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FebFast: No junk food for a month

I’m doing FebFast – no junk food for a month!

I’ve just enjoyed my last takeaway pizza for a month, including leftovers for lunch today:

Last takeaway pizza before FebFast

I’ve signed up for FebFast, where participants are encouraged to refrain from something for the month of February.

They’ve got a few variations on it:

FebFast Smoking — no point in this, as I don’t smoke.

FebFast Social Media — Noooooooooooo.

FebFast Alcohol — I barely drink, so there’d be no challenge here.

FebFast Sugar — not convinced sugar intake is a problem for me, but I think it’d be difficult to do properly.

FebFast Junk Food — that’s the one for me!

Here’s an info-graphic on the benefits of staying off junk food:

FebFast: Junk food infographic

They’re ultimately leaving it up to the individual to decide what’s in and what’s out, though they do have some guidelines.

For me, I’ll be aiming to avoid: chips (both hot and crisps), chocolates (apparently “raw dark chocolate” is okay?), biscuits (a difficult ask in the office), milk shakes. Cakes? I’ll decline anything except a small slice for any birthday celebrations.

I’ll lay off soft drinks, but reserve the right to glug down a Coke if I need to, as I use them to fight off headaches occasionally. But I’ll try and avoid it.

I’ll avoid ice cream, but with one exception: I’m hoping to have one last Dairy Bell cone before they close in late February. I have fond memories of them from when I was a kid living near their Elsternwick shop — it’s a shame they’re going.

Non home-made pizza, burgers, and most other packaged/processed foods are also on the No Go list. I suspect I should also avoid muesli bars… they’re really just a glorified biscuit, aren’t they?

What else should I avoid?

I love my snacks between meals, so I’ll stick to fruit and nuts and other fresh stuff. Maybe I should pack some carrot sticks for morning tea?

Daniel's FebFast banner

So, who wants to sponsor me? Donations are tax deductible for Australians, and go towards supporting youth drug and alcohol addiction services.

Update: I was asked a good question on Twitter: How much junk food to I normally eat? I don’t binge on it all the time, but I do sometimes fall into the trap of a takeaway burger and chips as a lazy lunch or dinner, and I do eat far too many snacks such as biscuits at work, where we have a plentifully supplied biscuit jar.

Update FebFast Day 2: You should have SEEN the number of chocolate biscuits in the office biscuit jar today. Somehow I managed to resist them all!

Update FebFast Day 7: It’s been surprisingly easy to avoid chomping on office snacks such as biscuits. I did eat one muesli bar which I had in a desk drawer, and found it unsatisfying, so I doubt I’ll be having any more in a hurry. I have succumbed to a couple of (small) bottles of Coke as a pick-me-up (one day as I’ve developed a cold which has left me feeling pretty flat). I have been snacking on fruit and nuts, though I wonder what the overall kilojoule count is like on those.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “FebFast: No junk food for a month”

Good on you. And good luck.
Do you think you can change your diet habits permanently after this (ie be more healthy)?

I’d you are going to have an occasional coke (I assume its the caffeine you’re after) then go for the diet or zero variety.

Good luck! One could ponder that public transport users are exposed to more junk food than drivers. If your train is delayed or cancelled, or you’re just starving, generally the only things around stations are fast food, vending machines or the ever present kiosk or fish and chip shop. Plus those who don’t want to take their lunch to work on the train. Though drivers have drive thrus I suppose!

Hhmmm. Re “diet” or “zero” anything, are the artificial sweeteners worse for your health than sugar?
I find a sports drink banishes those headaches. Enjoy the challenge!

I don’t think muesli bars deserve more glory than biscuits. Let’s call muesli bars confectionery and be done with it.

Is it too late for the writers of the poster to proof-read it and replace ‘Us Aussies’ with ‘We Aussies’?

It is easy to eat healthily during the week, but if you go out on the weekend you can easily start paying a lot for meals. I was paying $150 for food outside of my weekly shop. Not helpful that my current workplace has cheap softdrinks and lollies, it is hard to resist. I did go without softdrink and any junk food for twelve weeks at one stretch and did 10 months of a food recoding plan, but eventually got sick of it and hated food by that stage. Milkshake replacement meals are the worst.

PT users usually need to walk more than car drivers and generally speaking car dependency is what has been driving obesity in the outer suburbs and Melbourne in general.

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