Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Includes Expert Content
    Why We Eat Junk
    brunosbud posted:
    Knowledge is power...

    If you are trying to lose weight, it's knowledge and understanding the precise areas of your lifestyle that need changing that yield the best results.

    The focus of diets are to reduce calories. But, fewer calories without proper nutrition won't work. Poor (or inadequate) nutrition drives hunger and eventually tempts you to binge. Successful weight loss is not about martyrdom. So, unless you're into masochism, the more penal the diet, they less likely you'll stay committed.

    The best way to eat to lose weight is to (1.) eat nutritiously, yet, (2.) keep calorie intake to a minimum, but (3.) never go hungry...

    Do you see how "individualized" and unique the right food plan for each person can be? Do you really believe you can follow another person's food plan when nothing on it is anything you're use to eating?
    I say, "Wasting calories (on the wrong foods) is like leaving the lights's flushing money (lbs) down the drain". The more you have to lose, the more "perfect" and "customized" your food plan must be.

    We know what "junk" food is, yet, we eat it anyway. Why?

    Knowledge is Power

    So, let's discuss "Junk" and the "Whys" that power them. There are a multitude of reasons why we eat junk; I'll start with just 5 that come to mind...

    1. Cooking, why you don't do it and why this is a big, big mistake
    2. Foods perceived as "healthy" but are actually junk
    3. "Healthy foods are more expensive than fast food"...what a load of "junk"! (
    4. Food Addiction: Why your favorite "comfort foods" are not broccoli, spinach, apples and oranges and how food manufacturers make their foods, addictive.
    5. How a culture of Drugs & Supplements undermine healthy lifestyle changes and keep us in junk

    I invite discussion on #1.

    Cooking: Why we don't do it and why this is a big, big mistake!
    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP responded:
    Hi there and thanks for this great discussion. Regarding cooking, research has now shown that the majority of eating is happening outside the home or purchased as cooked (fast food) and brought into the home. Cook is now a four letter word. Right up there with move.

    Time starved people running about in their 24/7 frenzy multitasking and dashboard diving do not prioritize the process of food planning and preparation on a regular basis. When I wrote my current book The Hunger Fix, I actually went out of my way to create an entire section teaching people the basics of cooking and encouraging them to embrace the whole experience of cooking. Many people have never been taught simple ways to prepare healthy foods. Cooking is often seen as a time drag and when so many sugary/fatty/salty food combos are immediately available, who wants to cook?

    So, to your point, I'd love to start an entire movement back into the kitchen to fall in love with the sensual and rewarding experience of cooking your own food.

    Dr. Peeke
    jean4u responded:
    Hi Brunosbud & Dr. Peeke,

    I came here in 2010. I was retired and had raised my family so the last thing I wanted to do was COOK! But the more committed I got to stay on this journey of health the more I had to plan and prepare healthier foods.

    It started by buying and preparing fresh veggies and fruits. Then I boiled eggs, by the dozen. Then I started to cook broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms to add to foods. I have veggie soups on hand. I also cook eggwhites and have on hand so I can have for breakfast with broccoli.

    I still eat out, but I eat 1/2 and pack the rest and veggie it up.

    I am 67 years old and have gotten rid of 30 pounds and have maintained this loss. I could never have done this without changing my eating and COOKING and FOOD PREPARATION and planning habits.

    I really think feeding your body the right foods cuts down on the cravings. Once I cut back on the white carbs and got the lower glycemic carbs I can control my hunger.

    I hope alot of people read your blog and make the small changes that will stick.

    Dr. Peeke, so nice to see you. I was afraid with the Web MD changes you would stop posting. What you say about four letter words....cook and move is right on. We've all heard "move more and eat less"......Re: the "eat less", it HAS to be quality food! (NOT junk)

    brunosbud replied to jean4u's response:
    Great post, jean4u & congratultions on losing 30 pounds! As Dr. Peeke says, it's easy to understand why nobody wants to cook, these days.

    When food manufacturers make food, they "try" to retain as must nutritional content but, between cooking, irradiation & pasteurization, it's "mission impossible". Then, after adding sodium, sulfites, sugar, food coloring and preservatives, the final product is just a shell of the original unprocessed food.
    It's estimated that 80% of the nutritional value is lost and almost no fiber remains after processing.

    I try to explain in most all of my posts that, sure, obesity is caused by overeating...too many calories and not enough calories burned. But, WHY? Why do we eat too much in the first place?

    I think that obesity is caused primarily because we eat too much nutritionally-deficient processed food. When you deprive the body of nutrition, it will demand you keep feeding until it gets what it needs...whether you damn well like it or not!

    That's why cooking and eating whole foods is absolutely essential for weight loss. Of course it's more healthy, that's obvious. But, most importantly, you cook to stop overeating.
    PetuniaPea responded:
    Again, brunosbud, I tend to agree with just about all you say.

    I applaud you for bringing up these important topics on this "dieting" board.

    I truly hope that the people who need to hear these messages don't just glaze over it and discard what you write about (for that matter, what I write as well!), searching for "super quick weight loss" or "diet pills" or " reducing calories to insane levels" posts instead.

    I'll keep these points brief for now:

    1. Cooking real food has helped me maintain my weight. For instance, I buy quinoa in bulk and cook huge amounts to last the week, so I can have it real quick with breakfast or part of my dinner.

    2. As author Michal Pollan says (I'm paraphrasing), "If it has to convince you with health claims, STAY AWAY! It's not healthy." (BTW, I think you would like his books and style of writing...check out his books at your local library and tell me what you think.)

    3. It's a total load of junk. Again, I buy quinoa, beans, nuts, brown rice, etc in bulk for cheap! Local fresh produce is inexpensive! Almond milk is relatively cheap. I can go on and on.

    4. Sugar is addictive, plain and simple. I got sucked in real's a vicious cycle that's hard to get out of. It only took until I was feeling absolutely terrible until I decided I didn't want it in my diet. Now I don't crave it at all! I used to have a "sweet tooth," but surprise! You don't eat it, you don't crave it.

    5. Hmmm. Eat junk, feel sick, take a pill for it. Repeat. (Because another symptom popped up and there's a pill for that.)
    jean4u replied to brunosbud's response:

    I will delve slightly into my past "dieting" because it explains alot my weightloss weight gain history. I could lose about 10-15 and go back to my regular eating. I was a serial yo-yo dieter. I ate ALOT of white carbs and was a bottomless pit of cravings.

    I came here in 2010 and would read and read the posts. I was looking for a diet and something to help me lose and keep the weitght off and not feel like I was being tortured.

    By reading the posts, I got a feel for the consistency of the healthy day to day life of the bloggers who were successful. Also, the phrase "make small changes you can stick with" kept popping up. I did just that.

    BTW, I am volume-wise eating ALOT more food and am almost never felling the need to eat out of control. Also when a slip happens, it is just that not an abandonement of my healthy lifestyle.

    You make ALOT of sense!

    jean4u replied to PetuniaPea's response:

    Congrats on getting a handle on your sugar addiction. I had one with white carbs and still get weak when French bread is around. The best control for me is just pretend it's not there and big NO in my head, because once I start I will never be done.

    I get Brunosbud's blog about the need to cook to control the quality of foods that go on your plate. But, I don't think I would have got that in the beginning.....just too simple. NOW, I do get it.....thank goodness!

    I can't even tell you how many posts I have read about people seeking "the diet" that will work. Frrom HGC, Alli (that one was pretty funny about soiling his pants), Roca Lab, even the Oz show has coffee beans, etc.. I can't recall ANY of these people coming back and sharing their weightloss AND maintenance successes. Proof IS in the pudding!

    brunosbud replied to jean4u's response:
    Thank you, barb, for sharing your story.

    In a post you made 2 days ago, you mentioned something I believe millions could benefit from. Here's what you wrote...

    "...I still eat out, but I eat 1/2 and pack the rest and veggie it up..."

    I remember immediately thinking after I read it, "Huh...I do the same thing...I "veggie it up", too..."

    What "veggie it up" means is to convert a "marginally" or "questionably" healthy meal into a nutritious one. It's also a perfect way for non-cookers to transition into cooking. This is where frozen vegetables come in. I think frozen vegetables are ridiculously underutilized in this country.

    There are millions of people who don't like vegetables or fruit, thus, they've eaten "junk" most of their lives. They know they have to eat more veggies but it's hard eating unpalatable, unappetizing food. What to do????

    "veggie it up"...
    jean4u replied to brunosbud's response:
    Brunosbud, Your recent post mentions the use of frozen veggies. I routinely buy and have on hand, in the freezer, edemames, lima beans, brussel sprouts, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, and frozen fruit.

    Some of my freezer "stash" is from my cooking or fruit getting too ripe and I can't keep up with it to eat it. I use the frozen like we say to veggie up the not so veggie meals. Also, the frozen fruit is good in oatmeal, yogurt or smoothies.

    Part of my motivation to do this is to have a full tummy and since veggies have alot of water this helps create a sense of fullness. I also add alot of salt free seasonings.

    I hope people read your well written blogs and get inspired about eating healthier. Changing the brussel sprout at a time. LOL

    jis4judy replied to jean4u's response:
    wow Brunosbud and Barb others too what a great thread
    Barb I love that "one brussel sprout at a time"
    It is true you can vegie up most meals even something like Lasagna I vegie that up add zucchini to lighten it up
    serve with a salad eliminate the garlic bread part.
    Little changes can make a huge difference
    and focusing on better healthy choices is really the way to go ..
    My health got better with every change I made
    funny part My doctors think it is a fluke that the healthy diet I went on 10 years ago and am still on caused me to be healthier they don;t believe it was my new food choices that made the difference only the weight removale possably helped in their minds so what do Doctors know anyway they study diseases not health and they practice medicine they are not perfect
    Hugs Judy:)
    Sw 247 Cw 149ish

    remember the gold isn;t in the prize it is in the journey!
    life may not be the party we expected but while we are here we may as well dance!
    jean4u replied to jis4judy's response:

    Knowing of your "story" and your maintenance success for over 7 years, you are legend and that you did not start at a young age is proof that it is never too late.

    What you have done and continue to do is move and cook!

    Like Brunosbud says, we need to cook. Get our butts in the kitchen and make healthy snacks and meals. Even the preparation of raw foods falls into the getting back into the kitchen action.

    Judy, I know you don't get to go grocery shopping alot, so planning is key, too.

    You inspired me over the years on the 50-100 Diet Board.

    brunosbud replied to jean4u's response:
    You are so right, Barb. Judy has inspired so many people with her her thoughtful and patient words of wisdom.

    Anybody's whose prepared a multiple course meal for the holidays will tell you, it's a helluva lot of work...In fact it's so much work, you often lose your appetite for the very food you cooked. When you cook, you are exercising every part of your body...walking, pushing, lifting, stocking, filling, bending, peeling, cleaning, wiping, putting away dishes, emptying trash, making lunch for the next day...

    Its estimated that by eliminating microwave, fast food, and restaurant dining and cooking, instead, depending on family size, you can lose between 15-20 lbs per year!

    The obesity and Type 2 diabetes epidemic has expanded, proportionally, with growth of the food service and food manufacturing industries. In other words, by making eating, easy, bodies got bigger.

    So, in summary, not only is cooking essential from a nutrition standpoint, it's an invaluable opportunity to exercise that we can ill afford to pass up...Not to mention the money wasted by eating, lazy.

    So, tell me, is there any single lifestyle change that will have a more explosive impact on your health than cooking?
    jean4u replied to brunosbud's response:

    I don't know if you already mentioned this, but it saves MONEY! To COOK at home.

    When I was first married and we wanted to save money for a house we thought of ways to save money. Cooking was first on the list along with packing our lunches for work. We even packed snacks when we went to the community swimming pool.

    LuvMySpencerPup replied to jean4u's response:
    Another GREAT benefit of cooking at home...Memories.

    I have lovely memories of helping my Mom cooking and baking and our "girl talk" together.

    Now I am passing on to my grandchildren memories they will have of cooking and baking with their Mimi.

    And my husband loves to cook too so they love getting together with him and cook/bake away.

    And what a lovely reward bringing to the table a meal you have mastered with the help of little hands.

    The grandchildren ASK to help in the kitchen even with the clean up.

    Yep, warm, lovely memories.
    ~Stacy and all my typos :)
    jean4u replied to LuvMySpencerPup's response:

    Lucky you and the family members that can share in these memory making times.

    I too have alot of those family memories. Some of good food. Some of "girl talk'. Some of disasters, like when my mom blew up a batch of tomatoes she was canning in the pressure cooker...had them on the ceiling!


    Helpful Tips

    Cut Sodas
    Simply cutting sodas will help trim your waste and keep your wallet happy! More
    Was this Helpful?
    2 of 4 found this helpful

    Expert Blog

    Everyday Fitness - Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP

    Achieve a better mind-body balance and live a healthier life with tips from wellness expert Dr. Pamela Peeke...Read More

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.