc less oil on food less fat content you ingest.





Nandos

Is it healthy?
Nandos is grilled chicken not fried chicken which is worse for the body than grilled.
I would choose Nandos any day if I was having fast food. 

The only issue I have with Nandos is that it is expensive and I could not afford it often.

Now people will say it is bad for you, it's fast food but any food in excess can be bad.
As long as you exercise regularly and don't take in too much fat then you will be ok.




Try make Nandos yourself

If your like me and love Nandos but find it expensive and always busy. 

Try make some at home they do the sauce and ingredients online you just add chicken and your cooking skills.

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Grilled

Grilled chicken is full of nutrients if possible avoid the skinned chicken. This is where the fat is going to be. Go for a chicken breast in a burger bun instead of skinned chicken and add some hot sauce if you can handle the heat but the sauce can also increase fat content as it may have high sugar in it.

As said before spice helps your body break down fat etc.

The smell and and taste of grilled chicken when you make it yourself is great.

We have loads of easy ways now to cook chicken to give the chicken that grill flavor and taste.

George Foreman machines are great quick and easy to use for chicken like this
marinade some chicken with Nandos Seasoning and get it on the grill and try new recipes
and get cooking healthy.

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Air fryers

These air fryers are great. I got one last month. I only bought it because it was on sale. 

I have to say they are amazing for cooking food. You use a little tiny bit of oil.

Cooks food, fast chicken,chips and meat etc.
Way more healthier then other methods as you don't need loads of oil.

Would fully recommend one of these not seen a bad review yet.

I got the Ninja model only because it was on a special offer but there are loads of different types less expensive than the Ninja model. links below.

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But what if you want a snack on the go?

Eat some small carrots or fruit rather than a chocolate bar or breakfast bar that's full of sugar.

Eat some carrots and you will be getting some vitamins and nutrients.

Carrots are low in calories and packed with nutrients. improving eyesight, your skin, and even heart health.

Some people even say avoid carrots because of sugar but these are the same people that say a chocolate breakfast bar is better than natural food.






What's in Carrots?
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Magnesium

Take away currys

We all have eaten a curry in one of the silver boxes so how can we avoid fat here?

Always avoid eating the last bit of curry or sauce (Sweet and sour etc)

The reason all the oil from cooking and in the sauce sits at the bottom of the box container so if you avoid eating it you will consume less fat you can even see some sitting on top in the photo below.




You could cook your own curry?

Cooking your own curry is good in many ways for example

  • You control the fat content
  • You know what your eating
  • You can use any ingredients
  • You can make it anytime
  • You can make it healthier than a takeaway curry
  • You can save money

Jar of curry paste

Cooking a curry has got to be one of the easiest foods to cook
all you need is a paste.

What I like about pastes is they last for ages one jar will probably get you ten curry meals all you do is add your own vegetables and meat and cook it is that simple.

The good thing about jars of curry paste is you can use them for anything.

For example marande a kebab, marinade BBQ chicken,chicken wings etc they are not just for curry's. Well worth the money the amount of meals you can create. I often use them in vegetable stir frys as well.

I use Pataks most often as I like the taste as I think it tastes most like takeaways recipes.

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Label reading

The only way we can lose weight Is to exercise and lower our fat,sugar content by changing our diet.

All these quick diet pills may offer a short term fix but in the long term they will do more harm than good and could be dangerous to your health.

When we eat takeaway food 
we don't really get a label when ordering a curry so we are unsure how much fat content is in it?.





Rough guide

The only way we can get a rough guide is comparing like the chicken kebab vs doner kebab.
grilled vs fried etc.

Looking online on google can give a rough idea of fat content in foods.

A meat curry is always going to have more fat than a vegetable curry because of animal fat.

Fried food is always going to have more fat content
rather than grilled as it is fried in oil so the oil soaks into the food onion bhaji as an example.



This is where a stir fry is excluded and a good example even though it's fried it only requires a drop of oil rather than being dipped in a litre of oil like an onion bhaji would be.

Caveman and woman

You have to remember the human body is not designed to lose weight. Our ancestors who lived in the caves in the past
would not have turned down a big piece of fat from meat like we do.

Most of us cut fat from our meat now before we cook it to be a bit healthier our ancestors had no options they needed food and energy so nothing was wasted.

We struggle to go to the supermarket in the winter in our nice warm cars
our ancestors living in caves had no supermarket down the road
or a nice warm car or thermal clothes.

They had to hunt store fat and eat anything to keep them warm
and to gain energy from fat etc so it's in our DNA not for us to lose fat quickly and to store it.



Example of needing fat

I know another random story
when I was in the British army I did not eat much meat I only really would eat chicken now and then nothing else no pork,lamb,beef , etc




Wake up time 5.30am

Many mornings we would be woken up by the corporal  suddenly and we would go for breakfast before we would do our exercise training in all weathers in winter.

The breakfast choice was either a small bowl of cereal cornflakes with milk
or a full English breakfast Bacon,2 sausage,eggs,fried bread,beans,black pudding and a cup of tea.

First few weeks

So my first few weeks I would eat cornflakes (cereal) then we would go do some exercise could be a 5,8 mile run.

After eating the cereal I noticed I was hungry half an hour later the cornflakes gave me no energy. I felt weak and fatigued
when running and afterwards I was exhausted.



Scabby vulture

Anyway one of the other soldiers said mate you need to start eating proper food
and cereal is rabbit food that would not feed a scabby vulture.

The energy we are burning daily you need fuel your only going to get that from meat fry ups (English breakfast).







Welcome english breakfast

I started eating the English breakfast bacon,sausage,eggs,beans,blackpuding and fried bread every morning instead of cornflakes.

I noticed I had more strength and energy even after our morning run I felt ok. 

I will be honest I did not like the taste of the English breakfast much at first so I would just cover it in black pepper.

After a few weeks I noticed myself craving bacon in the morning and eggs then sausage.

The point I am trying to make is similar to the caveman story: if we are hungry our body and brain 
wants fat to keep us going so it is hard to avoid fat when we are under stress or burning a lot of energy.





Conclusion

This is just a quick guide, the key is to not stop eating junk food all together as you will just crave and crave it until you go on a junk food binge.

There are a lot of ways to lose weight. it's just finding what works for us 
here is a quick guide for weight loss, not just junk food etc.

  • Have sugar free cola instead of full fat
  • Add more herbs to meals rather than salt
  • Have porridge,Weetabix instead of sugary cereals
  • Have one less sugar in your coffee or tea
  • Have no milk in tea or a low fat version
  • Use low calorie sweetener instead of sugar
  • Try cooking some new recipes
  • Use a low fat butter instead of full
  • Use Low fat oil when cooking

  • Don't butter toast if you have beans on toast
  • Have more vegetables with meals and less red meat
  • Grill,boil,stir fry food rather then deep frying
  • Eat foods that help weight loss chili, leafy Greens
  • Drink more water hunger is often confused with thirst
  • Drink herbal teas Green tea,Ginger that help burn fat
  • Eat meals at regular times
  • Do not skip breakfast
  • Eat high fiber foods
  • Read food labels

  • Using a smaller plate can help you eat smaller portions
  • Eat food you like to boost morale not just because it is good for you
  • Join a club weight watchers with friends helps motivate you
  • Exercise regularly
  • Set goals get motivated use music to help you
  • Above all don't get stressed
  • Keep a diary of your progress
  • Watch and use exercise videos on YouTube Joe Wicks etc


The key is to eat in moderation and see how you can cut fat content out.
Little small amounts help have 1 less sugar a day in your drink add it up over the week it all mounts up and helps.

Do research, don't take my word for it, study foods that help you lose weight, what burns fat and what exercises help burn fat cardio, running, jogging, rowing etc.

Don't be demotivated by other peoples comments or remarks you will always find people that will try To put you down in life when you try new hobbies or join the gym or change your diet etc.

I speak from experience as people have tried to do it with me in the past. Never surrender to the jealousy of people you have the power to win and accomplish your goals.



As always, leave any questions in the comments.
Hope this article helps 
Watto


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