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Day 873 – Kick Junk Food and Eat Healthy – Ask Gramps
25th May 2018 • Wisdom-Trek © - Archive 3 • H. Guthrie Chamberlain, III
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Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy

Welcome to Day 873 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.

This is Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom

Kick Junk Food and Eat Healthy – Ask Gramps
Pushing Through - Ask Gramps 1

Thank you for joining us for our five days per week wisdom and legacy building podcast. This is Day 873 of our trek, and it is time for our Philosophy Friday series. Each Friday we will ponder some of the basic truths and mysteries of life and how they can impact us in creating our living legacy.

As we continue on this trek called life, sometimes we have questions about life, so our Friday trek is a time where we can Ask Gramps. Gramps will answer questions that you would like to ask your dad or granddad, but for whatever reason, this is not possible.

No matter how old we are, I know that all of us would like the opportunity to ask dad or gramps questions about life in many areas. We will address areas such as finances, relationships, health/fitness, business/work, home repairs/renovations, seasons of life, spiritual/Biblical questions, and any others areas that come our way.

As your fellow sojourner and mentor on this trek that we call life, it is Gramps’s goal to provide you with practical wisdom and advice about any area of life. It is crucial that I receive a constant flow of questions, so please submit your questions to And Gramps will answer your questions on our Friday podcast.

We are broadcasting from our studio at The Big House in Marietta, Ohio. This week we will continue our answer to last week’s question. Spring and summer gives us extra opportunities to get outside and exercise more, and there are many more opportunities to buy healthy locally grown produce. It is a great time to begin new habits of healthy eating and exercise. So our question for today is…

“Hey Gramps, I have a difficult time avoiding junk food. Even though I know I should make better food choices, I so often fall back into the habit of gorging myself with the food that is unhealthy and causes me to gain weight.  How can I change?”

Kick Junk Food and Eat Healthy

This is a somewhat complex question, so I split my response into two parts. Last week we explored why we crave junk food, and this week we will explore how to change your eating habits. Check out to listen to the first part of my answer. Like last week, I want to ask you a question before we dive in. Do you really desire to change? No amount of scientific proof or logic will cause you to change unless you accept responsibility for yourself and choose to change your eating habits.

The good news is that the research shows that the less junk food you eat, the less you crave it. My own experiences have mirrored this. Over the many years, as I have eaten healthier, I’ve noticed myself wanting pizza and candy and ice cream less and less. Some people refer to this transition period as “gene reprogramming.”

Whatever you want to call it, the lesson is the same…If you can find ways to gradually eat healthier, you’ll start to experience the cravings for junk food less and less. I’ve never claimed to have all the answers (or any, really), but here are three strategies that might help.

1. Use the “outer ring” strategy and the “5 ingredient rule” to buy healthier food.

The best course of action is to avoid buying processed and packaged foods. If you don’t buy it when you are out and don’t have it in your home, you can’t eat it. Furthermore, if you don’t think about it, you can’t be lured by it.

We’ve talked about the power of junk food to pull you in and how memories of tasty food in the past can cause you to crave more of it in the future. Obviously, you can’t prevent yourself from ever thinking about junk food, but there are ways to reduce your cravings.

First, you can use my “outer ring” strategy to avoid processed and packaged foods at the grocery store. If you limit yourself to purchasing most of your foods on the outer ring of the store, then you will generally buy whole foods (fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, etc.). Not everything on the outer ring is healthy, but you will avoid a lot of unhealthy foods.

You can also follow the “5 ingredient rule” when buying foods at the store. If something has more than 5 ingredients in it, don’t buy it. Odds are, it has been designed to fool you into eating more of it. Avoid those products and stick with the more natural options.

2. Eat a variety of foods.

As we covered earlier, the brain craves novelty. While you may not be able to replicate the crunchy/creamy contrast of an Oreo, you can vary your diet enough to keep things interesting. For example, you could dip a carrot (crunchy) in some hummus (creamy) and get a novel sensation. Another example is you crave the salty crunch of potato chips, so replace them with roasted, salted almonds. They have crunch and salt. Just don’t overdo it, you can fill up much quicker with nuts than chips. Similarly, finding ways to add new spices and flavors to your dishes can make eating healthy foods a more desirable experience.

Moral of the story: eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland. Mix up your foods to get different sensations, and you may find it easier than eating the same foods over and over again. At some point, however, you may need to choose healthy foods because they are healthy.

3. Find a better way to deal with your stress.

There’s a reason why many people eat as a way to cope with stress. Stress causes certain regions of the brain to release chemicals (specifically, opiates and neuropeptides). These chemicals can trigger mechanisms that are similar to the cravings you get from fat and sugar. In other words, when you get stressed, your brain feels the addictive call of fat and sugar, and you’re pulled back to junk food.

We all have stressful situations that arise in our lives. Learning to deal with stress differently can help you overcome the addictive pull of junk food. This could include prayer and meditation, the study of the Scriptures, or something more physical like exercise, or a relaxing hobby.

I trust that last week, and this will answer your questions about kicking the junk food habit and replacing it with a habit of eating healthy and exercise.

*parts of this information were sourced from

If you have a question you would like answered, please email it to, and Gramps will answer them on our Friday podcast with wisdom and philosophy that Gramps has gained over the years of experience and study. I know you will find these insights interesting, practical, and profitable in living a rich and satisfying life.

Our next trek is Mediation Monday where we will help you reflect on what is most important in life. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along on Monday for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.

If you would like to listen to any of the past 872 daily treks or read the associated journals, they are all available at I encourage you to subscribe to Apple Podcast or Google Play so that each day’s trek will be downloaded automatically.

Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.

As we take this trek together, let us always:

  1. Live Abundantly (Fully)
  2. Love Unconditionally
  3. Listen Intentionally
  4. Learn Continuously
  5. Lend to others Generously
  6. Lead with Integrity
  7. Leave a Living Legacy Each Day

I am Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Everyday! See you on Monday!