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Dieting by personality type

Jan 30, 10:25 AM

By Deborah Bella, PhD
If you’ve ever become frustrated with your efforts to lose weight and keep it off, there’s a good chance that some lifestyle patterns are getting in your way. If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I know what to do, but just can’t seem to make it happen,” then recognizing and overcoming your troublesome patterns will create a lifestyle that’s conducive for a healthy weight.

Here are some typical patterns that may limit successful weight loss from the Personality Type Diet by Robert Kuschner, M.D.

Are you a Nighttime Nibbler?
Nighttime Nibblers tend to eat little during the day and typically eat most of their daily calories in the evening. This pattern can set people up for overeating in the evening and consuming even more calories than if they had eaten throughout the day. In addition, Nighttime Nibblers may not be hungry when they wake up, eat less during the day, and have a ravenous appetite again in the evening.

How can Nighttime Nibblers succeed at weight loss?
Distribute calories evenly throughout the day to decrease hunger in the evening.
Remove unhealthy snacks from home. The chance of consuming high calorie snacks is greater if they are available.
Reset your nighttime routine by changing the way you use your time in the evening. Unhealthy eating is often paired with certain activities, such as watching TV. Changing your evening routine can help you change your eating habits.

Are you an Uneasy Exerciser?
Uneasy exercisers are not comfortable exercising around others, which keeps them from going to a gym or pool. They may be embarrassed about their body size and how out of shape they are. They are concerned that people will stare at them and make judgements about their weight or fitness level.

How can an Uneasy Exerciser succeed at weight loss?
No spandex required! Wear loose fitting clothing that feels comfortable to you.
Sneak in exercise. Take a walk. Take the stairs. Wash your car.
Work out at home with an exercise DVD or home aerobic/strength-training equipment.

Are you a Fast Pacer?
Fast Pacers are known for their multitasking and juggling skills. Their pace is so fast that they don’t have time to make a plan for weight loss or if they do have a plan, they don’t have the time to follow through with it. A hectic schedule leaves a person frazzled and they often seek energy boosts through food and beverages. Inadequate sleep has also been associated with weight gain and obesity.

How can a Fast Pacer succeed at weight loss?
Stay aware in the present. Mindfulness is hard to accomplish in our world of “time-saving” technology. If your pace is so fast and your habits are unconscious, awareness will help you make the needed changes.
Slow down! Take stock of your life choices. What activities/situations trigger unhealthy eating or interfere with exercise? Which ones encourage you to make healthier choices?
Get a good night of sleep. People make better lifestyle choices when they are well rested.

Keys to Successful Weight Loss
Interested in learning more about weight loss? The Corvallis Clinic Nutrition Services Department is gathering feedback about upcoming weight loss education opportunities. Take our short online survey to let us know what type of class works best for you or call 541-754-1370.

Kushner, Robert and Nancy Kushner. Dr. Kushner’s Personality Type Diet. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2003.


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