Health and food and diets are all topics you might be asked about in part one of the IELTS Speaking test. And your examiner might ask you, “Do you have a healthy diet?”
Let’s look at what you can say for a band-seven score, including 10 example answers (go straight to the answers here).
First, What Does ‘Diet’ Mean?
The word ‘diet’ has two meanings:
Meaning one: The kind of food you usually eat (I have a healthy diet / he has an unhealthy diet / she lives on a diet of noodles and beef / my diet is mostly seafood)
Meaning two: A period of time when you eat less food, or you eat special food, to lose weight or become healthier somehow (I’m on a diet this week / I’m on the Paleo diet, so I can’t eat bread / I hate diets, they’re so difficult and boring to stick to)
But if someone asks you, ‘Is your diet healthy?’ they are talking about meaning number one (the kind of food you usually eat). They’re asking if you usually eat healthy food or not.
What You Can Say
First of all, say if your diet is healthy, unhealthy, or somewhat healthy.
Then try to add one or two more sentences. You can talk about:
- Why your diet is healthy, or unhealthy
- How long you’ve been eating that way
- If your diet used to be different
- If you plan to change your diet in future
- What you think people should eat to be healthy
- How you feel about your diet
- Your favorite food, and why you like it
- How often you cook or eat out
- If you prefer cooking or eating out
- Anything else that comes to mind
Remember, you can use an adverb here ‘healthily’ if you like (Yes, I eat healthily / No, I’ve always eaten quite unhealthily).
Use the Three-Step YES Method
Some students don’t know how much to say in part one.
You should keep your answers quite short; about 10 or 20 seconds is fine.
The Yes Method can help you. It has three simple steps. Just say:
- Your answer (if your diet is healthy or not)
- Explain your answer, or add more details (say why it’s healthy or unhealthy)
- Stop talking (wait patiently for the next question)
Focus on Fluency, Not Vocabulary
The important thing in part one is just to speak fluently, without hesitation.
If you’re trying to think of amazing vocabulary to use, then you’ll probably hesitate, slow down, and get stressed out.
So keep your English simple!
Don’t worry, you can show off your vocabulary and grammar in part two when you have more time to prepare.
Let’s take a look at 10 good answers to this question about diets.
‘Yes, I Do’ Answers
1. Yes, I would say my diet is very healthy. I always try to eat lots of vegetables, with lean meats like beef and chicken. And I rarely eat sugar.
2. Yes, I do. I cook for myself whenever I can because I think restaurant meals are quite unhealthy. They use too much sugar and salt.
3. Yes, I suppose these days my diet is quite healthy. I try to avoid unhealthy carbs like rice and bread and pasta. I eat a lot of fruit and drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.
4. Yes, I’m an athlete so my health is very important to me. I always watch what I eat, and I never touch any food that has processed sugar in it.
5. I never used to be a healthy eater, but recently I’ve started eating very healthily indeed. It’s because I had a baby last year and I decided I want to have really healthy habits now, to set a good example for my child.
‘No, I Don’t’ Answers
6. To be honest, I don’t have a very healthy diet. I eat fast food all the time, but I don’t care because it’s so delicious. I think healthy food doesn’t taste good.
7. No, I’m afraid the food I usually eat is not very healthy at all. I’m always rushing around at work and I don’t have time to cook for myself, so I eat out a lot, which I know isn’t very healthy.
8. I used to be a very healthy eater, but since I graduated from college I’ve been eating mostly very unhealthy food. I should change my diet back again.
‘Kind Of’ Answers
9. Yes, I think my diet is somewhat healthy. I eat fruit and vegetables every day. But unfortunately, I have a sweet tooth, so I eat candy every day as well.
10. I’m not really sure if I’m a healthy eater or not. I eat the same as all my friends, and we’re all quite young and fit and healthy, so I guess my diet is healthy enough.
Your Turn to Try
Now give this question a go yourself!
Set up a recorder so you can listen to your answer later. Ask yourself out loud, “Do you have a healthy diet?”
When you answer, just say whatever comes into your head. Don’t think about it too much.
Try to speak as quickly and fluently as you can, using simple English. Remember the YES Method.
When you’re done, listen to what you said, and think of how to improve it.
Then do it again!
Keep repeating this process until you’re ready for this part-one question in your IELTS Speaking test.