The Secret Benefits of Junk Food

Posted by Beni Cook

How often have you been told that you need to ditch your favourite foods if you want to lose weight? Whether it’s high carbs, high sugars, or high fats, the extra calories and lack of nutrients make many tasty treats a fitness buff’s nightmare. But does eating healthy mean cutting out all junk food for good? That might not be the case.


Total elimination doesn’t work

In a perfect world we’d all be masters of our cravings, and when we said, “I’m never eating cake again!” we’d mean it. But, our world isn’t perfect, and instead most of us are all too familiar with the elimination-binge cycle that comes with knee-jerk diets. First, you eat too much of a good thing and feel unwell, pack on the kilos, or just don’t feel so hot. Then you make your declaration – no more cake after 3 pm, no more dessert after dinner, no more sugary snacks at the work desk. Inevitably you’ll sneak a small dose in… and after one taste you find you can’t help yourself! So, you down way more than you should, and the cycle continues.

Trying to completely eliminate junk food from your diet simply isn’t sustainable. But imagine what it might be like if your relationship with junk food changed. Instead of a negative cycle, what if you had your favourite foods regularly without feeling guilty? When you eat the foods you want with intention, you’ll usually consume less of them over time than when you’re in a no-junk-food/all-the-junk-food cycle. Including modest amounts of ‘unhealthy’ foods help curb cravings and will help you feel more satisfied in the long run. And if you’re aiming for fat loss or muscle gain, a sustainable diet will help you much more than a crash diet ever could.


A little bit of junk food may actually be good for you

If you’re consuming huge amounts of junk food, it’s sure to have a negative impact on your health. High carb foods will make you feel lethargic, high sugars put you at risk of diseases such as diabetes, and foods with a high fat content can wreak havoc on your gut. But did you know that small amounts of junk food may actually be good for you?

Think of your overall health as having lots of subsections – there’s physical health, mental health, emotional health, and even social health. To manage all aspects of your health requires a multi-pronged approach. Not only do you need to eat well, but you need to sleep well, manage stress and negative emotions, and participate in social activities.

When you think about it, consuming junk food can actually benefit many of these areas of health. Snacking on food with friends improves social health, eating comfort food can improve mental and emotional health, and some foods considered unhealthy even have physical benefits (seriously, look into the health benefits of dark chocolate). Eliminating junk food from your diet will only make you miserable. But including it as part of a balanced diet is sure to have a positive impact on your overall health. Aim for a diet that is 70-80% nutrient dense, and minimally processed then give yourself some leeway with the other 20-30%.


Eating healthily is a lifestyle, not a fad. If you want to see health and fitness results that will last, contact us today to discuss your healthy eating and exercise options. Together, we’ll create the perfect fitness plan to suit your needs (and we’ll even let you eat the cake!).

Beni Cook
Beni Cook is the Head Personal Trainer and Founder of Beyond Best. Beni is a health and fitness expert who develops individualised exercise programs that will meet your own short and long-term objectives, while providing information, advice and encouragement that will enable you to lead your healthiest life, every day.

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