The Rules for Eating Junk Food

By , Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D.,

This is not a campaign to encourage you to stop eating junk food. A little bad is good—the keyword being little.

Here are some other tips to help you indulge without doing in your diet.


  1. Choose Wisely. Chocolate, candy, and other sweets contain empty calories that can translate into high amounts of fat, sugar, salt and not many vitamins or minerals. Instead of splurging on everything, opt for one of your favorites. You don’t have to eat everything you love in one day.
  2. Reasonable Portions. Be mindful of the serving size of your treat. Many junk foods come in mini, prepackaged portions. Aim for no more than 200 calories.
Get the rest of these junk food navigation tips from FitStudio.

What are your rules for eating junk food?

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HeatherR81: " I have yet to find a whole wheat pasta that tastes good with reheating."

Keep trying different brands, really makes a difference. Also look for blends. Barilla has a very tasty whole wheat + oat combination, for instance. I think they call it "multigrain", but it's just two ... :) Make sure durum wheat is used or else it's likely to fall apart on reheating. Report
MissyMoose: My words exactly! Report
I will eat snacks/junk food when I go to a restaurant or to a friend's house, but I don't keep any at home. Otherwise, I eat too much of it. Report
I never think about JUNK FOOD I do occasionally allow myself a quality TREAT.
Thinking of it as a very occasional treat makes it special and liberating. Pat in Maine. Report
I try to eat them, only on Sundays. Lot's of Sundays, I don't eat any...I'm trying hard to lose 15 lbs. Report
Unfortunately, I have no rules, which is why I struggle with junk. Thank you for sharing your rules. It gives me a place to start when thinking about creating my own. Report
I struggle with this, so I liked reading this blog. For myself I can't say "never eat that again" or else I feel deprived and will binge eat. I have to look at all foods as moderation. Report
I've cut back on my intake of junk food substantially. However, when I do decide I'd like a junk food treat, I try to be mindful of the portion. I do like a nice bacon cheese burger. How many do I eat ? I had two last year. Some days, I do like living large. LOL!

As long as I don't eat that cheeseburger every single day, having it once in a while hasn't hurt my efforts at long term good health.

All things in moderation.
like everyone here, I also try to limit my junk food. It does not even taste good to me any more. My definition of junk food has probably changed too. Now it could be a few mixed nuts. Report
I try to stay away from all junk food. Potato chips are my absolute downfall, so I don't have them in the house. If I feel the urge to eat them, then I buy a small bag. I still have chocolates left over from Christmas. I have 2-3 per week. Report
I focus on food that's good for my body, the environment, and the economy - that cuts out most junk! That said, a bit of fair trade, organic dark chocolate goes a long way...and it costs so much it's got to last! Report
I have been trying to eat healthier for a few months now. I'd cut out most junk food and went to frozen yogurt for my ice cream treat. Then the other day, my mother gave me some full-fat, full-calorie ice cream (my favorite cherry cordial!). I decided to splurge and served myself 1/2 cup of the 210 calorie treat. I couldnt even eat it all, the sugar was just too much! From now on, I'm going to stick with my frozen yogurt! Report
I figure it's OK to eat the odd bit of junk food, if I'm going to have anything like that I go for the stuff that you have to wait for. None of this plastic, ready to go rubbish. If you have to wait for it, chances are there is real food involved. Report
Im trying to cut out all the junk food out of my diet. Having problems in what to replace this for that etc. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Report
What we love to eat is what our eating habits are. Once you change the problem habits, the nightmare simply goes away. Unfortunately most people don't realize this, and they take as an insult if you suggest that their eating patterns can be changed. Simply we all are limited by our capacity to think well. Report
For me, eating junk food is a veggie sub sandwich Report
I have traded most of my sugary junk foods for a tropical fruit trail mix. I use a small sauce_type mini bowl and it's only 130 calories! I just crave sugar!!! As long as I have something sweet, I am ok. If I have to have chocolate, I love a couple Hershey Kisses. I try to let them melt in my mouth so they last longer too! Sugar and eating late at night is my biggest downfall! :( Report
I enjoy the Hershey chunks - 50 calories - or the little mini hershey bars. The one with caramel is really great and only 45 calories. I just eat it very slowly and let the chocolate melt in my mouth - takes about 10-15 minutes to each one and my cravings are gone.

I allow myself 1 or 2 of them a day - knowing I`m going to have them at the end of the day helps me to stop the cravings in the daytime and keep to my calories. I allow for the calories and always post them to the nutrition tracker. Report
I have found that the special dark hershey kisses are really good and kind of act as an appetite suppressor! I am addicted to tootsie rolls so I will allow that every once in a while but the hershey kisses are about every other day. I have also found out that I can not eat white pasta... it really makes me crave sugar the rest of the day. I have yet to find a whole wheat pasta that tastes good with reheating. Report
I check the nutrition facts for what a serving size is and how many calories. Some foods I just have to avoid because I'm really addicted and having a little makes me miserable wishing I could have more. But I can have sides of chips and occasional pizza or birthday cake. It's always been socially unacceptable to eat the whole cake by myself, so I don't react to it like I would candy or cookies. Report
My rule for eating junk food is to limit it as much as possible--once a week being the max but I usually don't even eat it that often. In fact, for Lent, I am not eating any fast food/junk food whatsoever. Report
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