Take our quiz for simple ways to ditch those final few pounds to hit your ideal weight, says Woman’s Own diet guru Angela Dowden
A) You opt for the super food salad with sunflower seeds, beetroot and goat’s cheese
B) You pick a ‘light bite or ‘fewer than 500 calories’ option
C) You choose the restaurant on impulse and then struggle to find anything slimline
D) You plan something healthy by looking online but succumb to a plate of chips because you haven’t been ‘bad’ for ages
2. Pick out your drinking style from the options below
A) A glass of red most nights with food
B) You usually go for anything with a diet mixer
C) You drink more than you should to unwind after a hard day
D) You’ve been known to go a bit overboard at weekends
3. What sort of diet are you most likely to try out?
A) Nothing prescriptive – you prefer to eat healthily
B) A food diary, with a strict calorie counting approach
C) Diet shakes, healthy snack bars or ready meals
D) A list of foods you can and can’t eat
4. Your typical breakfast usually consists of:
A) Home-made smoothie, bowl of nutty muesli or wholesome porridge
B) 40g bowl of bran flakes with skimmed milk
C) Cereal bar or something grabbed on-the-go
D) Black coffee and an apple
5. How would you describe your food weakness?
A) Anything that’s a bit gourmet or completely organic
B) Crisps, biscuits and, of course, chocolate
C) Fast food – usually when you’re absolutely ravenous
D) Anything naughty. You find it hard to stop once you get started
6. What do you usually choose to snack on?
A) Healthy nibbles – nuts, or houmous and pitta bread
B) Lower-fat crisps, cereal bars and diet drinks
C) You tend to go for fresh fruit if it’s available, but will eat whatever is to hand if it not
D) You try not to snack at all – you think it’s a bad habit
MOSTLY As: Food fanatic
You concentrate on eating fresh, ‘healthy’ food, but sometimes forget its waistline impact.
• Don’t choose food solely on the basis of it being organic, wholegrain, or having an ‘eat well’ symbol on the pack. It’s really important to look at calories too.
• Most women will start to put on weight if they have many more than 2000 calories a day but start to lose it at 1500 calories a day or fewer.
• Portion control the healthy foods that are rarely diet friendly, e.g., houmous, rustic breads and wholegrain cereal bars. Bear in mind that 85 per cent cocoa chocolate has 20 per cent more calories than bog-standard milk.
MOSTLY Bs: Keen calorie-counter
You’re savvy on how many calories are in your favourite foods, but you fall off the wagon when you can’t curb your hunger.
• Up the stomach-filling factor with more low energy density foods that contain less than 150 calories per 100g, like baked beans, lean ham, low-fat yogurt and baked potatoes.
• When you do include high-cal foods, make then count nutritionally – nuts and oily fish are very good for you and won’t ruin your diet in modest quantities.
• Bump up the protein – it triggers a sense off fullness, and up to a quarter of protein’s calories are burnt off during digestion. Eat some chicken, lean meat, fish, prawns, eggs, Quorn, pulses, milk or tofu at each meal.
MOSTLY Cs: Grab and go
You end up eating the wrong foods because you’re often in a dash and find nothing healthy to hand.
• Do an internet grocery shop at the weekend when you’ve got a bit more time and can plan a week’s worth of food.
• Buy healthy convenience options, like ready chopped stir-fry veg, tomato pasta sauces, tins of fish and microwave rice.
• Take ten minutes to make your own packed lunch and pop healthy snacks in your bag to avoid the lure of the vending machine.
• Curb stress-related drinking by looking for lower alcohol (no more than 12%) wines, and making spritzer drinks with sparkling water.
MOSTLY Ds: Good girl gone bad
You’re so hung up on the need to be “good” that from time to time you go off the rails in a big way.
• Don’t demonise foods like chocolate or crisps as you’ll want them more, leading to a binge. Plan small treats into your diet so you can enjoy them guilt-free.
• Get back in tune with your body by rating your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10. Try to stay between 3 and 8.
• Ban ‘diet’ foods – learning to eat modest portions of proper tasty food is much better.
• Stop beating yourself up – you should forgive diet slip-ups and move on.