You know what you weigh now, but what if you could predict whether you will gain weight in the future? You don't need a crystal ball. You just need to take this quiz created by Self magazine and Paula Quatromoni, of Boston University's Sargent College Nutrition Program. Get ready to analyze your eating habits and whether they'll cause you to pack on the pounds.
1. My food philosophy is ...
a. I eat for health and for energy.
b. Everything in moderation. Healthy? Try to be. Deprive myself? Not on your life.
c. I'm always kind of on a diet, but I regularly splurge.
d. Butter makes everything better.
e. Chocolate, rich desserts, salty snacks and sodas: Aren't those the four basic food groups?
2. I start my day with a shower and ...
a. Whole-grain cereal or toast with skim milk and fruit.
b. A small muffin (half a softball-size) and coffee.
c. Coffee, maybe a banana.
d. A bagel with cream cheese or a Sausage McMuffin with egg, plus coffee with cream.
e. A Danish, doughnut or cinnamon roll. Hey, a girl needs some reason to get out of bed!
3. At a café for lunch, I order ...
a. Grilled chicken salad, heavy on the veggies, no cheese or croutons, dressing on the side. OK, I admit it: I'm high-maintenance.
b. The special sounds great. I love to try new foods whenever I have the chance.
c. A chicken- or tuna-salad sandwich.
d. Quiche or a burger.
e. Anything that comes with fries and, of course, dessert.
4. It's 3 p.m. and I urgently need a snack. I'll have ...
a. Raw veggies, some fresh fruit or dried apricots.
b. Pretzels, nuts or a piece of dark chocolate.
c. A glass of water or seltzer to fill me up and sugarless gum to keep my mouth busy.
d. A handful of cookies or a bag of chips.
e. A candy bar and a cola or some other quick sugar hit from the vending machine.
5. If I order pizza, it's ...
a. Piled with veggies, light on the cheese.
b. Cheese and other topping, whatever sounds good.
c. Fresh mozzarella with basil, thin crust -- and extra napkins (I blot the grease).
d. Thick-crust or deep-dish, and lots of cheese, please.
e. Meaty. Pile on the pepperoni; show me the sausage!
6. Happy hour! What will it be?
a. A wine spritzer or club soda.
b. A glass or two of wine.
c. A light beer. If everyone is having mixed drinks, I'll have a vodka tonic.
d. A mudslide, sombrero or white Russian.
e. A frozen daiquiri or piña colada.
7. For dinner, I make ...
a. Salmon on greens with brown rice and some olive oil dressing.
b. Reservations for a leisurely dinner (with wine).
c. A pasta dish or roasted chicken.
d. A pork chop and mashed potatoes with butter and gravy.
e. A call for takeout.
8. To me, dessert is ...
a. Fruit, a skim-milk cappuccino and maybe a biscotto.
b. Tiramisu or something very special, shared with a friend.
c. One bite of key lime pie. That is, when I don't eat the entire slice, or two. If I'm stressed, I'm better off skipping dessert.
d. Mandatory. If I'm full, I can always make room!
e. Sometimes all I eat for dinner.
Forecast Your Fat Odds
MOSTLY A's -- Thumbs up! You're a heart-healthy eater, with a 24 percent chance of becoming overweight. Habits to keep: With a produce-heavy diet that includes low-fat dairy, you probably cover most of your vitamin and mineral needs. Your ability to say "no thanks" to a waiter wielding crème brûlée helps you maintain a low-fat intake. Stay slim steps: Lower your risk for weight gain by hitting the gym. Many of these nutrient-conscious eaters don't get enough exercise, Quatromoni says.
MOSTLY B's -- You're a moderate eater and have only a 22 percent chance of donning plus-size pants. Habits to keep: You balance indulgence and common sense. Adults on a moderate-fat diet lost significantly more weight than adults on a lower-fat diet, a study at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston shows. Stay slim steps: Drizzle, don't dollop sauces; opt for part-skim or goat cheeses.
MOSTLY C's -- You're a light eater, between splurges. This diet can slow down your metabolism. Your risk for gain is 30 percent. Habits to keep: Continue being both fat and calorie aware. Stay slim steps: Don't think of food as good or bad, says John P. Foreyt, director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "Seeing things in black and white sets you up to fall off the deep end when the structure of a diet breaks down," he says.
MOSTLY D's -- You're a high-fat eater. Your 28 percent risk of becoming overweight isn't far from the other eaters, but your high saturated fat intake is bad news for your heart. Habits to keep: Your calories are somewhat under control. Stay slim steps: Replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats. Swap your creamy salad dressing for a bit of olive oil.
MOSTLY E's -- You're an empty calorie eater. Brace yourself: Your chance of getting fat is a stunning 41 percent. Habits to keep: Acting on informative articles such as this one shows you're committed to changing your eating patterns. Stay slim steps: Replace simple sugars and carbs with complex ones such as whole- grain bread. Remember, "simple sugars like candy and soda are actually eating triggers," Quatromoni says. "They cause a surge and drop in blood sugar, which leaves you reaching for more."
You also need to slash fat, so follow the advice for high-fat eaters. Also, make sure some of your sweets have nutrients. Try dried fruit such as mangoes and raisins, or spoon out a fruity sorbet.
MIX OF A's, B's, C's, D's and E's: Focus on the healthy habits listed here you already have. You're on the right track!