What’s Your Secret Eating Sin?

Cartoon of woman surrounded by sweet foods

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, founder of Terri-Ann’s Diet Plans, reveals our most common bad eating habits and how to beat them once and for all. 


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 in-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 fizzy pop.

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.

Cartoon of a woman with biscuits and crisps



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. A balanced diet is the best kind of diet.

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. The more diverse and varied your food types, the better for your diet – so try not to overeat certain food types. Balanced is best. 

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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 oh so 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 do 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.

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Guilty as charged: You have the discipline of a saint throughout the week, but when the clock strikes five on a Friday you lose all control. From dirty kebabs to bottomless brunches, Friday night takeaways and sugary sweets – 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 – making it more impactful on your weight than you may think.

How to beat the bad habit: Whilst we all have to indulge from time to time, letting loose every weekend doesn’t fit into a healthy lifestyle. 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.

Cartoon woman with glasses surrounded by doughnuts, popcorn and snacks



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 fizzy pop.

What to look out for: Sugar Shovellers will often skip meals such as breakfast in favour of a sugary cup of tea, full fat pop or naughty sweets. 

How to beat the bad habit: Sugary foods convert to fat, and can provide you with a temporary sugar high, which quickly leads to a sugar low. 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.

Cartoon of a woman in glasses with ice cream cone, crisps and doughnuts floating in air



Guilty as charged: Procrastination should be your middle name! While you have good intentions, the temptation to push the lifestyle change to tomorrow is too much, leading to repeat over indulgences.  

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, leading to a spiralling out of control when it comes to eating high fat and sugary foods. 

How to beat the bad habit: Making small changes gradually is often the best way to remain disciplined. If you feel like you are being denied tasty foods the temptation to reach for sugary and high fat snacks will become too much. Healthy food doesn’t have to mean food that tastes bad – change your mindset and healthy habits will follow.

Cartoon woman with a thought cloud full of food

Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!