Junk Free June was an innovative way to promote awareness and raise money for the Cancer Society while also helping people set goals to improve their nutrition. I know a few people who did it and made some positive changes to their eating habits over the month. The thing with these one month challenges, whether it be Feb-fast, Junk Free June or Dry July, is that they all come to an end! And while that is probably exciting if you’ve been craving the latest Jelly Tip chocolate or bag of chippies, it does often mean that we get into an all or nothing mindset with food, where we go all out, then lapse back into old ways of eating/drinking. This type of mindset isn’t useful in maintaining long term healthy habits for most.
So, to help you maintain some of your new healthy habits, here’s some tips:
1. Don’t go overboard, just because you can.
If you’ve cut out a certain food for a whole entire month, a few things can happen. One, you don’t really crave for it anymore, or two, all you want to do is eat it. If it’s the latter, then sure, eat it, but don’t go overboard just because you can have it. If you felt like an egg, you wouldn’t eat a whole dozen because they were there. Same applies for treat foods. Eat some, enjoy it, move on. You can have it again if you want to!
2. Eat mindfully
One of the best ways to really enjoy those treat foods is to eat them mindfully. We will always get the most satisfaction from a food within the first few mouthfuls. After that, the pleasure we get will diminish. So when eating, eat slowly – really enjoy the taste, texture and flavours within the food. When you’re satisfied, stop. It’s much better to do this than to eat really quickly without really enjoying the experience. This won’t satisfy you, and it’s the easiest way to overeat and end up with that uncomfortable, sick feeling from overdoing it. Food is meant to be enjoyed, so enjoy it 🙂
3. Review what you have learnt
Whether you did really well with your pledge, or had some big challenges, it’s important to think about what you learnt. It might be that by delaying your 3pm chocolate cravings and going for a quick walk, you soon forgot about it. Or it could be that in stressful situations you find it hard to say no. Whatever it is, both successes and challenges, we can learn from these.
If you had challenges, think about what you could do differently next time, or have a look at resources that might be able to help you get through these challenges.
For successes, remind yourself of what you’ve learned from cravings, so you can use them again when you feel like eating when you are not hungry due to boredom or emotional reasons.
Did you do Junk Free June? How did you go? Did you learn anything about your eating patterns?