Quiz How healthy are you really?
To find out, take these nine interactive tests. They’ll tell you things no scale or blood pressure cuff could!
Your body is an amazing, complex puzzle, but the information you get from a pinchy blood pressure cuff or a lab test is only an outline. “Especially when you’re young, significant problems may not show up on those tests yet,” explains Dr Michael Roizen, a wellness officer and coauthor of This Is Your Do-over (Simon & Schuster, R286). “By the time they do, it’ll be harder to fix the damage.”
To help you get a fuller look at your health, we asked top health experts to compile these nine simple but revealing tests. No peeing in a cup or forking over a hefty sum required!
Eating habits OK, let’s get started. How many times in the past week did you eat out for breakfast, lunch or supper? 0-5 You’re on the right track
“When you make your own meals, you’re way more in control of the kilojoules, ingredients (like added fat, salt and sugar) and portion size,” says nutritionist Rachel Beller. And by the way, lunches out have the most kilojoules for women: if you must buy your midday meal, be sure to make it heavy on vegetables a lean protein.
6-1nd3 You’re setting yourself up to gain weight
Women who eat out this often average 1 205 more kilojoules a day, and have significantly poorer diets than those who dine out less frequently, according to one study. On days when your diary is too frantic to pull together a homecooked meal, “just make better graband-go choices,” says Rachel. “You can buy a pre-made salad, soup, sushi or a bag of vegetables and an already-done rotisserie chicken as quickly as you can get a drive-through meal,” she explains.
14+ It’s time to re-evaluate your eating habits
You’re taking in a ton of extra kilojoules and fat, and missing essential vitamins and minerals. One study found that people who mostly eat at restaurants consume less fruit, wholegrains and dark green and orange vegetables. Rachel suggests picking just one meal, like breakfast, to scale back on. “A lot of my clients cook enough oats for three days, and then warm up a bowl each morning,” she says. “It’s so simple.”
How many sugarsweetened beverages (like fizzy drinks, juice or flavoured coffee) do you typically drink each day?
ZERO You rock! Stay the course
“Sugary drinks shouldn’t be in your diet,” says Rachel. “Period.” One is fine, but not fantastic. Women who increase their intake of these drinks by one 350ml serving a day gain, on average, an extra 0.5kg every four years, one study discovered. “Sugar-sweetened beverages are empty kilojoules, and immediately make insulin levels go skyhigh, which can lead to energy crashes and food cravings,” explains Rachel. The American Heart Association recommends having no more than one of these drinks each week.
2+ You’re in risky territory
Multiple studies show that women who regularly drink sugary beverages are about 30% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who rarely do. “Scale back gradually,” advises Rachel. “If you’re craving something sweet while you taper, add a few drops of lemon or lime juice to sparkling water.”