What’s Your Weight Loss Personality?
Find out which of these five eating types fits your weight loss personality and get tips on how to stop overeating
What's your diet personality?
Do you snack when you're stressed, or is dining out your downfall? We all have our own barriers to healthy eating. "Everyone's different," says family physician Dr. Shahebina Walji of the Calgary Weight Management Centre. "That's why we can't have a cookie-cutter approach to weight control." Although a healthy diet is just one ingredient in effective weight management, learning to overcome these barriers can give you a super head start. Try these workarounds on for size!
1. The non-stop nibbler
You consistently sit down to a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner, but less wholesome is all the snacking in between. The good news: we should have snacks between meals, so let yourself off the hook. But do try planning well-balanced snacks the same way you plan your meals. Instead of munching high-fat junk from the office vending machine, bring fruits, vegetable sticks or a few nuts and multigrain crackers from home. Drink frequently from a water bottle at your desk so you won't feel as hungry-and put a cap on other beverages, which may contain extra sugar and calories.
2. The emotional eater
You're the gal who reaches for a little comfort food when you're lonely, bored, anxious or feeling unappreciated. Learn to identify your emotional triggers by writing down what you're feeling when you turn to eating. Then, find healthy alternatives to emotional snacking: Read a book, keep a journal or phone a friend. Better yet, put some distance between you and that cheesecake by going out for a walk. The bonus: you'll burn a few calories instead of putting them on!
3. The fast feeder
You're so overscheduled that you rarely sit for meals. You gobble whatever's handy, healthy or not, and you go. Not only are you too often reaching for processed or packaged foods, you eat so fast you probably aren't giving yourself time to feel full. "That can certainly sabotage weight control," says Dr. Walji. "This is where you have to put yourself in pen, in your schedule." Just as you schedule those work meetings and soccer nights, plan a time slot for preparing and freezing away a few healthy meals. "Change the quality of the foods that you're grabbing." If you're having a quick sandwich, for instance, choose whole-wheat bread and skip the mayo.
4. The wine-and-diner
Yet another client lunch? You find it hard to control calories because so many of your meals are in restaurants. Try eating a healthy snack before you go. Order a salad, clear soup or water to fill up on further while you're checking out the menu. You won't feel tempted to order so much, and maybe you'll be satisfied with just an appetizer or half-portion. Avoid the bread basket and watch your alcoholic drinks. If you have a choice of potato, rice or vegetables, go for the veggies. Choose a meat that's been grilled, not fried, and have your sauces on the side. And here's a trick for the lunch buffet: head for the salads first. Chances are, you'll end up filling your plate with fewer calories.
5. The sofa snacker
You eat well-balanced meals and healthy snacks throughout your active day, but by nightfall, you're bagged. All you want to do is relax in front of the tube... with a package of potato chips. One solution: Try stocking your kitchen with healthier treats, like plain air-popped popcorn or low-fat frozen yogurt. Make sure it's something you enjoy so you won't feel hard done by. And if you really have your heart set on those chocolate-chip cookies, do a trade-off by giving the after-dinner dessert a pass, and limit yourself to just a couple of cookies. "We don't have to deprive ourselves to have a healthy weight," notes Dr. Walji. "In most situations, we can have a little bit of everything, and still have weight control."
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