Whether you’re a Weekend Wolfer or a Sugar Shoveller, we’re all guilty of a secret eating sin from time to time. Diet guru Terri-Ann Nunns reveals our most common bad eating habits, and how we can beat them once and for all.
THE SECRET SNACKER
Guilty as charged: A biscuit here, a packet of crisps there, you’re a Secret Snacker if you just can’t resist reaching for sugary and high-fat snacks between meals.
What to look out for: A common trait of a typical Secret Snacker is to eat super healthy meals and then undo the good work by caving to temptation and indulging in sweets, crisps and/or fizzy drinks.
How to beat the bad habit: Swap your sinful snacks for tasty but healthy bites to tide you over until your next meal. Graze on items such as nuts and fruit, switch fizzy drinks for diluted juice and crisps for low-fat alternatives such as baked lentil crisps.
THE PORTION PIGGY
Guilty as charged: You may avoid snacking and try to eat a fairly balanced diet, but when it comes to portion control you like to load up on your favourite foods.
What to look out for: Even the healthiest foods need to be enjoyed in moderation, so try to ensure you don’t overindulge on one food type just because you think it’s healthy.
How to beat the bad habit: Consider portion sizes and eating little and often to ensure you are controlling the amount of food you are consuming in a healthy and measured way.
Guilty as charged: Call it having supper, enjoying a nightcap or indulging in a midnight feast – regardless of the name, a Nightcap Nibbler just can’t say no when it comes to grabbing a naughty snack before bed.
What to look out for: You’ve eaten well all day and you fancy something naughty but nice just before bed. It’s guilt-free because it’s out of hours right? Wrong!
How to beat the bad habit: If you really need a nice treat before bed, opt for something low calorie, but tasty. Think a low-fat hot chocolate drink, warm skimmed milk with honey, or a Weetabix with milk and berries.
Guilty as charged: You have the discipline of a saint throughout the week, but lose all control when school’s out. From dirty kebabs to bottomless brunches, it’s the weekend and you’re ready to indulge!
What to look out for: Weekend Wolfers are guilty of unravelling all their hard work throughout the week with a blow out over the weekend. The problem is, that accounts for over a third of your weekly food intake…
How to beat the bad habit: Consider delicious but healthy alternatives to takeaways and eating out. Whether opting for a naked burger, or swapping your French fries to sweet potato wedges, when it comes to maintaining and losing weight, every little helps.
Guilty as charged: You avoid full fat at all costs, but when it comes to sugar, you can’t resist going big! A Sugar Shoveller constantly looks for their next sugar kick, be it sweets or fizz.
What to look out for: Sugar Shovellers will often skip meals such as breakfast in favour of a sugary cup of tea, full-fat drinks or naughty sweets.
How to beat the bad habit: Swap your synthetic sugar indulgencies for healthy alternatives such as snacking on fruit or yoghurt with a natural sugar such as honey or cinnamon. By eating smaller amounts of natural sugars more often, your blood sugar levels will begin to regulate themselves and you won’t get massive cravings for sugar once your body crashes.
MAYBE ON MONDAY
Guilty as charged: While you have good intentions, the temptation to push the lifestyle change to tomorrow is too much, leading to repeat overindulgences.
What to look out for: A common trait of a classic Maybe On Monday is to make bad food choices and justify them with a pledge to eat healthy the following day. The problem is, tomorrow rarely arrives!
How to beat the bad habit: Making small changes gradually is often the best way to remain disciplined. Healthy food doesn’t have to mean food that tastes bad – change your mindset and healthy habits will follow.