My 30 Day Diet – No Junk Food Challenge

This summer the kids and I made our way to the west coast where my parents live and I grew up like we do every summer. MM was about to turn two years old and the summer forecast was going to be a hot one. My mom and I were chatting one night the second or third week I was there and doing what all women do, complaining about our weight. I had unwanted baby weight still after two years and maybe last few christmases were still sticking to me and my mom just wasn’t happy with her weigh either. So we made a pack then and there to try “our own diet plan” a 30 day diet, no junk food challenge to do together. Since I was there for the whole summer we had plenty of time to help motivate and encourage each other.

I found with any diet I have always failed after two weeks. It wasn’t really a diet I needed but an over change in the foods I choose to eat, the foods I cooked and just needed to get more creative with my meals that would help benefit me for the future as much as the present. All diets fail when we resume our normal eating and go home and I didn’t want this to happen to me. My mom and I sat at the breakfast table the day after our pack and starting writing tips and advice from various diets. When you do this you must know your own body. I know carbs are my nemesis and they never make me feel good when I eat them so I was cutting them way back or choosing ones that were better for me like quinoa. We had a few smoothies written down for snacks or breakfast as I am not huge into eating in the mornings. Switching to decaf completely we were allowed two cups of decaf coffee or tea per day whether it was morning or evening.

How we came up with the 30 day diet

I think a lot of my problem for belly fat was portion control the amount of food I used to dish out on my plate was ungodly. Someone my size doesn’t need the helping size of a 6″4′ athlete. Then I made a little list of all the healthy, non-starchy vegetables that I could eat unlimited and starting building random lunch and dinner recipes around it which I added the list below. I didn’t let me stay in from a good restaurant or not go out for the day as I didn’t want to cheat on my no junk challenge or cheat on my mom. If I was out for the day I would just grab a slim-fast smoothie shake for lunch or breakfast or if we were in a restaurant I went for the roasted chicken and vegetables with rice and no sauces or chicken salads. It’s all about what we choose to put in our mouths and it took me so long and I am still working on leading a healthier cleaner life.

Once we wrote down what we wanted to achieve and what we were going to eat with the fridge stocked, we set out our 30 day diet no junk food challenge. Each morning, we would come down the stairs and write down our weight for the day, side by side, encouraging each other to keep going. At first I lost a bunch, then I literally didn’t loose anything for almost two whole weeks which really is when it gets tough.

Check out what is a balanced diet and it’s essential components to find out what you need to include in your diet

Do you get hangry on the no-junk food diet?

Do you get hangry (hungry-angry) too? Does it make you want to quit because you feel it’s not working? There were mornings we bit each other’s heads off and just realized it was the hunger talking. Once I got over that bump in the road, it really helped. I was on vacation so I still wanted to have the things I loved most, for a treat while I was there so on Day 15, one birthday party, fourth of July, my kids’ birthdays, and Day 30, I ate whatever I wanted to. Life is too short to not still enjoy life. This included cake, ice cream, pizza, and a delicious Mexican feast that I am still drooling over.

Do you need to work out while dieting?

I didn’t do any hard core working out either. I am a huge fan of kettlebells but I also hate working out so for me I didn’t want to do something I couldn’t keep up at home and in the future. So I did my kettlebell workouts just 15-20 minutes, three times a week. That’s nothing and I did them standing next to the pool at my parents house while the kids swam at my feet and music playing. That time frame is nothing and I just went to YouTube, typed in “kettlebell workouts” and did a different video every day to work various parts of my body, never going back to the same video which keeps it from getting boring. Bonus! It is important to exercise for your physical and mental wellbeing, but that doesn’t have to mean big expensive gym memberships.

A collage of images depicting healthy meals

What Should You Do If You Cheat On Your Diet?

I actually kept my 30 day diet, no junk food challenge and healthy eating plan longer than 30 days to make up for the days I cheated. It does happen don’t beat yourself up, just make up for it. It started just becoming my healthy way of life. A smoothie here, maybe add jar of oatmeal once a week, creating new recipes using my list below and staying fit. I am still doing these recipes and new ones now that I am back home. I like to think that I will try to do a 30 day diet plan with my mom every summer.

What Can you Eat On A 30 Day Diet, No Junk Food Challenge?

Eat this UNLIMITED list of vegetables. Get creative and try new combinations of these together like I have. It’s fun to play in the kitchen and not have to eat the exact same thing every day for lunch and dinner. That’s why I fail so much on normal diets. I think it’s about changing the way you cook, eat and your choices rather than constantly trying various diets. It doesn’t hurt to go no junk food for a month, once a year either!

A list of unlimited vegetables to eat while on a no junk food diet

No Junk Food Diet Meal Ideas

For all of these no junk food diet meal ideas, just toss into a frying pan using 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil. So easy and fast to make and they taste delicious so you won’t feel like you’re missing out.

Mexican Fiesta Chicken

  • 4 oz chicken, shredded
  • kidney beans, unlimited
  • tomatoes, unlimited
  • green pepper, unlimited
  • onion, unlimited
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • 2 tbsp salsa
  • cauliflower rice, unlimited

Egg Omelettes

  • 2 eggs, 1 egg white
  • tomatoes, unlimited
  • onions, unlimited
  • peppers, unlimited
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced

Veggie Salad Delight

  • 4 oz chicken, diced
  • grated broccoli, unlimited
  • tomatoes, unlimited
  • purple cabbage, unlimited
  • baby spinach, unlimited
  • cucumber, unlimited
  • 1/4 tsp balsamic vinegar

Zucchini (Courgette) Noodles

  •  two large zucchinis (courgettes), using a spiral slicer
  • 1 can white cannellini beans, drained
  • tomatoes, unlimited
  • onions, unlimited
  • yellow peppers, unlimited
  • 1 cup steamed green beans

Snap Pea Salad

  • 2 cups snow peas, boiled
  • 1 steamed white fish or salmon fillet
  • purple cabbage, unlimited
  • tomatoes, unlimited,
  • purple onions, unlimited
  • kidney beans, unlimited
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, steamed
  • 1/2 tsp salsa or balsamic

Snacks

No Junk Food Diet Lunch Ideas

When you are not eating junk food it is important to remember that you still need to eat! Make sure that your lunches are filling and will sustain you, which will help to keep the cravings at bay. I recommend the following lunch recipes as part of a healthy diet:

Healthy Dinner Recipes

Sitting down to a nutritious and filling evening meal will help stop you wanting to snack in front of the TV all evening. These healthy dinner recipes will make you feel good about cooking in the evening and the whole family will enjoy eating them with you. One of my kids favorite is white fish tacos!

Fish Tacos with Pineapple Salsa family recipes main dish

What shocked me about no junk food for a month!

The biggest shock for me was when I tried eating a greasy pizza how absolutely bad it made me feel afterwards. My stomach hurt, gurgled, I was bloated instantly and made my skin feel disgusting. Something I have never noticed before when I was eating it all the time. My skin is clearer and my hair and nails are growing faster. Just shows you what a healthier lifestyle can do for our bodies more than just weight lost. I still have treats when its a special occasion or something to celebrate as I will never give up cupcakes, let’s be honest. I just make better food choices during the week and when we are out now and feel so much better for it.

30 Day No Junk Food Results

It wasn’t until I got home and found my before photo that I took and my after photo and put them side by side to see the results. You can see in my before photo I had the bloated belly “spare tire” and thighs/butt areas needs work and this is where I gained most of my baby weight with both of my children. I am now just working on the toning and muscle in my arms and legs but never working out intensely just 15-20 minutes during the week, two times a week to maintain what I have achieved. It makes you feel so much better when you are eating healthy and exercising. You feel more confident and energetic and proud of your self control. Or at least this is how I feel now. I lost over 16 lbs this summer and it feels great to be back in my old pre-baby clothes. I have been sharing them all on my instagram with everyone over the last few weeks that I have been home.

Here are my before and after photos from no junk food for a month that I have been promising everyone. Have you recently changed your eating habits or swapped for a healthier lifestyle? I would love to hear your story, please leave me a comment.

2 photos of a woman side by side. The first shows her body before trying to lose weight, the second shows her after a 30 days no junk food diet

This no junk food diet helps me achieve what I want with my body fitness. It’s not for everyone. Everyone’s bodies respond differently to diets or lifestyle changes. So do it gradual see how a no junk food diet can help you feel better whether you are looking for healthy skin, feeling more energetic or wanting to lose some weight.

Looking For More Tips For Kickstarting A Healthy Lifestyle?

34 thoughts on “My 30 Day Diet – No Junk Food Challenge”

  1. Well done, you’ve made amazing progress, your before and after shots show that for sure. I too am an advocate of eating fresh but am guilty occasionally of falling off the wagon! I too get ‘hangry’ but know its worth the effort as it makes you feel good inside and out. Its important to think of it as a lifestyle rather than a diet as then the occasional treat is just that and there’s no need to feel guilty. Well done again x

    Reply
    • Oh yes I have my bad days still as I am a huge foodie. It’s a tough one to find balance. Eating clean makes you feel so much better though doesn’t it? It’s all about moderation and lifestyle not dieting isn’t it?

      Reply
    • Oh yes do Emma you will love the recipes and it’s nice to eat unlimited amounts of things off the list too. Makes it feel like you don’t have to starve just make better food choices. Thanks hunny it was a tough summer but I did it? Breakfast I did the egg omelettes or I would have fruit/veggie smoothie or a slimfast shake if I was on the go.

      Reply
    • Thank you so much Charlotte. It was a hard challenge but so glad I did it. You could easily do it by February. Just slowly start eating better choices try some of my recipes. I tend to be bad on weekends and really really good in the week. Helps balance it.

      Reply
  2. You look amazing! Mind you I thought you looked great before but it is all about us and how we feel isn’t it? Since my surgery in June I have been slacking on my 5:2 and I really need to get back to it. Although everyone says I have lost lots of weight in recent months I still think I have some way to go. Xx

    Reply
    • It really is about how we feel and I hope most people get that. It’s about being me again after having two babies back to back. I am feeling like that again. Congrats to you too the 5:2 I heard is great too.

      Reply
  3. you’ve done amazingly well, I need to get back into healthy eating, both eating right and exercising has taken a back seat the past couple of weeks due to illness and I’m really feeling it. finding the balance is key isn’t it!

    Reply
    • Ahh thanks lovely. It was a team effort with me and my mom. I couldn’t have done it without her. It was great to finally lose the baby weight and wear old clothes again. Definitely getting balance is key. I am bad on weekends and really strict during the week now. That’s so far my balance. lol

      Reply
  4. You look fantastic.
    I’ve been following slimming world since July. You get syns to be able to have some things you fancy, but like you I find not eating it all is the key.
    And I so get get ‘hangry’ analogy. Fill up on those veggies.
    Well done xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Katie that’s so sweet of you. I have heard amazing things about slimming world but my body just didn’t work with it. I like the idea of syns though. I am more cut it out or I will eat way too much of it though. I have no self control. lol

      Reply
  5. Gosh Jenny what a difference in the photos, you looked lovely before but stunning now. It really is a lifestyle change but one that you can do forever as opposed to a quick fix. I am a huge healthy eater/exerciser and love the buzz I get when I see results, don’t get me wrong I have the odd ice cream etc but I make sure that either that day or the next I have catered for it. Thrilled to bits for you and believe you can maintain it xx

    Reply
    • It is working around lifestyle if you want to stay that way for sure. I have been trying to just make better choices that I never did before. It takes time to break old habits that’s for sure.I do the same if I am cheating a bit I am really good the next few days to balance it. Thanks for your lovely support.

      Reply
  6. Wow Jenny! You looked amazing before but I know what it’s like to feel a bit unhealthy and to eat more than we probably should. You can definitely see the results of your hard work! Well done!

    Reply
    • It was mostly having all the baby belly fat that I wanted to get rid of and just being healthier all around in my lifestyle rather than dieting and gaining it all back. Thank you so much Laura.

      Reply
    • Thanks Helen that’s very kind of you. I just wanted to be a healthier version of me and get that belly baby weight gone for good. I love these recipes so much I make them for the family all the time now.

      Reply
    • I hope it helps others realize they don’t have to diet to lose baby weight just change a few lifestyle choices in food and the way we live our lives. Thanks so much Megan.

      Reply
  7. Wow you’ve done amazingly well Jenny. I wish I had the discipline to do the same thing and cut out the junk food. The recipes all sound super tasty so will try this after I’ve had baby boy in the New Year- a perfect new year’s resolution! Feeling very inspired by your amazing efforts Jenny, thank you! xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Amelia, so kind of you. It was tough I am not going to lie but the results were worth it and I had missed my old wardrobe and feeling like me for so long.

      Reply
  8. Wow, Jenny, you look fantastic. Beautiful before and after, and such a difference you must feel great. I think eating healthy is so important for us, even if you aren’t doing it for weightloss the health benefits are fantastic. Those little treats are even more lovely then too. I must try some of your recipes, Mexican Feista sounds like my kind of food xx

    Reply
  9. Wow! You look amazing! You looked amazing in both photos, but you can really see the difference healthy easting makes in your “after” photo. Well done with sticking with it… I often find I start my healthy eating stages with really good intentions, but when 5pm rolls round, and I’m exchausted, it all goes out of the window. You’ve inspired me! x

    Reply
    • Thank you Fatima it was a tough journey but I am really proud of what a difference it has made to my body and how I feel. I find after 7pm really tough too I think that everyone struggles at that time. I think the answer is don’t diet just change a few meals here and there slowly over time and it becomes second nature.

      Reply
  10. 1. You look fantabulously amazing.

    2. I should try something like this. I find dieting futile and depressing and I don’t care about snacking often or portion sizes or any of that.. But I would love to eat less junk food and snack on sophisticated grown up things like dark chocolate and nice cheese. Right now it’s mostly goldfish crackers and candy bars.. haha. Anyway, great work! Very inspiring.

    Reply
    • Oh yes once I started on dark chocolate I don’t like milk chocolate anymore and I can’t believe I am actually saying that hahaha Not sure if it’s grown up food or just an excuse to eat something new on the junk food scale. lol I used to love goldfish crackers… I am a huge cracker fan it’s tough saying no to them at the moment.

      Reply
  11. You are hectic pretty! And i can’t believe how well you did after 30 days, that’s like most people’s dream bod! Love the recipes, I need some inspiration after Christmas excess!

    Reply

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