Juvenile vs Adult Foods: How Growing Up My Food Choices Helped Me Lose 150 Pounds


Grocery Shopping
Real “adult” food is boring.  Real “adult” food is bland. Real “adult” food does not excite my taste buds.

At least that’s what I thought when I weighed 300 pounds. I didn’t have any basis for those feelings because quite frankly, it had been years and years and years since I had eaten very much real food.

From the time I was an older teen, my diet consisted of fast food, foods from boxes, ice cream with chunks of candy swirled in it, the occasional canned vegetable, and lots of orange crackers shaped like fish.

My taste buds were on a semi-permanent state of sensory overload.  And if you think about it, you can see how that can happen. After all, when you walk into a typical grocery store, you are overwhelmed with brightly colored chip bags and boxed food with appealing pictures.

Eating those types of foods for over 20 years caused me to constantly look for the newest food invention. I thought nothing of trying a new cereal shaped like my favorite cookie or flavored like chocolate candy. I eagerly picked up the new boxes of fruit snacks because I had a coupon, and I succumbed to restaurant menus that featured piles of delicious looking food.

All those juvenile, high-sensory foods dulled my taste buds, caused me to crave foods high in salt, fat, and sugar, and greatly contributed to my weight ballooning to 305 pounds. Slowly removing those foods from my diet helped me break the cravings for processed foods while losing 158 pounds.

It was hard at first to ignore the brightly colored boxes and the appealing display of candy bars when I was shopping in the grocery store. I really wanted those foods.  My senses were attuned to looking at those foods first and looking for healthier foods last, if at all.

My transition from juvenile foods high in calories and even more highly processed took several years. I started small with cutting out fish-shaped crackers and instead buying fresh fruit. Over time I bought less and less manipulated foods and more and more natural foods.

While I technically could have lost weight just eating less of the juvenile foods and burning calories through exercise, I would have been selling my body short. By letting go of juvenile foods, I embraced adult foods. Real food.

If you are still experiencing sensory overload with regards to boxed foods, and find yourself gravitating toward juvenile, processed foods, I’d encourage you to pick an unhealthy processed food to eliminate each week. Maybe you need to switch cereals to a healthier one, maybe you need to stop buying frozen diet meals full of sodium, or maybe you need to say goodbye to brightly colored crackers like I did.

How do you feel about moving from “juvenile” food to a more “adult” diet? Have you ever felt like your mind and taste buds were on sensory overload from all the processed foods available?


Photo by Bruce Stockwell

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