I Cut Junk Food Out of My Diet for a Week and Here’s What Happened

Ah, yes, beloved junk food. Junk food has always been there for me during my highs and lows. From painful period cramps to celebrating acing a test, junk food will always be the one for me. Junk food is all in the name: junk. Junk food is not the best food you could be eating and should try to be limited to a few times a month, and not a few times a week. But, we are all human, right? We make mistakes and accidently eat an entire family size bag of potato chips for dinner. 

On a more serious note, junk food really is not good for our bodies and the more we can stay away from it, the better off we will be. This week I put myself to the ultimate challenge and went one entire week without junk food. That's right - no Pop Tarts, potato chips, fast food, ice cream or anything decent tasting (just kidding!).

Day 1

Day one was pretty easy. I had two blueberry whole-wheat waffles and a smoothie for breakfast. You might see a trend in my breakfast food as I have become pretty consistent on breakfast in the past month or so. For a snack, I packed a sweet a salty granola bar in my backpack. Remember to always have a spare granola bar or some non-perishable snack in your purse or backpack for those days you get hungry on campus. The added preparation will help you refrain from buying a less healthy snack from your school store. 

Day 2

Day two was my grocery-shopping day, and I think I did pretty well on buying healthy food. First was the produce isle. For produce, I bought some different berry types, bananas, light yogurt, grapes, avocados, tomatoes and two different types of lettuce. For some other meals, I picked up some whole wheat bread and tortillas to make wraps and also bought some pretzels. 

Day 3

For breakfast, I had two waffles and a smoothie. For lunch, I had some strawberries and blueberries as a light snack and a veggie wrap as my main meal from the items I bought at the grocery store the day before. In the wrap I put lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese slices, light mayo and half of a sliced avocado. The wrap was very filling and easily held me over until dinner-time, and it was pretty quick to make. 

Day 4

On day four, I had the usual for breakfast and another wrap for lunch. I had an early dinner and decided to have some pasta with a smidge of butter on top. I got some late night munchies and really wanted to munch on a bag of potato chips or some cookies, but instead I had a medium bowl of frozen fruit with some honey drizzled on top. This has become my new favorite late night snack. Not only did it satisfy my cravings, it also was delicious and nutritious. But actually, this was a great healthy alternative for a usually unhealthy late night snack. 

Day 5

I went home to my parent’s house, so I did not have all my food amenities that I usually have at my own apartment. For one, my parents love to eat out, so we all went to a restaurant together. I had a very late breakfast and my mom showed me how she makes her berry and veggie smoothies. My smoothie consisted of some frozen mixed berries, a handful of spinach, a dash of coconut milk and a homemade sweetener. The smoothie tasted wonderful despite the spinach being in there, and I got two servings of vegetables from it.  For dinner, my parents took me to an Italian restaurant where I ordered some ravioli. The ravioli came with a side salad and a large slice of bread, which accounts for some more veggies and carbs. When going out to eat at a restaurant, try to pick a healthier option, emphasis on the -er. You do not have to pick only salads, but try to pick something that comes with a side salad or has a few veggies in it. 

Day 6

Today was a pretty brief eating day. I had a few waffles for breakfast along with a banana and for lunch, I snacked on some green grapes and piece of toast with avocado on it. For dinner, I had a fruit parfait that I made with frozen fruit, the light yogurt I picked up from the grocery store and some honey. This dinner was very refreshing and left me wanting more. 

Day 7

On day seven, I woke up later than I anticipated and ended up skipping breakfast (oops!). I had to go to the Her Campus Mid Atlantic Conference at VCU where we would be served lunch. I was not entirely sure on what would be served there, but I was pleasantly surprised to see they had some all-veggie Subway sandwiches. This is another example of choosing the healthier option when there is not a huge choice of options or healthy options. Along with the sandwich, I opted for some Lay’s Baked Potato chips instead of the regular chips. For dinner, I had another wrap and I got some frozen yogurt from a local shop instead of getting ice cream.

What I Learned

I learned a few things from cutting junk food out of my diet for a week. One of which is that eating health does not have to taste bad - eating healthy can actually taste really good! Trading a bag of potato chips for a bowl of frozen fruit and some honey really opened my eyes to eating healthy. It really is easy to switch out unhealthy snacks with healthy ones. It is all about what you buy at the grocery store, really. 

I hope you enjoyed learning about my experience cutting out junk food for a week. I challenge you to go a week without eating junk food and see what changes you notice!

Photo credits: Cover, 1, 2, 3