Eating fewer unhealthy snacks

This page can help you if you want to eat fewer unhealthy foods.

Your best chance of making a change is choosing something that's important to you. It helps to work on small, manageable goals to start with and to avoid trying to change too many things at once.

If you need help getting motivated to change, have a look at our page linked below on why making healthy changes to what you eat is a good idea. It might also be useful to think about whether making healthy changes could save you money, time or help protect the environment

Getting Motivated

Find out more about the benefits of making healthy changes to what you eat

Why should I eat a healthier diet?
The rest of the page has tips on how you can make real life changes, whether you need help to take action, or use prompts to keep making the change.

Taking action

  • Set a clear goal (what do you want to achieve?) and make specific plans about what change you’re going to make to your unhealthy snacking and when you will do it.
  • Think about what might make it difficult to eat fewer unhealthy snacks and work out things you could do that would help.
  • Record your progress. Write down the snacks you are eating, it’s one of the best ways to stay on track.

Robin wants to eat fewer unhealthy snacks

Robin eats a fairly healthy diet but snacks a lot, particularly in the evening while watching TV. They know that they should cut down and decide to try and eat fewer unhealthy snacks.

Following the 3 tips above, Robin could;

  • Set a goal to cut down on unhealthy snacks and make a plan that one or two days a week they will eat carrot or cucumber and dip while watching TV instead of crisps and dip
  • Think about how they know they will really want a packet of crisps in the evening after work, so plan not to buy any crisps until the weekend
  • Keep a note of whether they’ve had a healthy or unhealthy snack each evening, and only have crisps at the weekend if they’ve stuck to the plan Monday to Friday

Prompts to keep making the change

  • Keep healthy snacks somewhere close by so you can easily grab one. Put unhealthy snacks out of sight to make it easier to resist temptation (or don’t have any in the house to remove the temptation completely).
  • Leave yourself reminders (e.g. a sticky note on the snack cupboard to remind yourself that you are trying to cut down). Noticing them in the moment will remind you about your goals.
  • Try to eat healthy snacks regularly to build new habits. You might have to do it 20 or 30 times before it starts to feel ‘normal’.

Pat wants to eat fewer unhealthy snacks

Pat loves chocolate, and eats at least one chocolate biscuit (and usually more) every day. They want to cut back a bit to feel better.

Following the 3 tips above, Pat could;

  • Buy plain biscuits so that there’s a less sugary choice available, and only buy the occasional pack of chocolate biscuits.
  • Put a sticker on the chocolate biscuits to remind themselves that they’re only for now and again
  • Stick to a routine, having plain biscuits through the week and keeping the chocolate biscuits for the weekend.