Are you a yo-yo dieter? Answer yes or no to the following questions and make a note of your answers.
Try to be 100% honest with yourself and at the end of the quiz add up your answers and see if you are a yo-yo dieter.
1. Would you describe yourself as being overweight for more than 2 years?
2. Would you say your dietary habits vary dramatically in terms of what and how much you eat on a month-to-month basis?
3. Do you feel negative about your body size/shape?
4. Do you sometimes feel that you lack energy to exercise?
5. Have you tried to lose weight more than 3 times in the last 6 months?
6. Do you own more than three books with the word 'diet' in the title?
7. Do you find that you are prone to binging on a food at least once a week?
8. Has your weight fluctuated by more than 1 stone in the last 6 months (other than for reasons such as pregnancy)?
9. Do you count calories?
10. Do you regularly feel guilty after eating chocolate, dessert or a really big meal?
If you answered yes five times or less:
You are likely to have a reasonably sensible approach to weight control. Well done and keep up the balanced approach!
If you answered yes more than six times:
You sound like you are a yo-yo dieter. To avoid putting your long-term health at risk, you need to avoid these swings of weight loss and weight gain by embarking on a sensible approach. Make sure you exercise regularly to really maximise your dieting efforts.
Three tips to avoid yo-yo dieting
1. Don't crash diet
Diets that are very low in calories (under 1,200 calories a day) are too restrictive. You might manage to stick to it for a few days but when hunger strikes (and it will) you are likely to completely overcompensate and eat for England.....regaining any weight you'd lost and gaining a bit more besides.
2. Lose weight steadily
Aim for a weekly weight loss of 1 – 2lbs (0.46 – 0.92kg). It might not sound dramatic but it's a sustainable rate of loss. If you only want to lose the weight once and keep it off, this is the way to do it.
3. Change your mind set
Instead of seeing a 'diet' as something you 'go on' for a period of time then 'come off 'when you've lost the weight, think about a change of lifestyle.
If you continue to go straight back to the eating habits that caused the weight gain in the first place, you are destined for a life of yo-yo dieting.
But if you learn how to manage your calorie intake better, you'll be equipped with the knowledge to maintain a healthy weight for life.