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Do you feel like you can't stop eating unhealthy junk food? The Doctors meet Leyla, who says her love of fast food, cookies, ice cream, chips, and candy is negatively affecting her health. Can clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho help her kick her habit?
"Anything that is sweet, salty and greasy -- I love it!" Leyla says, revealing her indulgences has caused her to develop high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and she is only 32. She was told to change her diet and eat more fruits and vegetables, but she is struggling with making that a reality.
The Doctors note that high cholesterol and high blood pressure, especially for someone's 20s and 30s, can increase their risk for heart attacks, strokes, and early death. Dr. Judy, author of “Stop Self-Sabotage” express concern for Leyla, who also admits she stopped taking her medication for her cholesterol and blood pressure and also stopped seeing her doctor. Leyla says she is "scared" about her health.
So is this self-proclaimed junk food fan self-sabotaging? Dr. Judy believes she is and feels if Leyla worked on her will power she could make better choices about food.
"Will power is not something we are just born with, we can train it like we train a muscle," Dr. Judy notes, suggesting that Leyla "plan ahead for the things that we know are triggers for us." She suggests Leyla, and anyone who might be self-sabotaging, work on their if-then approach. For example:
- If - She feels anxious and wants to snack
- Then - She should breathe deeply try to distract herself for 15 minutes with another activity
- If - Leyla makes excuses in order to eat junk food
- Then - She should look at an inspirational photo of her health goal
- If - She is tempted by a drive-thru fast food restaurant
- Then - Leyla should choose an alternate route with less temptation
Dr. Judy also shares that most cravings only last 10 to 15 minutes and if you can make it through that window, the craving will usually subside. Dr. Judy also agrees to work with Leyla for the next 30 days in order to help break her junk habit and stop self-sabotaging.