Fed up with all the clashing weight loss advice? Our diet guru Angela Dowden reveals what is and isn’t true..

MYTH: If you’ve yo-yo dieted, you’ll never be slim

Not true! Even if you’ve lost and regained weight countless times, it’s not a fat life sentence. Crash dieting does lower your metabolic rate, but the effect is only temporary and your metabolism will recover.

Yo-yo dieting isn’t good for other reasons though – it’s been linked with both poor immunity and high levels of inflammation, which in the long term could increase your risk of heart disease and cancer. The only way to break the weight loss / gain cycle is to stick to eating healthily month after month. Your Woman’s Own Diets food diary is designed to help you do this by setting you a realistc calorie target that will achieve a steady and sustainable weight loss of up to 2lbs a week.

MYTH: You have to eat boring low-fat food on a diet

Absolutely not! As long as calories are controlled, people tend to lose weight better on a Mediterranean-style diet with moderate fat. Higher fat is tastier and can be healthy as long as you opt for mostly unsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, oily fish, salad dressings and avocados. As a guideline, women who are losing weight shouldn’t eat below 25-30g of fat a day.

MYTH: You can’t fight your fat genes

It’s certainly true that genetics play a part in determining your weight, but it’s likely that the food and exercise habits you have inherited from your parents will affect it more. Blaming your fat genes can often be the excuse you hide behind to stop you taking responsibility for what you do actually eat every day, and making the changes that will lead to a healthier life.