You might have tried to give up junk food multiple times and found it to be quite difficult. Don’t worry though, it might not be your fault, well entirely your fault. It turns out that giving up your much-loved Big Mac or a cheese pizza might be way more difficult than simply not going to McDonalds or Pizza Hut. Recent studies have shown that quitting fast food and processed food actually causes a person to experience withdrawal like symptoms that are very similar to those caused by drug addiction.
Junk Food and Your Brain
Junk food or any processed food that qualifies as junk food, typically has four addictive elements: salt, caffeine, fat, and sugar. Each element does something to your brain to make you addicted.
Take sugar for example, it creates dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for delivering messages to the rewards center of your brain. After a while spent continuously eating foods that produce dopamine, your brain will come to rely on dopamine and call on you to repeat the activity that creates it, i.e. eating more bars of chocolate.
How to Detox
So, if processed foods produce dopamine, which makes you addicted and experience withdrawal, then how do you actually quit the habit. The answer is rather simple – you quit your junk food habit the same way you would quit your drug habit. You detox yourself and gradually wean the drugs out of your system.
Quitting cold turkey will only lead you to suffer eventually. The moment you restrict yourself to absolutes, you will put yourself in a negative mindset and quitting will become harder. Instead, gradually lessen how much processed food you’re eating every week. Eventually, you won’t experience such intense waves of dopamine and will be able to readjust your eating habits completely.