YOUR personality is to blame for weight piling on but it is also the key to keeping the kilos at bay.
Inability to control cravings, suffering from unrealistic expectations and impulsive eating are among the characteristics of the five major diet personalities identified by scientists from the CSIRO research group.
The eating habits of over 90,000 Australians were analysed with the report co-authored by CSIRO behavioural scientist Dr. Sinead Golley, who said people wanting to diet successfully must understand their personality and the “triggers” derailing their efforts.
“If you’re frustrated by unsuccessful weight loss attempts, having a better understanding of your personal triggers and diet patterns can be the crucial piece of the puzzle,” she said.
“The Thinker” is the most common diet type of Australians, accounting for 37 per cent of the population and is especially popular among women.
These eaters tend to over-analyze their progress and have unrealistic expectations leading them to mood swings, stress and feeling like failures which derail their diets.
One in four people is a “Craver”, who finds it hard to resist temptation and is predisposed to overeating.
More than half of all Cravers are obese.
“One in five Cravers have tried to lose weight more than 25 times and they say that chocolate and confectionery are the biggest problem foods to resist,” Dr Golley said. “On the other hand … the ‘Thinkers’ ... tend to have high expectations and tend to be perfectionists, giving up when things get challenging.”
About 17 per cent of people are “The Socialiser” with food and alcohol playing a big role in their active social life so they need the flexibility to maintain a healthy diet.
Those who identify as “The Foodie” are most likely to be a healthy weight but they only make up 16 per cent of the population.
They are passionate about food and have a diet high in vegetables while alcohol makes up a third of the junk food they eat.
The “Freewheeler” accounts for just 4 per cent of people. They are spontaneous and impulsive eaters with the poorest quality diet. This group is mostly men who avoid planning meals and it takes a serious toll on their waistline with over half obese.
Dr. Golley said they also found personality patterns across generations with Baby Boomers and those aged over 71 more likely to be Socialisers and Foodies.
“(This suggests) lifestyle and social connections influence a person’s eating patterns at different stages of life — while millennials and Gen X were more likely to be Cravers, Thinkers and Freewheelers,” she said.
Sarah Oijvall, 35, identifies as a “foodie” while pal Kara Otter, 28, said she was a vegetarian “craver”. “I reckon I’d be closest to the foodie although I hate that term,” Ms. Oijvall said. “I love the challenge of cooking and always try and eat healthily.”http://www.dailytelegraph.com
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