Scientists identify six key 'diet personalities' - which one are you?

When it comes to dieting and weight loss, are you a Thinker, Battler or Craver?

Women weighing herself on scales
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do you ever find yourself in a rut with weight loss? No matter how many diets you try or how many new fat-burning workouts you sweat through, you still find the excess weight won’t budge. 

It might not be down to the regimes that you are trying, but more to do with your personality. 

Australian scientists have found that your personality type can dictate how successful you are at losing weight.  Whilst the study identified a total of 325 different ‘diet type’ personalities, six key profiles were highlighted - which over half of the study’s 245,000-strong sample fell into. Listed below are the six main diet types and the percentage of the study that they accounted for: 

  • The Thinker (14.1 per cent): driven and likes to work towards goals. Can be sensitive toward criticism and this can result in abandoning dieting.
  • The Battler (12.8 per cent): overall prone to stress and often faced with food temptations. They require individual methods to overcome giving into tendencies on the regular in order for them to be consistent with their diet. Nine in ten battlers are female.
  • The Craver (7.3 per cent): frequently experiences food cravings and can struggle to avoid overeating in certain food situations. This category held the highest Body Mass Index (a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) out of all the personality types.
  • The Pleaser (7.1 per cent): fairly popular individuals socially but tend to compare themselves to others which can make them feel inadequate. They often have a good support network around them.
  • The Foodie (5.9 per cent): big lovers of food, enjoys cooking and eating home-cooked meals. They like to eat a variety of foods and have the best diet quality of all the categories. The study found that men most often identify as foodies.
  • The Socializer(4.8 per cent): always enjoys spending time with others and attending social events. They need flexibility so that food restrictions don't dampen the mood of social settings.

Person sits down to eat with lunchbox on their lap

(Image credit: Getty Image)

It's likely that we can all identify with one, or perhaps more than one, of the above personality types when it comes to food. The different types illustrate just how different everyone is when it comes to maintaining a diet. No wonder one diet doesn't work for all.

What we can learn from the study is that different methods of weight loss work differently for each individual person.  There isn’t one way that works for everyone, and the key is finding the approach that’s right for you. 

Helpfully, there are plenty of dieting options to experiment with. Diet plans such as the keto diet (where you follow a high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carb diet in order to achieve a fat-burning metabolic state know as ketosis) and intermittent fasting (where you restrict the hours in which you consume food) have proven popular methods in recent years. Alternatively, some dieters swear by the best protein powders for weight loss in their bid to lose excess weight. 

Similarly, a varied approach is needed when it comes to working out. Some of us love to see, perhaps on a fitness watch, calories burned after a workout. So you could go to the gym, or find one of our best exercise bikes or elliptical machines which can help burn fat quickly.  Others may prefer strength training - if that’s you, we’ve picked the best adjustable dumbbells and the best kettlebells so you can work those weights at home. 

Alternatively, you might prefer getting outdoors to exercise. Walking for weight loss can be a great place to start, and a low-impact alternative to running. If the latter does appeal, the good news is that it’s easy to get started - all you need is a good pair of running shoes and the motivation to get out there. See our pick of the best running shoes for men and the best running shoes for women

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.