Diets are not a one-size-fits-all model. An approach that may work for one person is certainly not guaranteed to work for another, for a host of different reasons including genetics, lifestyle choices and even personality or habitual eating behaviors that undermine our daily food decisions.
Recent research from CSIRO, the Types of Diet Study, examined the eating behaviors of more than 245,000 study participants. From this data set, I identified a number of “diet types” that could then be used to describe the best diet for individuals depending on their underlying behavioral tendencies and psychological strengths and weaknesses.
It is believed that taking these variables into account when starting a new lifestyle program will be a predictor of long-term success.
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Do any of the more common types identified sound familiar to you? And if so, how can you use this knowledge to ensure that the diet you choose is appropriate for your personality type?
are you thinking
Nearly 15 percent of those studied are intellectuals, who are motivated, analytical and love to do things right. They don’t cope well when their diet is off track or they feel like they’re doing the wrong thing. Thinkers like to be accountable to someone but ultimately need support, not criticism, to keep motivated and on track.
Thinkers need to understand what they eat and why and they need to be able to question their food choices and programs to understand exactly why they are getting the results they are looking for.
Best Diet Approach: See a dietitian for a personalized plan and support. Contrary to popular belief, nutritionists are far from the diet police you might imagine. Instead, the dietitian will develop an individualized plan for you and act as the main support person for any weight loss journey.
Are you a fighter?
The next most common type of diet identified, fighters are prone to food temptations, are more likely to be women and tend to repeat the same diet cycle over and over.
Fighters used to try the latest and greatest diet programs, only to find it very difficult to stick to them, before feeling like a failure and never making real progress.
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Best Diet Approach: Try something new. If restrictive diets don’t work for you, the worst thing you can do is try them over and over again. Instead, more new approaches to weight loss such as going online for ongoing support; Ordering your food online or starting a new program with a friend might be the change you need to get results within a specific period of time instead of jumping into different programs.
Are you a craver?
Of all the diets, food cravings had the highest body mass index, and were prone to food cravings and overeating when delicacies were readily available. Perhaps genetic, hormonal, or simply the result of programmed eating behavior over time, if food cravings dictate your life and you’ve always had a weight program in place, it’s time to visit your GP or endocrinologist to see if insulin resistance might be the trigger for your craving. To overeat.
Best Diet Approach: Get your hormones checked with a medical professional. Excessive, unexplained hunger refers to hormonal or other physiological variables that drive an obsession with food. If you have always struggled with your weight issues, there are new and innovative medicines available that may support you on your weight loss journey.
are you happy?
People who are happy are easily influenced by those around them, and need support to help guide them through their weight loss journey. Happy people are more likely to respond well to programs and approaches that are group-based or also followed by those around them.
Best Diet Approach: Online programs such as WW (Weight Watchers) for ongoing advice and support. Alternatively, your local fitness center may also provide a supportive environment and a range of healthy lifestyle programs that you can enroll in as part of your health and fitness journey.
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Are you an eater?
If you spend a lot of your free time reading, watching, preparing, and thinking about delicious foods to eat and prepare, you are probably a foodie. Lovers of variety, and good food, it’s safe to say that low-calorie, restrictive diets that replace meals with shakes and soups won’t work for foodies.
Foodies need a program in which they can enjoy delicious food and eat out, while learning to reduce the impact of sometimes high calorie intakes.
Best Diet Approach: Count the Mediterranean or calories. It might seem counterintuitive for foodies to count calories, but as a tool, calorie counting can help foodies make informed decisions about what and when to eat them. Instead, a A Mediterranean diet that focuses on natural, whole, unprocessed foods It is an over-the-top option, although it is unlikely to achieve weight loss over time.
Are you social?
If you can’t remember the last time you enjoyed a home-cooked meal, and the thought of eating lunch or dinner alone is making you feel sad, you’re probably a social person and need practical strategies about ways you can balance the social aspects of eating out with your nutritional goals. Social people need to be able to eat out and include alcohol in their life plan if they have any chance of long-term success.
Best Diet Approach: Intermittent fasting. One of the best things about intermittent fasting is both 5:2 and 16:8 because it allows followers to work their diet on their schedule. For example, fast until later in the day if you plan to eat out at night, or reduce your calorie days with low-calorie days. The key to success is choosing your own fasting regime and sticking to it rather than swinging between different fasting options.
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author Suzy Borrell He is a leading Australian Dietitian and Dietitian, and founder of formalco-hosted feeding sofa audio notation and a prominent media speaker, with regular appearances in both print and television media commenting on all areas of diet, weight loss, and nutrition.
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