The other day I had a close friend of mine ask me how I was going to maintain my weight loss and health if all I ever did was eat junk food?
My response was as follows;
“First and foremost, I do not only eat junk food. As a matter of fact I hardly ever eat junk food. I probably only eat junk food 3 or 4 days per month or month and a half. I mean, I don’t even really like junk food…But wait a minute. What are we calling “junk food” anyways?”
And so, this post was born.
What’s In A Name?
anything that is regarded as worthless, meaningless, or contemptible; trash.
any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, etc.
I think we can all agree; actually let me rephrase that, I think most of us can agree on the definition of food. I also think we can all agree on the definition of junk…especially when in the trunk. But what happens if we put the two words together?
Well, we get something again I think most of us can agree on BUT only by definition.
You see, though we have been brainwashed to share the same opinion on the technical definition of junk food, we do not all share the same opinion on what is and isn’t junk food. And this little tidbit my friends is something worth elaborating.
To Be Or Not To Be…
This conversation could go in a number of different directions but in the hopes of not boring you too much I’ll just touch on a few points. Below are just a few examples of friends and family that share different opinions.
The Vegan: Anything with a face!
The Vegetarian: Meat…specifically red, juicy, delicious flesh that melts in your mouth!
The Health Nut: Red meat, eggs, sugar, whole milk, whiteness…be it bread, pasta, or rice
The Nut: Red meat, pork, desserts, and anything else that makes you feel happy and warm inside
The Fish Lover: Tilapia
The Meat Lover: Anything that doesn’t bleed
The Teenager: Nothing!
My Pre-Schooler: Fruits and vegetables…unless it’s a fruit and vegetable he likes at which point it is technically not a fruit or vegetable because he likes it.
My Toddler: Nothing!
My Father-In-Law: Chicken Fingers
The Vegan: Anything without a face!
The Vegetarian: Hummus, soy beans and milk
The Health Nut: Chicken Breasts and Tuna
The Nut: Nuts, Chicken, and Beer
The Fish Lover: I don’t know…whatever taste like the ocean I guess
The Meat Lover: Anything that bleeds
The Teenager: Anything that cost more than $1.06 with tax!
My Pre-Schooler: Bread (but not the crust – that is junk food), Pasta, Chicken Fingers, and Cuban Steak
My Toodler: Nothing!…seriously this kid eats everything!
My Father-In-Law: Anything he likes.
What’s The Point?
The point is that, though we all pretty much agree on the definition of “junk food” we don’t all agree on what we’d label junk food.
Is this a problem?
Nope, not at all!
As a matter of fact I think it is quite okay and accurate. You see, I think junk food is an organic term that morphs specifically to suit each individual. This means that what is junk food for you may not be junk food for me. This being the case we can’t just go around all willy-nilly labeling food “junk.”
Instead we need to be in tune with our own bodies enough to know what our own body considers “junk” and what it considers “healthy.”
One Man’s Junk…
Because we are all unique individuals with unique one-of-a-kind bodies, metabolisms, hormones, etc. food affects us all differently and should therefor not be labeled universally as “junk” or “healthy.”
This being said though, I do have a universal definition for “junk food.”
Junk Food [juhngk food]
As defined by X-Gains
any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise in excess which makes the body feel sluggish, tired, bloated, and/or overall gross
In other words anything that makes you feel like crap anywhere from 1 to 24 hours after eating it is probably “junk food” for you.
So, if you eat red meat and have stomach issues right afterwards or feel sluggish the next day (or during your next workout) than stop eating that “junk!” But if red meat makes you feel like Conan The Barbarian than by all means eat that “healthy” goodness!
Get the point?
If so let me leave you with this – anything in moderation IS “healthy “and everything in excess IS “junk!”
If not, I will elaborate more on specifically what I think should be considered universally “junk food” at a latter date.