There’s a good chance if you think so much that you dwell on everything, your diet will be ineffective. So says Australia’s leading science body.
We’re always keen to hear about ourselves so that we can better our activities, and the lead Australian science body, the CSIRO, has been studying our patterns for a long time.
Its latest research reveals something rather startling, as its behavioural scientists have found that maintaining a healthy diet likely comes down to the sort of person you are and not the directions you intend to follow.
Surveying more than 28,000 Aussie adults, the organisation determined that there were five “Diet Types” in people motivated to actually go on a diet, though success wasn’t always achieve.
Of the five, the biggest group was something only Rodin saw coming: The Thinker.
With 41 percent of the surveyed, The Thinker is someone who thinks too much about how dieting will occur, overthinking the issue and worrying about the prospect of failure which leads to stress, concern, and can send the diet off in a completely other direction.
“If you have struggled to maintain your diet after a few weeks, your personal diet type will shed light on what behaviours and habits are creating a barrier for you,” said Dr. Sinead Golley, Behavioural Scientist with the CSIRO.
“Knowing your personal Diet Type helps you maintain a healthy eating plan because you are more aware and equipped to manage moments of weakness.”
The four remaining diet personality types discovered by the CSIRO included:
The Freewheeler: Someone who makes spontaneous food choices, and as such finds meal planning difficult (4%).
The Socialiser: Because of an active social life, this person doesn’t tend to abide by strict food restrictions and remains more flexible (15%).
The Foodie: We all know someone like this, and they love food to the point where restriction of food is deemed either impossible or pointless (15%).
The Craver: That person who always has a craving for delicious food, sometimes leading to overeating (25%).
In the CSIRO’s study, larger people tended to score quite highly with “The Craver”, while people of a normal weight tended to identify more as “The Foodie”. Regardless of the diet type, the organisation discovered that nine out of ten Australians adults have attempted to lose weight in their lifetime, with one fifth of the population trying a diet more than 25 times in their life.
“Successful weight loss requires a different mindset, focused on long-term total wellbeing,” said Dr Golley.
“If you identify as a Thinker, you can improve your eating habits by reflecting more on positive changes and rewarding progressive achievements towards your goal.”
To help out with this, the CSIRO has developed an online test to discover what sort of diet type you fall into, a test we suspect isn’t just designed to help you, but feed into more research from the CSIRO as it strives to find better dietary balances for the population.
Granted, it’s connected with a paid diet the CSIRO is offering, but the test is free, and as of the time this article was published, more than 55,000 people have taken the assessment.
“The large number of participants using the Diet Type assessment demonstrates Australians are highly motivated to understand their personal diet type and what drives their eating habits,” said Professor Manny Noaked, Research Director at the CSIRO and co-author of the Total Wellbeing Diet.
About the only thing the CSIRO’s survey won’t classify you as is the sort of individual that pushes so hard that you can achieve a diet, forgoing all the good food and keeping to a specific food plan for a set amount of time while exercising all throughout it.
The CSIRO hasn’t said what diet type these people fall under — “The Insane” maybe? Or perhaps just “The Determined” — but even they could use the survey to discover what sort of dietary type they naturally gravitate towards, before their goals determine the strength of their resolve.